Tuesday, August 23, 2016

No children were harmed in the making of these Bayer Aspirin Ads

(Quick bit of trivia:  The little blond patient in one of these ads is the same kid who played Brainwashed Commie Son in a classic piece of manipulative Cold War propaganda, Red Nightmare.  At least, I think it is.  Pretty sure.)

But on a more serious note- yeah, I agree with the YouTube commenters who really, really hope that parents in 2016 are not looking to vintage ads posted on the internet to find good medical advice.  Aspirin for children under the age of twelve isn't a great idea.  That being said, I don't agree that these ads should be taken down because....well, seriously:  who is getting medical advice from vintage ads posted on the internet?  The same people who think that doctors are still endorsing cigarettes?

I am happy to report that none of the kids featured in this commercial died from taking Bayer Aspirin.  They were all killed in Vietnam.  Ok, I know that's really dark- but tomorrow's my birthday and once again I'll be spending it in back-to-school meetings, so this is about as cheerful as I'm going to get for a while.


  1. Sorry you didn't have a cheerier birthday. But seriously, this reminds me of an ad that had me pondering how our whole view of aspirin and what it is for has been changed in the last 50 years.

    When I was growing up, and I was a child at the time the ads above came out, aspirin was something you took for a headache and/or fever, or maybe body aches. But not long ago a commercial appeared on which a young man was on a plane explaining to a flight attendant that he needed something for his lower back pain. She brought him Bayer "Back and Body" Aspirin and he acted as if insulted. "Aspirin? I'm not having a HEART ATTACK." She then had to explain to him that this aspirin was especially formulated to relieve body aches.

    It seems that over the past 50 years we have not only come to understand that children shouldn't get aspirin at all, but we have stopped thinking of aspirin as a pain-relief medication, period. Or at least some people have. They think of it as a medication to take ONLY if you're having a heart attack. Which, to me, is odd. I mean, I realize that St. Joseph's essentially saved their product by rebranding its "Aspirin for Children" as an adult heart-attack preventative, but I had no idea that the very notion of "what aspirin is for" had changed to the point where people way younger than I am think of it as exclusively a heart-attack medication.

    1. I've seen that ad- the jackass flyer actually gets up and points to his back to try to make his point to the Perfectly Proficient in English flight attendant- "it's my BACK, not my HEART, stupid! No comprende?" And besides, if a flight attendant offered me aspirin I'd think she was assuming I had a headache, not a freaking heart problem.