Advertisements are present on posters and on the sides of buildings in various settlements, within the newspapers that the player can purchase, and on standing placards in Blackwater. With few exceptions, the advertisements are for products or services that are not actually available to the player within the game. Similarly to Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, the adverts which appear in game are often highly satirical and amusing, with common references to the misogyny and lack of general hygiene that were characteristic of the period.
The advertisements found in the Blackwater Ledger are primarily for entertainment, but sometimes refer to products that can be bought. An example of this is 'Jolly Jack's Chewing Tobacco', an item Marston can purchase at general stores to refill his Dead Eye meter, an advert for which appears in issue 000053 of the newspaper.
A selective list of adverts which can be seen in the Blackwater Ledger:
- Jolly Jack's Plug Tobacco ('Unqualified flavor and satisfaction', 'Aids digestion, vibrancy and masculinity')
- Barrington Apollo Steel Straight Razor ('Guaranteed to make light and pleasant work of the stiffest of beards or tax collectors')
- Sloppy Molly's Dockyard Oysters ('Now with less grit')
- Esther Fleiscoff's One-piece Woolen Women's Bathing Costume ('Unparallelled buoyancy')
- Doc Crockett's All Purpose Miracle Cure ('A wholly natural blend of herbs, spices, opium, and strychnine')
- Stretch Hawthorne, The Singing Blind Grave Robber ('A heart-gripping musical drama in 9 acts')
- Flock of Sparrows Kidney Beans ('Once opened, consume immediately to avoid poisoning')
- Two Fist Prairie Moon Gin ('Good for tooth extractions or home medicines')
- Emma Boyd's Home Physician and Remedy Book ('Ensure you will live to 45 and see your grandchildren get married')
- D.D. Packenbush company's Hammerless Ladies' Rifle ('Constructed with lightweight, simple mechanisms that will not reduce her to hysterics')
- Amos Stilton No Nonsense Foot Powders ('Less baths needed - Guaranteed')
- Gates of Heaven Women's Garters ('Makes any woman feel like a thousand dollars')
- The Famous Red Mist Secret Liquor Cure ('Odorless, tasteless and colourless')
- Millicent's Cigarettes ('Breathe in the goodness')
- Old Ma' Fowler's Laxative Powders ('Provides gentle, prompt, and repeated evacuation of the bowels with less griping')
- Merkin's Wigs ('Made from the finest selected hair of recently deceased prairie skirmishes')
- The Famous Blue Head Wonder Coaster ('Optional railroad attachment for tots to play train')
- The East Asia Corn and Bunion Annihilator ('Burns to the bone')
Issue 000213 (The Blackwater Ledger and Sentinel)
- Doc Clyster's Combination Hot Water Bottle & Internal Irrigator ('Scald yourself to sleep')
- Sexing Livestock Quarterly ('Celebrating the wonderful bond between man and beast')
- There are posters of Abraham Reyes.
Ads on Buildings
- Jolly Jacks
- "Aids digestion, vibrancy, and masculinity"
- "Has no after effects"
- Motto: "Taste it!, Chew it!, Spit it!"
- Tain't Toilet Powder
- "Stay Dry In The Saddle"
Advertisements appear in a number of other locations, including the sides of wheeled transports and even on tombstones.
- Many of the advertisements in the game are based upon authentic equivalents of the early 20th century. An example of this is the Jolly Jack's Plug Tobacco, the advert for which can be seen in the Blackwater Ledger and on the outside of Marston's safehouse in Thieves' Landing, which bears a resemblance to Bright Tiger Chewing Tobacco packets of the same era. An article discussing the history and products that inspired Red Dead Redemption can be found here.
- The advertisement for Wakefield and Bakeman baking soda is likely a reference to the term "wake and bake;" a euphemism for Cannabis use.