Ad flashback: Otago Daily Times 1900

A look back at the advertising published in the 2 January 1900 edition of the Otago Daily Times provides a glimpse at the cost of living, the advertising standards and the creative motivations that pervaded the early 20th century.

At a time when housing prices have locked many out of the possibility of homeownership, real estate ads from 1900 illustrate how the evolution of the monetary system has resulted in a single pound (or dollar) looking much, much smaller.

Before Colgate dedicated most of its attention to our pearly whites, it was peddling soap by giving cleaning advice to cats.

Shakespearean references, wise mascots and life-changing therapeutic promises combine to glorious effect in an ad that could only have been crafted before the ASA stepped in with all its pesky guidelines. 


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