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De Soto dreaming: Simple, direct and humorous advertising that got right to the point

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1954 De Soto Coronado. Brochure and ad scans from author’s collection.

During the boom years of the immediate postwar era, auto manufacturers were doing their best to create ads that touted their new cars’ performance and comfort, with an added push to sell their “ease of driving” characteristics. These particular display ads from De Soto showcase that era’s pleasant and friendly style of advertising.

1949 De Soto ad

To attract buyers for their 1949 models, De Soto ads focused on comfort and ease of operation:

“The distinctive De Soto, with “TIP-TOE” shifting for effortless driving. The brilliant new De Soto, featuring true  automobile design, gives you more comfort, more visibility, more safety, more performance – PLUS the effortless driving ease of time-tested “TIP-TOE” gear shift.”

1951 De Soto ad

Highlighting their 1951 line of cars with scientific reference, De Soto continued with their theme for passenger comfort:

“Let a De Soto demonstration convince you… ‘the ride’s a revelation’. Until you’ve driven the distinctive new De Soto you can’t realize the wonderful smoothness and riding comfort of this outstanding automobile.”

The best part of this ad was their reference to science: “De Soto’s extra comfort and smoothness is the result, first of all, of the 125 ½-inch De Soto wheelbase plus scientifically correct weight distribution and correct springing.”

1954 De Soto Coronado ad

For their 1954 Coronado sedan, their ads continued with the glamour theme while highlighting their car’s horsepower, with a bit of humor thrown in:

“One look tells you! Here’s the most glamorous De Soto ever to stop traffic. Step in, and see how the De Soto Automatic gets its name. The 170 h.p. FireDome V-8, paired with new PowerFlite fully automatic drive, takes you from zero to you-name-it – without lag, lurch, or click! It’s a spring tonic. . . on wheels!”

De Soto dealer ad

This advertisement from a De Soto-Plymouth dealer in Portland, Connecticut, back in 1954 highlights their “Special Spring Tune-Up!”

“Here’s just what your car needs to restore lost pep and energy, and insure you plenty of enjoyable summer driving! Our mechanics are experts! They’re trained in the latest factory methods and use only the latest tools and equipment! And every job is fairly priced!”