The troubling interpretation of many vintage soap ads is that the only reason those with who don’t have white skin must simply be caked in filth and dirt and need to scrub harder–with better soap. This Pears ad promises to “lighten the white man’s burden” by “brightening the darkest corners of the earth.” It's a soap, it should be killing germs and cutting grease. Save the "lightening and brightening for bleach.
It appears it wasn't just the soap of the era that was potent enough to turn dark skin white. Elliott's White Veneer Paint and Varnish also possessed such witchcraft. As was common of the era, children are featured in efforts to disguise racism as the ‘folly’ of youth.
Women were not allowed to join the military and this Navy ad mocks those who wish they could. The gender discrimination was bad enough, but to have a government agency, rub the desire for equality in women's faces is just ridiculous. Here they use the image of a woman who wishes she could join to manipulate men. “Be a man and do it.” See, even women wish they could.