The single most important product in the early twentieth-century culture of consumption was the automobile, and the number of cars produced more than tripled during the 1920s. Like many other products, however, marketing cars to consumers effectively became as important as manufacturing them efficiently. This 1927 advertisement for Paige-Jewett cars suggests how manufacturers and advertising firms used colors and new styles to differentiate their products from those of competitors. Buying became confused with self-expression as consumers were urged to purchase products as a way to display individual taste and distinction.
Source: Ladies’ Home Journal, February 1929—American Social History Project.