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SERIES: Sects Sell — The Red Pill

Launched in January 2019, Sects Sell is my weekly opportunity to explore a cult and experiment with a mid-century-ish, retro style of advertisement. New pieces are posted every Friday on this page and on Instagram – follow this and other work at @bridgetmakesstuff.

Ad Inspo

This week I was sitting with my roommate Hannah, looking at mid-century ads for a different project she’s doing — there’s only one brand between us — and I got into 1950s medicine ads. They are nuts. Here’s a whole list of them from Thrillist. So I say to Hannah, “I’d really like to do a Sects Sell illustration about meds when I can figure out the right topic,” and then 10 minutes later realize that’s obviously The Red Pill.

This was the first ad that caught my attention. Not least because it’s called Guy’s Tonic. The font and language fit perfectly, so I cribbed that, but this ad was made in the 1950s in the style of ads in the 1800s. Cool, but not super indicative of a mid-century specific style.

I opted for a pretty traditional format and layout, in terms of mid-century ads: an isolated image surrounded by text. And just to be clear, I mean SURROUNDED:

To achieve this newsprint-y look, I used True Grit’s Beat Tone procreate brush set — you can see that and all the brushes I used to achieve retro looks in this collection. (Full disclosure, like last week, I’m a Creative Market partner, so I get a small portion of the proceeds if you purchase those brushes — at no extra cost to you.)

In terms of that sales copy, I looked entirely to the subject matter for that…

Cult Inspo

The Red Pill movement is a bunch of mad dudes on the internet, mostly, that are not dating or having sex as much as they like. They believe this is the fault of women being superficial and selecting men with great bodies that are mean to them — it’s definitely not because you’re the kind of dude that gets on the internet and bitches about women but refuses to examine the hypocrisy of that choice, or basically any other thing about yourself.

The name comes from the Matrix, where Neo takes The Red Pill to unlock the truth. This Red Pill tells you the truth about women. Real cool stuff, man. The Blue Pill has become a movement mostly for folks that once ascribed to that belief system and no longer do.

I thought it might be fun and sad to use this absurdly long ad copy to draw the parallel between mid-century advertising and TRP. They are both sexist to a level I find unbelievable. End of parallels.

I used the new procreate font feature for this section, so I could really focus on the illustration and lettering the title.

That’s it for this week! I’m going back and filling in blog posts for all of the Sects Sell pieces I missed, so keep an eye out for that!

Tell me what you think!