Senior Reporter and Assistant Opinion Editor
May 29, 1991: Classifieds were on and poppin’ throughout the 90s. Classifieds are on their way out as of 2015 with the creation of Craigslist and other social networking sites used for a variety of different things. Our prisons are and have been filled with convicts who need someone to talk to. Criminals smuggle in cellphones to seduce people, mostly women, on Facebook. But 20 years or so ago, they needed pen pals. Having a pen pal meant potentially having a connection to the outside world, and all its advantages; and what better people to take advantage of than college students?
Oct. 17, 1990: This Déjà Vu ad offers a two dollar discount to students with picture ID. The fact that the newspaper printed strip club ads in the 90s doesn’t surprise, but what does surprise me is that the ad essentially is a casting call for women who need extra money. It was like a classified ad and a help wanted sign all in one. Overall an interesting throw back ad, and who knew strip clubs were around back then? Especially the Déjà Vu.
Feb. 15, 1989: What people don’t remember about the 80s and 90s is that there was an AIDS crisis that swept the nation killing people, mostly gay males, left and right. So an interesting ad to print around this time was this one. Because Facebook and Myspace weren’t around to reach a younger culture, ads like this were printed in school newspapers to bring awareness to the topic at hand.
Oct. 1, 1986: Who doesn’t like a good pizza ad, especially ones that have coupons in them? Coupons in newspapers excite because it gives me a reason to look through the newspaper in search of a coupon. This ad was a perfect one in the 80s because college kids love pizza, but more importantly, we love discounted pizza. I got some coupons to PizzaRev and I was there for three days straight. The strategy to have pizza coupons was a good one because it gave people a reason to read the paper and it gave pizza companies a reason to advertise in a school newspaper bringing in more business.
Oct. 10, 1983 and Feb. 15, 1989 or any beer ad: The idea of beer being advertised in a school newspaper seems blasphemous now because everyone has a problem with everything and no one is allowed to do anything. But seeing beer in old college newspapers is enlightening. What’s more important about these beer ads and any ad really is that they were sometimes directed towards the school. “This beer is for you CSUB” type thing. And also sometimes congratulating our school is sport or general success. That is damn cool!
June 4, 1981: This Larsen Adamson advertisement made me realize how spoiled we are. It’s so easy for the modern student to find a computer, type up, and print a paper. In 1981 this was a very different story, businesses like Larsen Adamson didn’t just print copies of a paper they typed them. You would take your written paper to the business and they would have employees that sat at a word processor type the assignment word for word and then print you the copies. I can only imagine what those past students thought of professors that required the assignments be typed.
Sept. 14, 1978: Well damn, Peace Corps. Way to cut deep. I think this ad says a lot about the attitude of the 70s. It was the birth of the international citizen. For the first time people were becoming aware of a world suffering outside of their own front yard and wanted to help. Further evidence was also in this decade in that the first international benefit concert took place, George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh.
Feb. 15, 1989: You read that correctly, thousands of essays to choose from in all subjects! This company sold prewritten essays. That is the exact definition of academic dishonesty and it’s advertised in a school paper. One downside is that you still couldn’t procrastinate because you’d have to request the catalogue, wait for it to be mailed to you, order the essay you wanted, and then wait for it to be mailed to you. With all that time and energy you could’ve just written the paper and taken it to Larsen Adamson so they could type it and still have time to make it to the next showing of Back to the Future Part II.
April 20, 1978: First of all, Plymouth? Isn’t that the name of a venomous snake? Talk about blast from the past, Plymouth isn’t around anymore. What’s even more interesting is the address of this dealership. People familiar with Bakersfield know that all big car dealerships live on Wible Road not California Avenue. It really gives an idea of how small the city was. A bonus for the history buffs is the high mpg. It might surprise many people that an old car had such good gas mileage but the US suffered an oil crisis only a few years before. This began the age of car advertisements that boasted large mpg numbers instead of large engine sizes.
Sept. 30, 1976: It was a simpler time. When men never shaved below their necks and neither did the ladies. If an ad ran in today with the opening “toy store for women” we’d think of a sex shop. In ’76, however, people thought that the national pastime for women was decorating and being in the kitchen. I truly want to see the fecal tempest that an ad like this would cause today.
Something to think about for these ads is they were sometimes designed by students for students, paid for by the advertiser.