During this NFL season, Campbell’s Chunky Soup revived its much-parodied “Mama’s Boy” ad campaign, in which pro football players are encouraged by moms (sometimes real, sometimes actresses) to eat nourishing soup. While the latest spot features a current player—Victor Cruz of the New York Giants—the concept is as anachronistic as it was when it first launched in 1997, reinforcing traditional gender roles and celebrating athletes for being overgrown boys.
But then again, that’s what Campbell’s is all about. Throughout its nearly 150-year history, the brand’s image has been grounded firmly in quaint, old-fashioned American values. As such, it’s fascinating to look back through the advertising archives to see how Campbell’s branding has evolved over the ages, while always adhering closely to a few core principles (mom’s rule, small white kids are cute, and America loves football, to name but a few).
Click through the gallery above to see 25 of our favorite vintage Campbell’s ads.