In 1927, Henry Ford changed the way we got from point A to point B. We replaced the horse and carriage with the Model A and then we quickly found a way to turn these metal contraptions into a new way to express our opinions. Henry Ford also did something else for us with the automobile. He put them out for thousands of people to purchase and as people began to have accidents, he added the bumper to provide some protection to the front and back of the car. Combine this bumper with America’s desire for free speech and people found a new way to advertise their products and ideas.
The first bumper “stickers” were made of cardboard and metal. These were then connected by wire and string. In fact, they looked more like a license plate than a sticker. Nevertheless, these were the forerunners of bumper stickers, as we know them today.
There are many serious-minded bumper stickers making their way around the world, but the funny bumper sticker movement is picking up steam. More people are choosing to express their viewpoints with a dose of humor and a smile, rather than a hard-edged statement that is easy to disagree with.
Let’s consider the typical response from the average person when getting stopped behind a vehicle with a bumper sticker at a traffic light. If the sticker makes a direct statement that expresses the serious viewpoint of the driver, the person behind them is likely to either nod their head in agreement or shake their head in disapproval. At best, it will spark a debate between different people in the car who may or may not agree with the statement on the sticker.