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‘An iPhone a day keeps the boredom away!’: Posters put a vintage lens on today’s tech

Modern products get a ‘Mad Men’-era spin.

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You know what they say: Everything old is new again. That’s certainly the case with these vintage-inspired ads promoting some of today’s tech products.

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U.K. price comparison site Uswitch designed a series of six posters in the painterly, illustrated style of the 1960s. But instead of peddling the “wonder products” of the era, such as vacuum cleaners and dishwashers, the ads are selling today’s top gizmos and gadgets—for instance, the iPhone, Amazon’s Alexa, and Fitbit—complete with the optimism and idealism of mid-century suburbia.

[Image: Uswitch]
The ads explain today’s products within the context of available tech at the time. So in the era of room-sized computers, the iPhone’s processing power is compared to Sputnik and its features likened to a record player, library, and television. While the comparable technology has definitely shifted, the iPhone’s sell—that it “keeps the boredom away”—holds true in any era.

In other posters, Alexa is placed inside a vintage-looking Amazon Echo, with a round, front-facing speaker on a small stand with gold finish. Meanwhile, a PlayStation 5 “brings the joy of the arcade into your home”; the electric bicycle makes “cycling a breeze!”; and for the ladies, the Fitbit “can even track your fertility cycle, but don’t worry—we won’t tell your husband!”

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Eek. Sure, these ads are fun, but they’re also a study in contrast—in more ways than one.

About the author

Lilly Smith is an associate editor of Co.Design. She was previously the editor of Design Observer, and a contributing writer to AIGA Eye on Design.

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