This fabulous set of 1950s - 1970s advertisements (posters, magazine ads, booklets, etc.) on Flickr is both fascinating and inspiring. Some of the ads are dated from a social perspective, but the design and much of the writing remains timeless and iconic.
Like this ad from Volkswagon ...
... I don't think its correct to use Native American stereotypes when selling cars anymore (thus the dated part of the ad) but overall the ad is striking and compelling. If I could write copy a fraction as 0s succinct, elegant, fluid and sharp as what's on this ad, I'd be a happy copywriter.
And this ad, from the Italian Art Directors' Club ...
... is not just visually a treat, but understandable to anyone, regardless of their mother tongue.
I think very often advertising creatives lose sight of the main task at hand -- communication. Deciding what needs to be said, and saying it -- through words, pictures or both -- as simply, singularly and memorably as possible.
These are old ads, but will you remember them? I will.