This is a famous Charles Atlas ad format that appeared in comic books for decades.
That’s part of what makes this ad so good – it blends into the rest of the magazine with its own little cartoon strip.
The story that it tells is at least a bit relatable for its target audience:
- Skinny guy gets bullied at the beach in front of a girl.
- Skinny guy feels ashamed and orders Charles Atlas’ book.
- “Later”, the skinny guy is all big and buff.
- The ex-skinny guy returns to the beach and gets his revenge on the bully.
Even if you’ve never experienced this specific scenario, it’s an easy-to-follow story. “Mac” gets bullied, gets big, then kicks butt.
The ad also follows a familiar basic format:
- Headline (Let Me PROVE I can make YOU A NEW MAN)
- Text. (Including bold subheaders and lots of freebie extras)