Old School Ads Title Image - baby 7up commercial inspiration

Companies are always changing. As a company that focuses on providing marketing services, like content writing services, we are ever-changing or, more so, adapting to the latest marketing strategies.

At 411Writers, we have done it by expanding from only offering blog writing services to incorporating services for app reviews and product descriptions – shorter content that’s to the point.

I’m a millennial, so I’ve seen many different advertising and marketing tactics come and go. I remember what it was like before every household had a computer.

Imagine selling digital marketing services back then – it wouldn’t have worked.

The same goes for using old-school advertising tactics in 2020. Times have changed, and we have evolved.

But, not ALL old-school ads and tactics should be forgotten. Keep this in mind as I’ll be touching on this in a bit.


Old-School Marketing Tactics That Don’t Work

It’s not just marketing that has evolved, it’s our social standards.

People had different social standards back in the day, which is what made certain ads popular and effective. Most of these marketing tactics won’t hold up in 2020.

#1. Kids and Soda

It’s been proven that advertisements with babies get more attention. The same goes for puppies. Markets back in the day found out that people respond well to babies, which is why they started including them in ads more and more.

However, putting a soda in a kid’s, let alone a baby’s hand these days, won’t sit well with most people.

Back in the day, it was common to give babies sugary drinks, even for breakfast.

In the 1950s, 7-Up was advertised as a drink for the whole family. They even suggested mixing it with milk to give to babies.

baby drinking 7up - retro commercial

Now, with all the health-conscious people out there, it’s likely that this kind of ad would receive backlash if published today.

#2.Pushing the Boundaries

Today, women have a lot more power and voice than they did before. While some women would say it’s not enough compared to the male counterparts, it’s still a large improvement.

Before, marketers would often push the boundaries with their advertisements.

Popular ads for Volkswagen cars promoted their cheap auto parts. The message was that women could drive the car since the parts were so affordable – this implied that women would likely wreck the vehicle.

Volkswagen sexist retro commercial

We’ve talked a bit about sexism in ads before and how it’s still used today. However, most companies that use these tactics also receive backlash.

With content writing services, it’s best to focus on ads and marketing material that shatter gender stereotypes instead of keeping them alive.

#3. Cocaine for Toothaches

For most people today, cocaine is an illegal substance that should not be consumed, let alone found in anyone’s possession.

However, it was often advertised and legally sold to help with pain like a toothache, in the past.

cocaine toothache drops - retro commercial

Since cocaine is now illegal and can’t be advertised, people are turning to medical marijuana.

Even though there are proven studies showing that medical marijuana does have healing mechanisms, it doesn’t sit well with everyone.

Old-School Marketing Tactics That Do Work

We can still hold onto some things.

While including certain content in your ads or marketing strategies, like sexism or drug-references, can be controversial now compared to what it was back in the day, there are still some tactics that can be utilized.

#1. Email Marketing

This is an oldie but goldie. Yes, it would help if you still were mindful of the message you send across in your emails.

If you are not sure how to do it yourself, use content writing services.

Not everyone has an inbox full of junk mail or spam. There are valuable emails being sent and perceived by clients positively and beneficially.

#2. Direct Mail

I know what you’re thinking.

Direct mail? Who even gets mail anymore unless it’s a package they ordered online?

Before you completely push this marketing tactic to the side, let me explain.

This was a strategy often used back in the day, and when I was a kid. It’s still used today, just not as much.

However, it’s not dead. Many people tend to react positively when they receive a personalized and even hand-written letter.

I’m not saying start writing your content out by hand, but you can send direct mail to your clients that include personal notes or a “thank you” for using your services.

#3. Radio Advertising

Before, people used to get all their news and information from the radio.

The truth is, it’s still an effective marketing method today.

When driving in the car, you may think that plugging in the aux cord or connecting to Bluetooth to play your favorite music is what everyone does. However, that’s not always the case.

Most people who drive to work in the mornings will listen to the radio. This is not only for entertainment but also for the latest news, especially if they don’t have time to watch or read before leaving their homes.

This is where they’ll also hear those :30-:60-second commercials.

How to Incorporate the Old and New

There are benefits to both.

We all know that old isn’t always effective. However, some old-school marketing techniques are timeless and can be used as strategies today. Be mindful of people’s social standards, the evolution of time, and what’s right and wrong or where people cross the line.

Many content writing services, like the ones we offer at 411Writers, incorporate both new and old techniques. It’s a way to add a modern flair that is appealing and works.

What old-school ads or marketing tactics still work for you?

Do you only prefer new or old forms of advertising?

We’d love to hear from you, so let us know in the comments!