Amie Williams
Associate Online Editor
November 25, 2013
Photos By: Ford Motor Co. Archives

Just like every new product, advertising helps boost its sales. Advertising has come a long way over the past five decades, which is clear with some of the print ads from the mid-1960s that circulated for the early Ford Mustang.

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The Mustang was not hard to sell. It was compact, sporty, performed well, and came with a plethora of customization options. It was a perfect car for the era.

Mustang was meant to appeal to baby boomers looking to drive a car that wasn’t grandma’s huge sedan. With the Mustang’s development and launch in 1964, it turned out that these young adults were not the only ones looking for a refreshing new ride.

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With the change in music, culture and fashion from the ‘50s to ‘60s, it seemed like everyone was looking for something else. With the release of this new pony sporting many different options, 400,000 Mustangs were purchased within its first year with 22,000 orders placed that first day. It seemed like everybody was in love with this new Mustang.

With word of mouth getting around, it couldn’t hurt to throw out a few ads about the new pony car. In Ford Motor Company’s archive, many magazine and newspaper ads were dug up featuring slogans and themes that could have been taken directly from an episode of AMC’s series, Mad Men.

The Mustang was released when gender equality was rooting itself, and it is reflected in some of these ads featuring marketing concepts that were just being invented some 50 years ago. “From its first days on sale, Mustang was touted as ‘The Car Designed to be Designed By You’ thanks to its enormous range of available equipment and color options,” said John Clor, Mustang author and historian. “With so many ways for a customer to personalize a Mustang, it was possible that no two cars would be exactly alike.”

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Many ads were created for the car and it seemed like no rock was left unturned when it came to target audience. With many customization options, ads were created for almost everyone. One of the ads featured this tagline “The Sweetheart of the Supermarket Set.” This ad featured the six-cylinder Mustang sporting a manual transmission complete with great fuel economy, and, of course, directed toward the thrifty young mother.

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“Why see a marriage counselor?” was the tagline of another ad which promoted the SelectShift automatic transmission Mustang for middle-aged couples who shared a car. Many of these ads promoted being a part of a growing Mustang community, but at the same time, remaining individuals with the vast customization options.

The Mustang is one of the best automotive success stories of all time, with the car and community growing ever popular. Now, 50 years later, more than 8.7 million Mustangs have been sold and counting. Many of the early classic Mustangs are still out there attending car shows while being meticulously maintained by owners who know the importance and value of an early model pony.