Some of you may have recently heard about the new Netflix series Narcos, a dramatic serialization of the life of Pablo Escobar. The series has become critically acclaimed and has spread through the internet like wildfire. Some fans were so inspired by the series that they dug up some adverts from the period that highlight society’s opinions on drugs around that time and how opinion has changed since then.
The above advert was originally larger and below this part was the slogan, “You Deserve It.” Considering how Cocaine is currently seen and the way we see drugs users as criminal along with seeing drug use as grimy or unpleasant, it’s interesting to see the drug portrayed in such a classy way, while also implying that the use of the drug is something we deserve. These days, people assume that those on drugs deserve prison.
Anyone who is well acquainted with cocaine use knows that the biggest enemy of coke is moisture of any kind. The advert above shows us a bottle that keeps the powder dry and dehydrated before it’s ready for use. These days people often struggle keeping their drugs fresh so it’s interesting to note that there were once products advertised for this reason as long as over forty years ago.
This advert highlights how high end the use of cocaine was once seen, there being luxury items for the use of the drug. These days the news is telling us about the top of club toilets and the purity of cocaine on paper money, but I’ve never heard a report on how discarded ivory instruments are being found with cocaine residue on them.
This one ties in with the bottle above that keeps your powder dehydrated. However, this one is interesting because it also includes one for you cannabis. Another interesting point is that this advert is openly admitting the travelling/smuggling of drugs, something that would be seen as a major taboo for many at this point in time.
If there’s anything we can learn from these adverts beyond how much of a different cultural world the 1970s were compared to now, it’s that maybe we now have too much of a puritanical view on drugs. It’ll be interesting to see how drugs are talking about in the media forty years from now, whether it’ll be much more restricted or much more free. Until then, why not tell us what you think about these adverts. Do you agree that we’ve gone in a more puritanical way or are you glad that our society now treats drugs with a higher level of secrecy and taboo?