2/23/12

Catalogs #18: Danish Catalogs 1973-74


How can I describe these pages from early seventies Danish catalogs? Words fail me. I guess the best I can come up with is this: it's just like an old Sears catalog except with hot Scandanavian chicks and awkward looking men.

But there's more.  There's that little indefinable 'something' that tells your brain "this is not from The United States".  I can't explain exactly what it is.... maybe it's that American models are always so perfectly polished - never too much makeup on the women, and all the guys look like Marlboro men. 

Take for instance this patio furniture page from the catalog.  Something just isn't quite right here.  Is that a beer on the table? Adult beverages are absolutely verboten in US catalogs. And this chick on the blue lounge thingy - what's she doing there? Something is amiss.


It may just come down to the fact that European catalogs weren't big budget Madison Avenue products by professional photographers and marketers; but rather low budget ventures done on the fly. Who knows? (And for that matter, who cares?)

Whatever the reason, these are awfully fun to look at. But don't take my word for it. Come have a look. We'll start with '74 and '73, and the next post will work from there back to 1970. (There's just too much goodness to be contained within a single post) Enjoy!

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15 comments:

  1. LMAO at the guy with the bright yellow hat and scarf. I'm digging some of the furniture, though (mainly the storage/entertainment units...not those ghastly looking living room sets!)

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  2. See, I think the guys are the ones that are hot. Probably because they look like attainable guys to me. Not guys that wouldn't cross the street to spit on me if I was on fire.

    And I absolutely love the entertainment centers.

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  3. Mouth shapes are the real giveaway for foreign-ness. Each language has its own habitual mouth shape. Note the common shape here, which looks something like a pie pan. Top lip straight across, middle 80% of bottom lip pulled down. It's not impossible among Americans, but definitely uncommon.

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  4. All the pictures of the women seem to contain a mother-daughter vibe. Some of them seem to span 3 generations. Of the guys, the rugged looking guy with the Lego hairstyle is stealing the scene in every photo. American male models seem to be gazing blandly off into space, here the Danish guys are eyeballing something, maybe you! And what's with the boobies on the bedroom wall?

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  5. Funny, the fake white TV set in one of the pics could be seen in Ikea stores in the Netherlands in the late 80s/ early 90s...

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  6. One major difference with American advertising.....there aren't any happy/smiling/middle class/black/Mexican/Asian people in the ads.

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    1. I'm sure even today other races don't make up that much of the Danish population.

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  7. Does anyone know what the dollar/kroner exchange rate was? We can see Denmark had gone to the decimal system.

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  8. I'm calling the three ladies in the blindingly hot pink outfits "Bizarro World Andrews Sisters."

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  9. Those racing stripe chairs are bitchin'. And I'd totally wear the stripy pants in #7.

    Pollstra: Interesting observation.

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  10. The girl sitting on the bed is clearly waiting for pancakes.

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    1. I would also say the girl with the patio furniture has a look in her eye that says 'who's up for some pancakes?'

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    2. Grey-haired guy in top photo: "I say, who want waffles?" He just doesn't get it.

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  11. The racing stripe seating group reminds me of the early-'70's AMC Javelin bucket seat interior.

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