Modern marketers should take a hint from these vintage fishing ads from yesteryear.
When it comes to advertisements, they just don’t make them like they used to.
We’ve scoured the Web for interesting vintage fishing ads to share with you, and think we’ve found some of the greats. The typography, style and claims show off a trend in advertising that boomed in the developmental years of our country’s history. Events like the Great Depression and the World Wars influenced how people chose to spend their money, and these ads highlight the sentiment of the times.
Take a look at the vintage fishing ads in the slideshow, and let us know what your favorite is in the comments section below. You can click on the credit links to see larger, zoomable versions of the ads.
Winchester tackle box
Although the Winchester brand is most closely associated with their guns, they once dabbled in the realm of fishing, too. This 1930 ad is for their tackle box, which included Winchester rods, reels, and metal and wooden spoon baits.
However, around this time it is possible it featured Horrocks Ibbotson equipment as well, as the company is thought to have purchased the tackle department of Winchester around the beginning of the Great Depression.
General Electric Home Freezer
Not all fishing ads were directly about fishing. In this 1950 ad, GE advertises its home freezer not only by discussing the value of the appliance, but also by encouraging the buyer to go out, fish, and bring home plenty of food to load into the freezer. It is guaranteed to get the buyer out of the house, and sure to please his wife, who will have bountiful fresh fish at her disposal.
Western Fishing Line
In the late fifties, Western Fishing Line put out a series of lighthearted ads declaring their line to be so good, it could catch not only a fish, but every waterman’s fantasy: a mermaid!
Declaring “Now, that’s what I call a line!” or “What a fine line!” the dark-haired dame of the deep appears in multiple ads, utterly engrossed by the high quality line she saw floating around in her waters.
Miller High Life
Calling itself “The champagne of bottled beer,” Miller took a unique approach in its advertising.
Not only did it commend the quality of its drink, it coupled the drink with a higher standard of living by pairing it with images of successful deep sea catches, beautiful women out in the water, or a group of fishermen laughing and sharing beer.
Buel’s Ontario Double Muskallonge Bait
Not all fishing ads were filled with sex appeal, humor, or gimmicks. Those like the ads put out by the J. T. Buel Co. were as straightforward as an ad can possibly be.
With a clear name and illustration for the product in question, they chose to let their bait speak for itself. Did you or anyone you know ever use one of these?
P&K Pachner Koller Walkie Talkie Fishing Lure
The end of World War II saw a return to leisure and fun for America. The P&K Walkie Talkie Fishing Lure was sold on just that premise.
Guaranteeing adventure and featuring a catchy name, it called on its audience to remember the joy of the great outdoors.
“Make anyone a better angler.”
Based on the premise of ease, the Pflueger reel was designed not only to appeal to the existing audience, but to draw in new anglers.
By promising anyone can use it and, in fact, improve with it, the target audience is unlimited.
Ocean City Reels Montague Rods
Some ads talk about the superiority of their product. Some ads compare and contrast. But this ad from Ocean City Reels outright says it: their rods and reels are just plain better.
In a decade when advertising was on the rise and recreation was becoming a greater American pastime, there was no sense in beating around the bush during the 1950s.