Mad Men Autos | TheDetroitBureau.com
Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘mad men autos’

The Soft Sell: Auto Advertising Turns 113

Those 19th Century Mad Men marketed the Winton. Has much really changed?

by on Sep.16, 2011

The first automotive ad, for a Winton, appeared on July 30, 1898 in Scientific American. Who knew what would follow once the Mad Men got into the game.

Hoist a very dry Martini before dinner Saturday to honor and toast the 19th Century Mad Men who convinced the Winton Motor Carriage Co. of Cleveland, Ohio to run the first automobile ad advertisement in Scientific American magazine, July 30, 1898.  Consider it an homage to those who led the way for us who make or have made our careers in auto advertising.

This is the ad that appeared.

No, the layout is not up to contemporary standards, the illustration is only so-so, but carefully read the headline and the body copy. Now think of this ad in terms of today’s advertising for electric vehicles. There’s an almost eerie visionary prophetic sameness with the major selling points, isn’t there?

Your Timeless News Source!

And the price, $1,000. Based on the Inflation Calculator using Consumer Price Index data, today the Winton would cost $25,853.94 — a number not that far off from Nissan’s Leaf or GM’s Volt, at least after rolling in today’s federal tax credits. (There wasn’t an income tax back then, of course.) Conversely, $1,000 today would only get you $39.30 in 1898.

(more…)