Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Classic Ads: 1961 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88

The right tag line means everything. In the early 1960s, Oldsmobile played it up to the hilt. The full-size model wasn't just an 88, it was a Dynamic 88. It wasn't just a V8 engine, it was a Rocket V8. The pair of steel bracing members on the rear axle were a Twin Triangle. And as with many General Motors ads in that era, regular photography wouldn't do. Artists were hired to paint a photorealistic illustration of the vehicle, but with the people and surroundings a bit more impressionistic to call more attention to the car. This method produced some of my favorite advertisements of all time, and the GM illustrators were true masters of their trade.
This ad features a Dynamic 88 four-door hardtop sedan in front of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, built in 1959. I suppose it was chosen as a very distinctive modern structure of the time that represented a place successful, cultured people - just like you, the prospective Olds buyer! - would go.

 This ad appeared in the March 3, 1961 issue of Life magazine.

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