Advertising in the fifties: the wealthy woman


An example of the first advertising on the press for household appliances is the one dating back to 1954 by Fiat, which illustrates a refrigerator and an automatic washing machines, showing scenes of family life that refer to the modern house: close to the refrigerator we can see an elegant lady, dressed to go out; below, another lady with two children, close to the washing machine, also to give the idea of the household appliance size. «They are images that convey the idea of gentrification, the idea that anyone can be transformed into a bourgeois woman», Daniele Pitteri, expert in communication, advertising, cultural industry and teacher at the “Federico II” in Naples and at Iulm in Milan.

Concerning this, another case is Candy that, still in 1954, on the press advertised a semi-automatic washing machine: the protagonist was Mrs “Miniver”, dressed in elegant way, who lifts the cover of the washing machine, indicating the washing tanks, with, behind, a set designing characterized by references to symbols of the middle-class welfare, like the grit floor, a decorated curtain and a sort of marble balustrade.

Another branch, linked with the representation of women no more as standard housewives, is the progressive freeing from housework, the conquest of the free time and, definitely, the emancipation of the female role. A theme, this one, very present also in the American advertising, where the technologization of the home was a fact.

We have just to consider the advertisements that propose the matter of the gratitude towards household appliances: in 1957, the advertising of a semiautomatic washing machine, called Bi-matic, proposes as slogan: “If one hand washes the other, Candy washes for both”; or in 1960 an advertising of Hoovermatic on the press shows a woman close to a washing machine with stacked laundry, accompanied by the motto: “I did all this laundry in half an hour!”. Up to the slogan “Thank you Candy!”, coined in 1962.