By the late 1960s the Age of Black Aquarius was in full swing. The occult revival had gone mainstream and pop astrology was becoming a hot topic at cocktails parties. One of the best examples of this phenomenon was the zodiac advertising campaign for the Bigelow carpet company launched in 1969.
According to various newspaper articles I’ve come cross, Bigelow’s ad campaign was the brainchild of decorating consultant Barbara Curtis who worked with astrologers to create profiles of the zodiac signs in order to match them with various carpet colors, patterns and piles. Curtis also crisscrossed America holding “Bigelow Decorating Horoscope Clinics” in association with astrologers such as Jan Moore who wrote a popular horoscope column at the time called “It’s In The Stars.”
I don’t know much about Curtis but her astrology inspired carpet campaign appears to have been successful and lasted for at least three years. During that time Bigelow placed ads in magazines and newspapers and even created television ads promoting their product between 1969 and 1971.
The television spot I’ve shared below features actress Erin Gray who is probably best known today for her roles in popular shows such as Buck Rogers and the 20th Century, Silver Spoons and Bay Watch. At the time that Gray made the commercial she was an unknown 20-year-old model. In the commercial she plays a Scorpio woman (Gray was actually a Capricorn Sun with a Cancer Ascendant and Virgo Moon) who is described as “Energetic, independent, passionate. A woman who either hates you or loves you.”
There’s an obvious allusion to the sexy side of Scorpio in the ad but most of the publicity materials created for the zodiac campaign hint at the luxurious aspect of Bigelow’s products, which are often described in very imaginative language such as “sensuous plush,” and “luscious shag.” This was typical of the times when conservative family orientated advertising was being upended by the swinging sexual revolution and products such as carpeting were being marketed at single women instead of homemaking mothers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at Bigelow’s zodiac carpet campaign. Maybe it will inspire some of you to do a little home decorating?