I've talked a lot about the "sex sells" marketing tactic on Retrospace, but there may be another method that's just as persuasive - "shame sells". Make the buyer think he is the most repugnant, degenerate piece of shit on earth because he doesn't use your product. It's genius.
Take for instance, the Shower to Shower body powder ad above: this ad would have us believe that people will be shouting in pain and vomiting by your mere presence until you add a little of their glorified baking powder, and suddenly the whole elevator loves you!
Instead of a whole elevator of strangers gagging and dry heaving, in this ad we have a wife that looks absolutely disgusted by his foulsmelling breath. He may have been the head of the family, the breadwinner and pants wearer, but now he's a vile creature to be despised. If only he'd used Polident.
Forhans Toothpaste ad 1932
It's like he's mourning her death. Were her teeth so bad they put her down?
Here's a guy who made a mint off male insecurity. It seemed like every magazine or comic book I read, there was Charles Atlas staring at me. His stare doesn't say "It's what's on the inside that counts". His deep penetrating stare says "Stop being a pussy and get up off your boney ass!" As the ad says, "big brawny he-men grab the most attention, the best jobs, the prettiest girls!" Meanwhile, here you sit with this comic book in your hands. What are you waiting for, you freakishly skinny wimp, send me money!!!
For another post on this topic read "Men Can't Forgive Mephitis".