Just for Fun

Magazine Time Warp: The Ads of 2004

I’ve been digging through and clearing out the stuff I’ve left at my parents house, helping them convert my childhood bedroom into a guest room. I’ve been going through and documenting the things I don’t particularly wish to keep, but wanted to share before they got tossed. Thankfully, between the old notes from middle school, sticker collection, a journal detailing my Hamlet reading from the 11th grade, and mismatched Barbie shoes, a few magazines from the early to mid-2000s survived.

Here are some magazine ads that perfectly sum up the year 2004:

An ad for "C2" from Coca-Cola.
Does anyone even remember this Coke offshoot, which I’m assuming was a precursor to Coke Zero?
A 2004 Acura ad.
It may be subtle, but this ad’s reliance on a map’s street guide places it firmly in the realm of things that have been phased out due to technology.
An ad for Ebay Motors from 2004.
Poor dumb Jane had to use the classifieds to find a car. Kids today don’t know that classified sections exist outside of Craigslist.
A Motorola ad marketing a flip phone.
Flip phones are marketed as couture. Individually those words make sense, but together, in a sentence? Absolutely not.
A 2004 cell phone ad.
Two things: 1. 2004 was still a time when camcorders on cell phones were bonuses, 2. Now everyone has some version of an iPhone or Droid so everyone has the same phone, anyway.
An ad featuring Lance Armstrong
Aw, Lance Armstrong before it all came crashing down.
An ad from 2004 for an HP photo studio.
All of that technology now fits in something the same size as your wallet.
An ad for Sex and the City coming to syndication.
Remember when it was announced that TBS was going to start airing Sex and the City and everyone lost their minds because a) how dare they corrupt the youth who watch basic cable and/or b) it was going to dilute the subversiveness of the show? Aren’t we glad to know that over a decade later, people mostly remember Sex and the City as a joke about the late ’90s?
A Sketchers ad from 2004.
Typical Sketchers ad. If we distract with ~sex appeal~, no one will notice how terrible these shoes are and all the high school-aged girls will want them. I had them in navy blue.
A 2004 Maybelline ad.
PEAK 2004. Liz Phair in her pop rock phase. The Cardigans. Just the use of the phrase “CHICKS WITH ATTITUDE,” which I’m pretty sure I had on a coin purse I bought from Claire’s.

Let’s close this out with some more mid-2000s, courtesy of the aforementioned Liz Phair.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch Mean Girls until I’ve memorized the entire “Jingle Bell Rock” routine.

By Karishma

Karishma is a twenty-something living in New York City and is trying her hardest to live out every cliche about Millennials. This involves eating her feelings, drowning in debt and mocking infomercials. She likes sociology so much that she has two degrees in it, and is still warding off her parents' questions about a real career.

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