• Clayton Smith

Watch Your Muscles Grow in 1929 - The Song Remains The Same


Greetings marketing lovers, Clay here with another excellent vintage ad.


This one is from 1929 by the Titus Training in New York City, from the Popular Mechanics magazine.


Mr Titus has done a great job here, with much to enjoy from a marketing perspective.


Here are a few of my favourite things from Mr Titus’ efforts.




1. You’re Next - Main Headline


Great main headline. It’s short, punchy and grabs attention straight away. With only two words, it allows a very large type. I also like the italicised “next”. We don’t italicise enough any more, don’t you think?


2. Look at Those Muscles Grow - Before & After



Despite Facebook’s ambivalence, before and afters are still a potent technique in many industries today ie carpet cleaning, make up, plastic surgery, fitness etc.


I wonder if these had the 1929 version of photoshopping?


Another highlight for me is in the description of image three :


“every muscle in his body developed to a giant size”.

I think Arnie and the 1980’s may have something to say about this definition of ‘giant’, but I digress.


3. Me, Myself & I - Body Copy


I love that the ad is written in first person. So much more personal and direct than “we”. I think many small businesses could learn from Mr Titus in this regard.


"I've taken fellows of every size and condition and transformed them into perfect specimens of manhood!
I've been doing it for years. "Miracles worked in Muscle" people call them.
But they are scientific miracles, because I've made a science of building men.
Nobody else knows the secret of my methods - but I know, and I know they'll do the same for you as they did for this lad here"

Personality oozes from the words, which he has leveraged into trust and authority.


4. Lead Magnet & List Building

At the bottom of the ad, the “coupon”, offering a free book of free muscle building facts;


With a big old CTA;


and a full description and pic of the lead magnet;


"Tear off that coupon! Mail it today! It will bring you FREE the greatest book you've ever seen - a book filled with astounding photographs of men rebuilt - a book packed full of Titus's own secrets of making muscles grow. No cost or obligation - just rush the coupon to Dept. M-141"

He’s even thought about the copy on the coupon itself, hammering home the value offered;



"Dear Titus : Sure I'd like to have your book. Send it free."

Mr Titus understood (wayyyyyy before Mailchimp) that growing his mailing list was just as important as growing his client’s muscles.


The Song Remains The Same

There you have it folks, some excellent lead magnet and list building from the roaring twenties.


Top work Mr Titus.


I hope you generated a tonne of leads and performed many “miracles of muscle” way back in 1929.


On a side note, Popular Mechanics magazine was started in 1902 and is still around today as a print magazine and online publication, click here to check it out.


Don't forget to subscribe at the top so you don't miss an article, and go like us on Facebook here so you don't miss our fortnightly Facebook live discussions.