Becoming a Household Name   A Look at the History of Advertising    through Consumerist Campaigns
Ad Page from Harper’s WeeklyDated: December 10, 1887Taken from from Harper’s Weekly, thispage acts as a snapshot of the ea...
Ivory Soap Iceberg Ad (by Proctor & Gamble)Dated: 1908One of Proctor & Gamble’s foundingproducts, Ivory Soap one of Americ...
Nabisco, Buy Biscuit AdDated: 1912The early 1900’s marked the origin of the eraof the brand name. As the marketplace grewi...
Bull Durham AdvertisementLively Smoke for Lively TimesDated: 1918The cigarette makes the man – or so thisadvertisement sug...
Coca-Cola AdvertisementDated: 1931In the 1930’s, Coca-Cola was as well knownas Santa Claus. In this advertisement, Coca-Co...
Plymouth Christmas Advertisement   Dated: 1947   Plymouth presents itself as the hallmark   of the American lifestyle. Thi...
Volkswagon, Think SmallDated: 1959Printed in 1959, this campaign capturesthe sweeping shift in advertising betweenthe 1950...
Pepsi Generation AdvertisementDated: 1965Perhaps one of the most famouscampaigns in the history ofadvertising, Pepsi’s Gen...
Virginia Slims CigarettesDated: 1971Virginia Slims’ branding epitomizes thetrend of targeted marketing. Virginia Slimsreso...
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons  Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of                    t...
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Becoming a Household Name, by Emily Simmons

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Becoming a Household Name, by Emily Simmons

  1. 1. Becoming a Household Name A Look at the History of Advertising through Consumerist Campaigns
  2. 2. Ad Page from Harper’s WeeklyDated: December 10, 1887Taken from from Harper’s Weekly, thispage acts as a snapshot of the earliesttypes of print advertising. With the rise ofindustrialization, urbanization, and newforms of communication, advertisingbecame a useful means for manufacturersto promote goods and services to largeraudiences. Much like our modernclassifieds, early advertisements focusedon promoting specific goods; on theleft, we see ads forsoap, furs, pianos, cocoa, and linen collars.Brand names, such as Steinway and Pearshelped distinguished products.However, between 1880 and1920, advertising evolved as producersdevised competitive strategies foraccessing their customers – soon theappearance and purpose of advertisingchanged drastically. Susan Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 45
  3. 3. Ivory Soap Iceberg Ad (by Proctor & Gamble)Dated: 1908One of Proctor & Gamble’s foundingproducts, Ivory Soap one of America’s firstproducts to actively build a brand identitythrough advertising. Ivory Soap relied on apowerful connotation of its name “ivory” andwell as these advertisements thatdemonstrated a dramatic product distinction– that Ivory Soap floats. Here, the advertisershave created a problem in order to promotetheir product as the solution. In asense, advertisers constructed a desire forIvory Soap by exaggerating inconveniencesthat could readily be solved. This strategypermeated the consumer’s conscience andcould influence both perceptions of day-to-day “troubles” and buying decisions. Thisadvertisement reveals the sly schematics ofadvertising where selling products was theutmost priority. Susan Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 95 Michael Schudson, Uneasy Persuasion, 130-132
  4. 4. Nabisco, Buy Biscuit AdDated: 1912The early 1900’s marked the origin of the eraof the brand name. As the marketplace grewincreasingly cluttered withalternatives, competition for consumersfavored those companies that coulddistinguish themselves with truth andreliability in advertising. Nationalbrands, such as the National BiscuitCompany, could leverage their reputations toattract customers. Here, Nabisco speaks withself-awareness and capitalizes on thereader’s familiarity with their products insaying “Always look for that name.” TheNabisco name served as the foundation iscumulative publicity. This ad, through themere repetition of the brand name and visualpromotion of Nabisco’s product diversity, actsas a self-deductive means to guaranteeingbrand equity. Roland Marchand, Advertising The American Dream Susan Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 35, 144 Michael Schudson, Uneasy Persuasion, 117
  5. 5. Bull Durham AdvertisementLively Smoke for Lively TimesDated: 1918The cigarette makes the man – or so thisadvertisement suggests. Here, the BullDurham cigarette is positioned as thevehicle for social esteem. Dangling looselyfrom the gentleman’s fingers, the cigaretteis the unassuming protagonist of thisadvertisement. The product, named “bull”represents the cigarette’s inherentmasculinity and influence. The socialcontext of this image exhibits thedemocracy of goods, where the simplepurchase of a cigarette promises alldepicted in the ad: socialadvancement, leisure, music, femalecompany. This advertisement assigns theBull Durham brand power of social agencyand transcribed luxury. The cigaretteoutstrips its physical capabilities andinstead, the consumer is guaranteedidealism, popularity, and enjoyment. Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream, 217 Marcel Danesi, Brands, 16-17, 100
  6. 6. Coca-Cola AdvertisementDated: 1931In the 1930’s, Coca-Cola was as well knownas Santa Claus. In this advertisement, Coca-Cola presents an idealistic image of jollySaint Nick as the Coca-Cola brandambassador. He is the “savvy neighbor”offering a friendly, honest endorsement ofCoca-Cola and communicating direct adviceto the reader. Rather than fabricating itsown mascot as had other contemporarybrands such as Quaker Oats, Coca-Colaexploits cultural associations with Santa toempower its brand – not to mentionSanta’s hearty cheering gesture andsupposed verbatim blessing. Advertisinghosted a new semantic space thatmanipulated language for the benefit ofthe producer to create brand personalitiesand communicate directly with theconsumer. Susan Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 119, 129 Bruce Barton, “The Man Nobody Knows” Thomas Frank, Conquest of Cool, 171 (Cola Wars)
  7. 7. Plymouth Christmas Advertisement Dated: 1947 Plymouth presents itself as the hallmark of the American lifestyle. This campaign, intentionally tinted green and red, depicts a welcoming holiday scene. The image is a social tableau, meant to appeal to the relevant American family audiences. The scene is typical – but perhaps too typical. Such a socialist realist canvas portrays an eerily perfect snapshot with an aproned grandma, Christmas tree, and perfectly symmetrical bell adornment. Plymouth positions itself as the guest of honor in this scene. This caption emphasizes Plymouth as the culmination of the American Dream, as well, only heightening this visual romanticism.Roland Marchand, Advertising The American Dream, 14, 166, 239-240, 266Michael Schudson, The Uneasy Persuasion, 217
  8. 8. Volkswagon, Think SmallDated: 1959Printed in 1959, this campaign capturesthe sweeping shift in advertising betweenthe 1950’s and 1960’s. The new decadeheralded in an age of hipconsumerism, where advertisersappealed to readers’ youthfulness, senseof cool, and creativity. Compared to adsfrom previous decade, Volkswagon’sblank minimalist canvas is shockinglyfresh. This advertisement places theproduct within culture. The VWbug, isolated and off-centered, matchesconsumers as they came to valueindividualism and independence.Volkswagon’s slogan, “Think Small” usesactive language and is ironically self-intuitive and reiterates this new focus oncreativity and hipness. Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool, 26, 105 Marcel Danesi, Brands, 75-77
  9. 9. Pepsi Generation AdvertisementDated: 1965Perhaps one of the most famouscampaigns in the history ofadvertising, Pepsi’s Generation ads caughtthe nation at a time of youth inspiration.This advertisement showcases thecultural sensitivity of advertising in the1960’s, where producers aimed to attractthe youthful generation through brandpersonality, especially in competition withother “less hip” colas. The swinging blondhair, close-up smile, yellow font, andrepetition of exclamation points – thesecollaboratively constructed Pepsi’senduring brand energy. Here, we can seethat the strategic capitalist realistapproach by Pepsi to position its ad as avisual salesperson. Pepsi appeals to onthe consumer’s identity, forging contactby direct verbal acknowledgement. Marcel Danesi, Brands, Thomas Frank, Conquest of Cool, 120-121, 137, 170-175 Michael Schudson, Uneasy Persuasion, 209, 50
  10. 10. Virginia Slims CigarettesDated: 1971Virginia Slims’ branding epitomizes thetrend of targeted marketing. Virginia Slimsresonates with women in its brandname, as well as in its progressive brandidentity. The model’s confident posture andfashionable outfit create an image of thetrendy, professional 1970’s woman – andshe is African-American, reflective of theprogressive culture. This ad also appeals tolatent female desires and self-consciousemotions. Virginia Slims’ timewornslogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby”implies confidence and personalachievement for women, especiallyresonant for African Americans striving forcivil rights. Meanwhile, the word “slims”invokes women’s subconscious desires tobe physically fit, much like the model in theadvertisement. Marcel Danesi, Brands, 10, 76, 100 Michael Schudson, Uneasy Persuasion, 63 Thomas Frank, Conquest of Cool, 134, 152 Roland Matchand, Advertising the American Dream, 66
  11. 11. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ or senda letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

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