Ladies, if you thought shopping was hard, with grocery aisles filled with a gazillion varieties of every product, think again. Not too long ago, if you picked the wrong coffee (oh, the horror!) you deserved to be punished for committing such heinous crime. This Chase & Sandborn ad from the 1950s is advertising their special lid that keeps coffee fresh for a longer time. Instead of speaking of the benefits of fresh coffee, they visually threaten housewives and show what will happen if they serve stale coffee.
What would Don Draper say about this? For the sake of the writers obsession with Mad Men, we hope he would have been outraged, but we are not 100% sure. This ad shows a scene of a husband scolding his wife for not keeping up with her domestic duties. Not only that, it clearly demonstrates how accepting American society used to be about spousal abuse. After all, women deserve to be punished if they screw up something as simple as a cup of coffee.
In all seriousness, this chauvinistic ad portrays women as extremely simple beings. This reflects how women were perceived as childlike and needing of a man to discipline and guide them in the “right path”. It is in this context that Chase & Sanborn is ready to be the saviour of all women, by offering “a sure and certain way to test for freshness before you buy”, even the foolest wife can pick the right coffee and never again serve a stale cup.