Thursday, June 5, 2014

Constantin Alajálov for Mary Dunhill

Constantin Alajálov's ads from 1943 for Mary Dunhill lipstick evoke the Second World War as well as the holiday traditions of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The women of these ads support the war effort, continue to perform domestic duties, and manage to socialize with young men. These women serve their country proudly in uniform, but never fail to wear one of Mary Dunhill's five shades of lipstick: Luscious, Banner Red, Thrilling, Medium, and Brilliant. Incredible demands were made upon their finances as the price of lipstick rose from $1.00 to $1.25 during the two-month course of these ads. That doesn't even include the additional "federal tax," whatever that may have been. President Roosevelt opposed a wartime Federal Retail Sales Tax and it was never enacted by Congress, so it isn't immediately clear just what that tax refers to.

Constantin Alajálov, This Rollicking Round..., Advertisement, Mary Dunhill,
The New Yorker, October 23, 1943, page 3.

Constantin Alajálov, This Busy Vortex..., Advertisement, Mary Dunhill,
The New Yorker, November 27, 1943, page 17

Constantin Alajálov, This Hectic Holiday..., Mary Dunhill,
The New Yorker, December 11, 1943, page 5

Note:  There's a lot more artwork by Constantin Alajálov on the ol' blog.

I believe Ed Ney once called it "responsible commercial persuasion," but I just call it advertising. Some posts about advertising—responsible or otherwise—are on hand.


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