Classic Charles Atlas comic ads

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:

  1. Skinny guy gets bullied at the beach in front of a girl.
  2. Skinny guy feels ashamed and orders Charles Atlas’ book.
  3. “Later”, the skinny guy is all big and buff.
  4. 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:

  • Image.
  • Headline (Let Me PROVE I can make YOU A NEW MAN)
  • Text. (Including bold subheaders and lots of freebie extras)
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