|Ford V-8, [Fortune?], 1934|
As we've found in our research, the word "modern" in advertisements can mean many things.
What makes the new Ford V-8 for 1934 "Distinctly Modern"? According to the text, its beauty, comfort, speed, economy and safety: it "leads the line in design" (beauty), has an "exceptionally smooth performance" (comfort), has "quicker acceleration" (speed), has "more miles per gallon" (economy), and offers "Great security in driving because of the all-steel body and safety glass" (safety).
When Henry Luce founded Fortune, he envisioned a magazine that was targeted at "wealthy and influential people". Its "Purpose" (Luce capitalized the word) was: "To reflect Industrial Life in ink and paper and word and picture, as the finest skyscraper reflects it in stone and steel and architectural design" (letter to advertisers by Luce, included in vol. 1, no. 0 of Fortune, September 1929). The Ford ad, with its sleek car, elegantly dressed woman, and confidence-inspiring text, seems to fit the mission of the magazine and Luce's (modern) industrial vision perfectly.