Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seven Months? Seven-Up!


It's 1955 and this is the best, cleverest idea they could come up with at Seven-Up headquarters. Hey, our stuff is so great even babies like it! And it is so good for you (ahem!) that mothers give their babies bottles of Seven-Up instead of milk or formula. And guess what folks, they say in the copy, this kid is eleven months old and he isn't even our youngest customer.

The ad copy (click on the Duke link to see the big version) says that it is "pure and wholesome" and that because they list all the ingredients, it is good for babies. Oh, and here's a little childcare tip: if you can't get the kid to drink milk, mix the milk with Seven-Up. Won't that be entrancing for you both to look at. And so healthy, too.

And they don't even talk about all the other benefits, like dental problems and an early addiction to sugar. Nothing does it like Seven-Up? No kidding.

This horrific 1955 advertisement is from the non-horrific, indeed quite wonderful Duke University.

22 comments:

heidi said...

now i know why hillbillies lose their teeth...

Eric said...

Better be careful or that cute little baby might turn into a wild eyed ginger...

Just kidding, I like redheaded people, just not the wild eyed gingerale advertising kind.

Tori Lennox said...

At least the kid isn't a disembodied head....

Buggys said...

Wow. That's pretty shocking. 1955 is not the dark ages....is it?

vanilla said...

Wait, wait --but there is no caffeine. Never had it, never will.

JD at I Do Things said...

WHAT?

That's so wrong. Tho I remember drinking Coke straight from the bottle at a pretty young age.

Jordasche Bledsoe said...

Wow, ridiculous! Great post, thank you for sharing. I'll retweet. Love Heidi's comment!

Lidian said...

heidi - Maybe this ad was actually made by dentists.

Eric - I was thinking of our pal Ginger, and I was lazy enough to hope that LinkWithin would also think of him. I wonder if it did?

Tori - Not yet!

Buggys - It is so weird, I remember an ad from the 50s (that I saw when I was browsing Life mags years ago when I was supposed to be, ahem, working on a research paper) and it was all about how great SUGAR was for you and how healthy it was to eat candy bars. It was also from the mid-50s. I guess they liked sugar.

vanilla - Oh, that's all right then ;)

JD - And I was drinking Tab at a young age (not this young though).

Jordasche - Thank you! :)

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Every once in a while...I see a baby with cola in a bottle and I just cringe - havent seen it since I moved from NC but man, that used to drive me nuts.

this is way worse than that!

Michael said...

Milk and 7-Up in a bottle together? To my ears, this sounds just...nasty. Almost as bad as Laverne DeFazio's Milk and Pepsi habit. Maybe a similar "recipe" for getting Junior to drink milk was what prompted Laverne to crave cola and milk together?

Lidian said...

Tracy - And at such an early time, too. And encouraged in an ad!

Michael - It really does sound appallingly nasty, as you say. I had forgot about Laverne, but you're right! I used to watch L & S every week :)

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Horrific is the word. I am horrified.

The *only* consolation I can think of is that "at least it's not Budweiser".

Not that that's much consolation!

Jennifer Landsberger said...

This is great. I stop by almost everyday to check out your new content, but this one really tops it!

Vintage Christine said...

Oh, but there really IS a reason to give a baby 7-up -- it calms an upset tummy better than anything. I remember my mother pouring it into a sippy cup for us and then laughing at us when we tipped it up too fast and the bubbles went up our noses. My mother also gave us a spoonful of sugar mixed with whiskey to help us fall asleep when we were ill. Back then they didn't worry about future cavities or obesity problems--they just wanted you to stop crying!

Georgina said...

Who knew that babies could spontaneously grown a new stomach lining and intestine every two months? That's true isn't it? Or else HOW ON EARTH could they give a baby 7-Up and think it's a good idea? - G

GoRetroGirl said...

Great and disturbing at the same time, but you know, there are dumb parents out there who shouldn't have had kids. That kid will need root canals by the time he's two.

Lidian said...

Richard - I think they wait with the Budweiser until the kid is at least 12.

Jennifer - Thank you! It makes my day to know that, because you know how it is: you write stuff and press 'publish' and just sort of hope it will amuse people...

Christine - Well, actually, now that I think of it, my mother gave me sugar water. But not in my infancy. It's true that people didn't worry about sugar so much back then.

Georgina - It is kind of weird even for 1955!

GoRetroGirl - And then come the Pepsodent ads!

Amy said...

oh my! can't believe they thought it was ok to give a baby fizzy soda! :-0

huntlyquine said...

well... babies were widely given gripe water from the fifties into the seventies to give relief from colic and that was laced with alcohol. My mum used to make us a blackcurrant drink with hot water and home made jam when we had a cold. We drank lucozade by the gallon when we were ill. Both my kids had the gripe water, the lucozade, sweets, pop and home made jam loaded with sugar and they didn't (and still don't) have a filling in their head so I think the root canal comment is a bit extreme. Moderation in all things I say. Hillbillies probably had problems with their teeth due to lack of good (and free!) dental services so let's not get too holier than thou about this. Tolerance too, for other's ideas is a good thing - doesn't mean you have to follow them like sheep.

Art of RetroCollage said...

Thanks for another great horrific ad!

The Nutter Sisters said...

This is the craziest thing! I guess we have come a long way baby...

hubbit said...

At least it's from 1955. Up until 1950, 7Up contained the mood-stabilizing drug lithium citrate - which was also the source of its original name: Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.

Lithium is also used in treatment of bipolar disorder, and in conjunction with antipsychotic medications. Just the thing to feed to Junior. YUM!