Retro Rewind: Vintage Ads Revisited

May 20, 2024

Try Some Sweet-Cured...Meat?

Some ads are so iconic that even years after they ran, we still remember them. Who can forget "Just Do It" from Nike or "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" from Coca-Cola? It's not just TV ads and commercials that get you excited about buying your favorites, either! Certain print ads catch your eye and never let go.

Vintage ads captured the attention of shoppers for generations. Even if you don't remember them, your parents or grandparents might. From meat in a can to Sonny and Cher hawking Bibles, take a step back in time as you check out these incredible vintage ads.



When it comes to meat, many people go with savory over sweet. The only sweet meats people enjoy today are things like maple bacon or barbecue topped with a sugary sauce. In the 1940s and even earlier, luncheon meat was a common thing. World War II led to rations that limited how many fresh ingredients most homes could buy. While SPAM made waves with its pork products, it had some competition from brands like Burns, the maker of Spork. If you think this sounds similar to SPAM, you're not wrong.

Spork was more than just pork in a can, though; it was sweet-cured pork in a can. This ad may not want to make you rush out and look for a can, but it highlights some of the benefits the products had for families. Spork was easy to use and a good protein source at a time when protein was hard to find.

MEAT Anyone?


With so many people following vegan and vegetarian diets today, it's rare to come across an ad for meat like this one. The American Meat Institute started in 1906 as an organization for meat packers. It later expanded to help the general public through programs to encourage meat consumption and make meat safer. The American Meat Institute later merged with a similar organization, but we still have ads like this one to remind us of what once was.

The ad focused on Swiss steak, which was a popular dish made from slow-cooked roast. Not only does the ad mention that it's a great source of protein, but it also tells consumers why they should make it. Front and center is the meat itself. 

It's hard to imagine any magazine running an ad today that shows huge cuts of meat if only because it would turn off some readers.