1970 Kitsch Convergence: Ultra Brite and AMC Gremlin

Vintage 1970 Ultra Brite tootpaste/AMC Gremlin adThere are those wonderfully quirky vintage ads where an alignment of kitsch reigns supreme, and a perfect representation of the era is displayed. This August 1970 ad for Ultra Brite Kiss-Stakes is a great example. By sending in 2 end flaps from any size Ultra Brite, you receive (FREE!) 12 vinyl Kiss Decals (Weatherproof. Waterproof.) to stick to your car, your books, your boots, your boyfriend. Plus a chance to win one of 10 Gremlins, American Motors’ kicky, lovable new car.

Ultra Brite toothpaste was ubiquitous in the 60s and 70s because everyone wanted whiter teeth and this was long before tooth-whitening procedures became commonplace. The AMC Gremlin burst on the scene on April 1, 1970 as a subcompact economy car. The car design was based on a shortened and adapted Hornet platform with a Kammback-type tail, and was faster than other subcompacts of the time.

Having the two products together in one ad was a perfect marketing ploy; both were young, fresh, zippy and quirky and had great appeal to 70s teenagers. I am questioning, however, why I didn’t enter the contest to win the car! The entry blank was left untouched by me. I can only surmise it was because I would have been 15 years old at the time, and it would be a year before I got my driver’s license at 16. Probably at that point I couldn’t imagine driving, much less owning a car. I did use Ultra Brite though! 😀


One Response to “1970 Kitsch Convergence: Ultra Brite and AMC Gremlin”

  1. beachgal

    Guaranteed to make your Gremlin look uglier then it already was! My secretary bought one shortly after they came out – she was all excited and took me out to the parking lot to show it to me and I happened to make an off-side remark not thinking, saying that it looked like a toaster! She was devastated and I felt so bad!

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