Monday, December 12, 2011

The Countdown to Christmas Continues... with another "Oddball Ad Campaign" of the 1940s!

So how do we top last week's 'Sexy Santa' and 'Smokin' Santa'?


Why, with 'Suicide Santa', of course!


You've got to hand it to the boys on Madison Avenue who convinced Arrow Shirts to run an ad campaign depicting dear old Saint Nick with his big toe on the trigger at the moment before he blows his own head off.


I can't help but wonder if the agency might not have originally presented a layout where Santa actually had a gun in his mouth - then "cooler heads prevailed" and they switch the rifle for a comical old blunderbuss.

It turns out that when Santa warned the kid in "A Christmas Story" that "You'll shoot your eye out!" he was speaking from experience!

* My Mid-Century Xmas Flickr set


  1. We just watched "Bad Santa" again, and I laughed so hard I hurt my throat.

    I'm starting to see where they may have received a lot of their inspiration for that film! Great posts, Leif.

  2. From the angle of the old gun, I'd say Santa would merely "shoot his eye out" too!

  3. Amazing! So a conventional Santa of the fifties could smoke, ogle beauties, and consider violent suicide, but such a Santa could hardly be depicted now without ruffling feathers and hurting delicate sensibilities. Even the Coke ad borders on not-PC. So despite greater freedom in other areas, we have greatly devolved from legitimate uses of humor in advertsing. We are now living in another Puritan age, despite the extremes all around us. These ancient ads bring our modern times in sharp focus, making us realize what we have lost by becoming too politically correct.


  4. Don't lose your head choosing the right gift!Avoid Christmas headaches and buy Arrow shirts.

  5. How come Santa's so desperate?
    Why can't he cope anymore?

    "These ain't no gifts!" he may have been told, "these are orders straightaway - and should you fail to deliver in time we'll sue you for breach of contract! You seem to be lagging behind the times and should you not have checked it yet: Time is Money!!"