I’ve long been interested in efforts to make the case for capitalism. A free-marketeer myself, I wrote my Master’s thesis on an ad campaign from the 1950s that sought to persuade people of the virtues of American-style capitalism. I was thrilled to learn that in the wake of the recent financial crisis, the US Chamber of Commerce had decided to launch a similar campaign.
Compare the two videos below.
The 1950s version is filled with interesting allegories: “foundation of our system”, “threatening waves”, “train-loads of taxes”, “tax dollar vacuum cleaner”. Also, while the cartoon style is light-hearted, it’s actually a pretty stern warning.
On the other hand, the 2010 version looks like a mutual fund commercial. It is also entirely positive, with only one mention of the need for “Responsible Economic Policies”.
1950s Print ads (Download PDF here)
2010 Banner near White House