Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Comic Book Ad: Love's Baby Soft

If you are old enough to remember the print and television advertising campaigns for Love's Baby Soft product line then you may recall that they all shared one element in common: An Ick-Factor.

The campaign for Love's was the most overt attempts I can recall to portray young girls as objects of desire and went far past the usual innocence of the Coppertone Baby in imagery. The intent of the advertising may have been to "help" or "guide" young ladies into blossoming into a proper adult woman consumer, but the spots always came off as kind of creepy and all the packaging of the product was ridiculously phallic. I remember one television spot in particular that showed a couple of tweener kids hesitantly meeting at a party and the tag line "Love begins with Love's Baby Soft." The following commercial was for Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Apparently the studio techs editing the placement of the commercials had an odd sense of humor.

This magazine ad from 1978, with the young model's breasts presented with a ribbon (blue, even, as if marking her as the property of a boy) like she is a gift to be unwrapped and some of the others are tame in comparison to what is regularly presented in media today. Yet for the most part current advertising for this age group, as extreme as it is on the internet and cable, does not usually present the model as innocent jail-bait up for grabs by a lecherous Uncle.

Today advertisers are wise enough to kind of shy away from the Pretty Baby imagery and when they don't, they receive some pretty fast and furious negative feedback from public and watchdog groups. Having to avoid this form of advertising must make advertisers chafe as there are entire industries devoted to the sexcapades of young starlets and celebrities. Even though the Pandora's Box has been flung wide open decades ago (so to speak) it is one thing to describe in detail a young celebrity's acts at a house party and very much another to try to sell the personal intimacy products she used during the evening to the average 16 year old.

From Marvel Comics Pizzazz #8 (May 1978).

6 comments:

  1. Apparently Abercrombie and Fitch hasn't learned their lesson. They feature t-shirts for pre-teen and teen girls that say things like "Who needs brains when you have these?" Waaaay tacky!

    I still have a 30-year-old bottle of Love's Baby Soft that I got when I was 13. I loved that stuff. Of course at that age I had no idea that the ads were exploitative.

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  2. Sad to think that she's someone's grandmother now...

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  3. "Does not usually present the model as innocent jail-bait up for grabs by a lecherous Uncle."

    I love that line!

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  4. Its a shame things are not this beautiful anymore and innocents is lost today.

    Instead young ladies watch videos with women looking like street walkers, and then we have them dress like one, with pants that say 'juicy' across the backside.

    Then we have to be bombarded by sexual advertisements for everything.

    Like young ladies need $400 high quality digital cameras, yeah sure you Rebel Aviral, good idea it's not like anyone on-line will ever come across anyone's 16 year old daughters nude pics. Never.

    Women don't realize that they have been robbed of their innocents.

    Now we see pornographic material daily on-line, and young women sexually exploited in ads for American Apparel, and think little of it.

    Ads today also make men look like total idiot pigs, drooling over tight tee-shirts. Like we need Maxium girls for popular beer, yeah all men try to seek into private parties to see breasts, yeah that is just like in the real world sure!

    Ad's insult everyone intelligence today, more then before with women seen as sex objects, men seen as pigs, young girls selling almost everything from life insurance to pet foods for no honest reason except one, we all like their pretty faces.

    At least in the 'good old days' they knew innocents of a young lady was sexy, and were straight forward about it and used it mostly appropriate for certain female products like Love's Baby Soft.

    Today we try to make out that sexiness in youth is wrong, then bring our pre-teen daughters to La Senza Girl to by their first sexy pair of panties, just like mom's.

    Hypocritical morons are what we have become today, and hide our true feelings because they might be offensive to some close minded people.

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  5. I had this t-shirt! Back in the 70's......I loved it! I wish i could find another one! Actually, a friend gave it to me, because it was too small for her. I loved it.....because.....back then.....i didn't have many clothes......this was the prettiest thing i owned......it made me feel girly & kinda special........i wore it very often......& never got any lewd stares or comments.......ever.....not from friends, family or strangers.......it was a simpler time back then --- before all of this internet, camera-phones, gossipy celebrity tv show stuff!

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  6. I loved Babysoft , I remember getting that shirt but my mother wouldn't let me wear it, I was so disapointed I thought it was so pretty and pink, but I didn't argue, aguring with my mother would get me no where.

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