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11 ads that captured the spirit of the ’90s

If “Hasta la vista, baby,” “You had me at hello,” and “Yada, yada, yada” mean nothing to you, chances are you were not around in the 1990s, a decade whose legacy has yet to fully crystallize in our collective imagination. (These are popular catchphrases from “Terminator,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Seinfeld.”) To keep ahead of the…

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11 ads that captured the spirit of the ’90s

If “Hasta la vista, baby,” “You had me at hello,” and “Yada, yada, yada” mean nothing to you, chances are you were not around in the 1990s, a decade whose legacy has yet to fully crystallize in our collective imagination. (These are popular catchphrases from “Terminator,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Seinfeld.”)

To keep ahead of the curve, publishing house Taschen is releasing the 1990s edition of its ”
All American ads” book series, which looks at the decade through advertisements for fashion, lifestyle, cars, entertainment, travel, business, electronics and beauty.

“The 1990s will probably start to hit their stride in another five or ten years, when people will begin to look back and go, ‘Oh, wasn’t that a great decade,'” said the book’s editor, Jim Heimann, in a phone interview. “But at this point, it’s still a little hard to decipher and get a sense of distinction for this particular period.

A perfume ad featuring 1990s icon Fabio. Credit: Taschen

“But one thing is clear: A lot has changed in advertising since then, regarding overt sexual content — especially in fashion. It was hyperactive throughout the 1990s, and looking back at it now, you kind of wonder how they got away with all that.”
Almost naked
No one made a name for themselves through provocative ads quite like Calvin Klein. The black and white underwear shots of his 1990s campaigns — taken by photographers like Bruce Weber and Richard Avedon, with stars like Mark Wahlberg and Kate Moss — have acquired legendary status. “Bruce Weber’s Calvin Klein ads really showed a whole different kind of approach to that particular article of clothing, compared to anything that came before,” Heimann said.
Since then, according to Heimann, sexual imagery in advertising has been toned down, not just due to changing tastes but also because of differing attitudes toward issues like body image and sexual harassment.

1/11 – Marlboro (1997)
Because of stricter regulations, tobacco products could no longer be shown directly in ads, which led to the creations of “mascots” like the Marlboro Man: “You didn’t even have to show a cigarette. All you had to do was show a cowboy and no reference to smoking whatsoever,” said Heimann. Until, of course, regulations became even more strict. The Marlboro Man made its last appearance in 1999. Credit: Taschen

Although the 1990s ended just 18 years ago, the shift in our moral landscape is sometimes painfully obvious. One 1996 ad featured in the book displays a level of insensitivity towards transgender people that is unimaginable in today’s mainstream media, showing the image of a woman with the caption: “She’s a he. Life is harsh, your tequila shouldn’t be.”
No beige
Having flirted with advertising in the previous decade, the burgeoning computer and video games industries created a new category of ad in the 1990s. Aesthetically, they are among those that have aged most noticeably.

“Because that particular segment of commerce and consumerism moves so quickly, when you look at the computers of the era you think that they were so clunky,” Heimann said. “Although when they came out, they were everyone’s dream.”

An iMac print ad from 1999. Credit: Taschen

One notable exception was the iMac, launched in 1998, which capitalized on the unattractiveness and complexity of the boxy computers of the time. One famous TV ad illustrated the three steps required to set up an iMac (“Step one, plug in. Step two, get connected. Step three… there’s no step three!” said actor Jeff Goldlbum), while a print ad showed a colorful iMac with the caption, “Sorry, no beige.”

The pinnacle of originality was perhaps reached by the “Got Milk?” campaign, which managed to make an unbranded, arguably boring product attractive with a tagline of just two words (and celebrities like Ivana Trump, among others).

The ‘Got Milk?’ campaign featured various celebrities, incuding Ivana Trump. Credit: Taschen

The decade also saw the introduction of Photoshop as a tool for digitally manipulating images. Retouching had always been there, but now it was supercharged — and imagery could be created from scratch using only software.
It’s hard to say how the 1990s will be remembered in the distant future, but they will always have a special place in the world of advertising.

“All-American Ads 90s” by Jim Heimann, published by Taschen, is available now.

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Secretary of defense orders review of US airstrike that killed civilians in Syria in 2019

The review will be conducted by Gen. Michael Garrett, the commander of US Army Forces Command. Garrett will review “reports of investigation already conducted” but will also “conduct further inquiry into the facts and circumstances” related to the incident, Kirby said. Garrett has 90 days to complete the review, which will cover “civilian casualties that…

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Secretary of defense orders review of US airstrike that killed civilians in Syria in 2019

The review will be conducted by Gen. Michael Garrett, the commander of US Army Forces Command. Garrett will review “reports of investigation already conducted” but will also “conduct further inquiry into the facts and circumstances” related to the incident, Kirby said. Garrett has 90 days to complete the review, which will cover “civilian casualties that resulted from the incident, compliance with the law of war” and “whether accountability measures would be appropriate,” Kirby added. Austin ordered the review after The New York Times published an extensive investigation into the airstrike earlier this month. Shortly after the investigation published, US Central Command, the part of the US military that oversees forces in the Middle East, publicly acknowledged that civilians, including women and children, had been killed in the 2019 airstrike.The number of civilians killed is unknown but US Central Command acknowledged it was “multiple civilians.”On March 18, 2019, the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces called for air support when they came under attack from ISIS forces, Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for US Central Command, said in a statement. US and coalition forces surrounded the last ISIS holdout in Baghouz, Syria, but in the final days of fighting ISIS launched a counterattack, using small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide bombings.The only aircraft on location capable of carrying out the strikes was an F-15, Urban said. At the same time, the only unmanned aerial vehicle overhead was capable of recording only standard-definition video. Other aircraft and UAVs capable of recording high-definition video, which would have provided a clearer picture of the battlefield, had left the area after hours of fighting.Syrian Democratic Forces fighters, the nearest US special operations forces and the UAV flying above the battlefield reported or observed no civilians in the area before the airstrike was conducted, Urban said. The F-15 then dropped three 500-pound precision-guided bombs, potentially killing dozens of people.Several hours after the strikes, the UAV operator reported possible civilians in the area when the bombs had been dropped, Urban said.The acknowledgment of the civilian casualties was the first time the Defense Department had publicly disclosed that civilians may have been killed as a result of the 2019 airstrike.The revelation comes as the Department of Defense is facing increased scrutiny over its handling of civilian casualties following a drone strike in Afghanistan in late August that killed 10 civilians, including seven children. A review of the botched strike in Kabul found that “execution errors” led to what Pentagon officials had called a “tragic mistake” and that the killings did not violate the law of war, but it left the question of accountability up to the combatant commands.CNN’s Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.

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Pentagon to build up US bases in Guam and Australia to meet China challenge

The moves have been prompted by the Department of Defense’s global posture review, which President Joe Biden ordered Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to undertake shortly after taking office in February. Austin started the global posture review in March. The review is classified, but a senior defense official provided some details about the review’s findings.Biden…

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Pentagon to build up US bases in Guam and Australia to meet China challenge

The moves have been prompted by the Department of Defense’s global posture review, which President Joe Biden ordered Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to undertake shortly after taking office in February. Austin started the global posture review in March. The review is classified, but a senior defense official provided some details about the review’s findings.Biden “recently approved” Austin’s findings and recommendations from the global posture review, Dr. Mara Karlin, performing the duties of deputy under secretary for policy, said at a briefing on Monday.The Indo-Pacific region was a major focus, because of Secretary Austin’s emphasis on “China as the pacing challenge,” for the Department, the senior defense official said. The Biden administration has made countering China its main foreign policy priority as tensions have increased with Beijing, particularly over the issue of Taiwan and senior Pentagon officials have publicly expressed alarm about China’s efforts to upgrade and modernize its military. Last month Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said China had successfully tested a hypersonic missile in what was “very close” to a Sputnik moment.To counter China, the review directs the Department to enhance “infrastructure in Guam and Australia,” and to prioritize “military construction across the Pacific Islands,” the official said, as well as “seeking greater regional access for military partnership activities.” “In Australia, you’ll see new rotational fighter and bomber aircraft deployments, you’ll see ground forces training and increased logistics cooperation, and more broadly across the Indo-Pacific, you’ll see a range of infrastructure improvements, in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Australia,” Karlin said during the briefing.The global posture review also directs the Department to focus more on the Indo-Pacific region by “reducing” the number of troops and equipment in other areas of the world, “to enable improved warfighting readiness and increased activities” in the Indo-Pacific, the official said.On Russia, the Department declined to provide specific information about how the global posture review is directing the US military to prepare to counter threats from Moscow. Broadly speaking, one of the goals of the review is to “re-establish readiness standards,” so that the US military is “agile and responsive to crises as they emerge,” the official said.The US military is working to “re-establish readiness” in Eastern Europe “with the goal of strengthening a combat credible deterrent vis a vis Russia and the specific requirements of that region,” the official said when pressed on the issue, but they would not go into more detail on how the US military is preparing to counter Russia. In the Middle East, the review directed the Department to “continue to support the defeat ISIS campaign,” with the current US military presence in Iraq and Syria, as well as continuing to work on building up “the capacity of partner forces,” in those countries. But overall, the review directs Austin to “conduct additional analysis on enduring posture requirements in the Middle East,” the official said. Afghanistan was not officially included in the global posture review, because there is a “separate” National Security Council-led “process” that is “reviewing the way ahead for US presence there,” the official said.Overall, the US had “something like 75 consultations,” with allies and partners when putting together the review, among them “NATO allies, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and over a dozen partners across the Middle East and Africa,” Karlin said.The review also did not include “functional capabilities” like nuclear, space and cyber, because those are being addressed in other Department specific reviews, the official said.CNN’s Barbara Starr contributed reporting.

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Opinion: Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron are locked in a post-Brexit duel

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Opinion: Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron are locked in a post-Brexit duel

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