“What’s your marriage A.Q.*?”, 1950

(A.Q.* = Automobile Quotient)

vintage ad for Mercury cars, 1950

This is one of those ads that makes you realize how different things were not all that long ago.

I found this ad for Mercury Cars in the August 1950 issue of the Ladies’ Home Journal, and immediately had to do a double-take. This is an ad that is addressed to the woman reader of the magazine, and attempts to convince her that a Mercury is the car for her. So how does the ad do this? Well, by presenting her with solutions to the serious concerns a person has when considering a car purchase. You know, like messy hair after rolling down a window…

“A mussed hair-do and ruffled temper… or stuffy air and stony silence? It’s a battle nobody wins… as every woman knows.
It’s a battle that never begins… if you own a Mercury. Because Mercury’s ventilating system gives you a complete change of air in a matter of seconds… with no annoying drafts.”

Apparently, this “ventilating system” is only one of the reasons more and more smart “happily-marrieds” are making this their car. But to learn about the other great benefits to this car, women are invited to take the quiz below:

A quiz to show married women why Mercury is the car for her

It seems that concerns like, “Do you wonder if your husband still thinks you’re pretty?” and “Does he make fun of your driving?” are the issues that the advertiser needs to address in order to convince women that this is the right car for them. (If they got less than a perfect 40 on the quiz, they were instructed to hurry to their nearest Mercury dealer!)

I can’t imagine an ad like this being presented today, other than as a parody. Although the “battle of the open window” will I’m sure go on until the end of time, thankfully these kinds of ads probably won’t.

vintage ad for Mercury cars, 1950

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