A new book, How to Find Real Estate Ads in the 60s, offers a guide to finding real estate advertisements in the decade that featured the biggest housing bubble in American history.
The book, published by the publishing company of the late Harvard historian Daniel Boorstin, argues that advertisements in 1960 were more likely to appear in magazines, on billboards and on TV screens than they are today.
Advertising was popular, and the 1960’s brought out the best in people, the book argues.
The rise of the automobile, which replaced horses and cars as the primary mode of transportation, led to more people living with friends and family, which led to a desire for homes and houses, said Boorsteins book.
He noted that the new housing stock was affordable, with prices that would allow someone to afford the home they wanted and could afford to buy with money earned from other sources, like investments.
The housing bubble was particularly prevalent in the suburbs, with housing stock in most places costing more than the city.
The book also argues that real estate advertisement campaigns, which were part of the media and public image of the time, often were less effective than advertisements that were more subtle, more factual and more emotional, and did not rely on a lot of repetition.
There was no need to repeat ads, and no need for them to be negative, said the book’s author, James R. G. Parnell.
He said that the focus on building quality and affordability was less prevalent in ads for houses and homes than it is today.
Ads were also more likely than ads for cars and cars to mention jobs and industries that were not relevant to the homes or the homes themselves.
For example, ads for condos in the 1950s often emphasized the quality of the condos and how much money would be saved in the long run from the condo owners, said G.R.P. P. Gwynne, a professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley.
In the 1970s, advertising for houses did not feature the same type of images as the housing bubble.
Homes were seen as “safe” places, and houses were often seen as having a positive impact on society.
But the focus shifted to how the houses were perceived, and they were less important, said P.G. Glynn, a senior lecturer in marketing at the Royal Holloway, University of London.
G Glynn: Ads were less emotional than ads in ’60s, but also more factual.
He points out that real ads, by contrast, tend to be about something else.
How to find Real Estate Advertising in the 20th Century (by James R Parnett, Simon & Schuster, $23.95) by James R G Parnel, ISBN 978-1-54327-837-9, is a collection of essays on real estate advertising and real estate history written by some of the most eminent historians and marketers of the period.
Panniers of the book can be found at realestateadvertisements in the library of the University at Albany, which is in the state capital.