A Talented Temporary

The question for Monday: Do I want a talented temporary? Well no, not really. But I do want to know what you advertising people were thinking when you dreamed up this 1967 ad.

Actually, I can guess. And that is why you are winning my MCP Ad of the Week award, Manpower guys! Oh, the Manpower boys clearly were not just a bunch of pretty faces, they were really thinking very hard about this. I can just imagine:

Now boys, this ad is for a temporary agency called Manpower – har har, because men have power, and women – I mean girls – not so much! So let’s call this woman a White Glove Girl. That sounds about right – not powerful, and maybe thinking about fashion and shopping. But not too much, because she’s got to do a little bit of work…Hmm, could be tricky. Oh, never mind, no one’s thinking that hard at the office, are they?

Boys, let’s just tell the model to look confused and ditzy! That’ll appeal to the executives! We don’t want to get too cerebral with them, they have to save those brain cells for – well, the important decisions they’re making every day. How many martinis to have at lunch. Whether to put paper in the In tray or the Out tray. What kind of doughnuts everyone likes at meetings. That sort of thing.

Maybe we could just use an old picture from an ad for industrial strength hairspray, or extra-dark eye makeup. Or for white gloves, the kind women wear when they go out shopping. Don’t want her to look more intelligent than the boss, you know. So we’d better tell her to look really confused.

There is one small problem though. You may not get any women actually wanting to work for the agency.*

*That was supposed to be a funny punchline. The operative word being “supposed.” I can see how many places they had their agencies, and this is pre-1970s Women’s Movement, I know, they had a LOT of women working for them. What can I tell you, it’s Monday. Tomorrow ought to be better. Probably.

About these ads

13 thoughts on “A Talented Temporary

  1. Hey, I used to work as a temp for Manpower! Granted it was about 20 years or so ago. And not in Canada either, so i confess only a list of Canadian cities in the ad kind of confused me…And I didn’t wear white gloves either.

  2. oh gawd! you know what she reminds me of? Those awful wimpy simpering women in those old mills and boon books who go to work in some office as a secretary and end up falling in love with the boss…

  3. I had no idea they did any typing in those days; the movies and TV shows I watched, the secretaries filed their nails, sat on the edge of the bosses desk taking down ‘shorthand’- moments before engaging in a little slap and tickle- and accompanied him on out of town business trips. I often wondered who actually did the real work, for it didn’t seem to be the gorgeous young things in short skirts as shown in the advert…I assumed it must have been rows of unnatractive old spinsters in the bowels of the ship, keeping things afloat…

  4. Just A Blogger – My guess is that they're not.Tori – Maybe they only needed the gloves in Canada, you know, because it is cold up here…Bill – That's the truth! :)Amy – Yes, that's it! I was trying to think of the name, Mills & Boon…I used to see them in thrift stores about 10 years ago, but now not so much. The books, not the girls.RE – Did the Kelly Girls have to carry Kelly bags (the quilted bags with chain handles, I think…)? Mary – That's a good question. Maybe the girl in the ad is thinking about this.mandingo – That is what I was thinking when I saw "Funny Face" a few weeks ago with AUdrey Hepburn who seemed to do no work in the bookshop. And at the magazine offices there were about 20 secretaries also doing nothing, but wearing very fancy outfits. (The spinsters must have been off camera)

  5. Y’know, the last time I was at work with that look on my face there was a screaming case of the flu, nyquil and a severe lack of sleep going on. Which in some situations might be the ideal job combination!

  6. I actually once knew a Katharine Gibbs secretarial school-trained secretary. Of course it was fifteen years ago. And she didn’t wear gloves.(and she was half Scotch-Irish and half Mescalero Apache but we didn’t tell the colonel that until later).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s