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November 23, 2019

10 Strange and Funny Vintage Ads From Thanksgiving Past

If you lived through a Thanksgiving dinner during the 1950s or ’60s, you’re bound to have tried one of these “interesting” Thanksgiving dishes. From booze and cigarettes to mayonnaise candles, these vintage Thanksgiving ads are making us grateful for a modern Thanksgiving.

1. Cranberry “Candles”

This ad for mayonnaise-based cranberry candles promise, “You'll start a whole new holiday tradition...” Yeah, SURE we will (not).

2. Ketchup on Everything!

“Remember those tasty bowls of ketchup soup?” said no one, ever.

3. Duck in a Box

Does anyone actually enjoy fresh food (that’s sarcasm) on Thanksgiving? If you’re sick of fresh, organic ingredients look no further than cheese in a jar, turkey in a bag or some duck in a box – all of these foods are featured in this vintage advertisement.

4. Spam “Birds”

It’s safe to say we can add a third thing to the “what would survive a nuclear holocaust” list – Spam. Spam, like Cher and cockroaches, seems to stand the test of time, probably because they trick people into eating the product with “Spam Birds” like the dish pictured. “Cold or hot,” Spam promises to “hit the spot.”

5. Lighting up on Thanksgiving

Nothing says Thanksgiving like riding in a wheel barrel, holding a pumpkin while smoking a cancer stick. We definitely do NOT miss cigarette ads.

6. For Digestion’s Sake!

Are you looking for a “peaceful feeling” post-dinner on Thanksgiving? Look no further than Camel cigarettes. Nothing says peaceful like hacking on tar and poison after you’ve filled up on pie.

7. Hot Dr Pepper

Celebrate Thanksgiving with “a cup of good cheer” and drink a hot (?!?!) Dr Pepper. The soda brand claims a hot Dr. Pepper is “deliciously different.” Do you trust the Dr?

8. Ye Offensive Banquet

“Ye Indians are hungry tonight!” and “be a friendly Pilgrim and serve your little tribe a real turkey dinner,” this Banquet frozen food ads explains. Something tells us that “Indians” know how to kill a turkey AND feed themselves.

9. “Peaceful Relaxation”

This ad for Old Gold cigarettes seems to think that the 1700s was a “peaceful” time filled with “relaxation.” Claiming to be a “treat you can trust,” Old Gold cigarettes say you’ll “thank the day you bought your first carton.” Yeesh!

10. Bottoms Up!

We’d get hammered too if we had to eat all of the Thanksgiving “foods” featured in these ads. Four Roses Whiskey promises a “glorious start” to your successful Thanksgiving dinner, as long as you cheers with Four Roses Whiskey.

(This original article was published on New York Daily News)


  1. This would have been a lot better gallery without the NYDL's insipid and judgmental comments.

    This site should seriously consider dropping all commentary and just posting pictures only.

    1. Agreed. The captions never add anything, and often end up detracting from the pics.

  2. Funnier than the 'Indian' ad was the sanctimonious, head-shaking modern reaction.




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