and it floats!

(Advertising and the display of men’s bodies.)

From Chris Ambidge, a set of six vintage ads for Ivory Soap (99 44/100 % Pure … It Floats), mostly featuring men or boys bathing in groups.

The first has appeared on this blog before, in a posting on men in recruiting posters and ads (“Recruiting men” of 7/27/13):


Still in war-time:


Then in the showers at the gym:


Boyish playfulness:



And a solo bath:


Note the emphasis on cooling off by bathing with Ivory, plus the gentleness and safeness of the soap.

2 Responses to “and it floats!”

  1. Monroe Thomas Clewis Says:

    Speaking of floating and Ivory Soap, in 1938, just before the War, my late mother (She lived to be 98.) won a national ad-writing contest sponsored by Ivory Soap. Her copy was probably not much different than copy in the ads you posted, minus the patriotism. She used the money to tour Europe, crossing the Atlantic on the liner, Queen Elizabeth, and returned with memories of a lifetime. l just couldn’t resist the opportunity to pay her tribute. She was a word lover if there ever was one, something she passed on to me. Bon voyage, mom!

  2. nelson Says:

    50 years ago, it was the norm that men swam naked in swimming pools (supposedly because the then-customary wool swim suits shed lint that fouled the pumps — a good enough story, I suppose. that may have made ads that showed naked men more tolerable.

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