Friday, November 13, 2009

Adverstising 1900s & 1910s

-decorative type and ornate compositions target new consumers
-time of great progress, technological advancement
-ads: promoted aesthetic ideals, lots of Victorian beauties
-art nouveau design came to America from France: added a sense of elegance to design
-time before hawking/pitching became pseudo-sci to selling stuff
-earnest salesmanship used instead, some ads were humorous but never in a way that pocked fun at the consumer
-spiritual homilies were frequently sprinkled throughout the sales pitch, many ads contained long blurbs of text
- first time personal hygiene ads become popular: soap was one of the first products to be soled nationally, many brands = flooded market
-to differentiate brands each company tried to promote a lifestyle choice with their ads
-ex. Sapolio soap slogan: “The first step away from self-respect is lack of care in personal cleanliness . . . You can't be healthy, or pretty, or even good, unless you are clean.”
-ads with exotic flavor = popular
-America was the largest commercial manufacturer in domestic and foreign markets
-magazines/newspapers most popular place for ads
-1825: fewer the 25 magazines in America, 1850s: 600, 1900: 5,000
-tech advances in printing/distribution = drop of cover price, higher literacy rate = growing readership
-new market = many more product choices
-1908 50% of mag = ads
-new commuter class gave rise to billboard ads, street cars, train “car cards” became new outlets for ads
-prior to 1900 ads: enticed readers with false claims, designed by newspapers/job printers and were not designed very well artistically
-after 1900: influenced by European tradition(café life poster art) well designed ads(graphically) sophisticated pitches now in demand
-advertising came into its own as a field of illustration
-1903: Walter Dill Scott pub 1st official manual for advertising, The Theory of Advertising, contained templates for effective ad composition
-leading ad agencies: J. Walter Thompson, N.W. Ayer & Son, E.A. Wheatly, Pettingill & Co.
-debates in industry: what makes an ad most effective the text or the image
-in 1920s words became more prominent, but before: full page four-color images were printed pictures preferred over type
-H. C. Brown, in journal Art in Advertising, “A good bright sketch will attract attention everywhere. Yet it should be reinforced by a concise statement in clear English covering the merits of the article.”
-many golden age illustrators did some work for advertising
-ads incorporated popular styles of the day: refs to children's book illustration, rococo and Victorian style, art nouveau, many ads also contained visual vignettes, stories
-usually ads were not totally integrated with type, but most effective ones often were
-magazine ads did not fight with text heavy editorial pages.
-most illustration: painted, drawn engraved b/c artist could easily fabricate reality using these mediums, sometimes photography would be use, but these would be manipulated for dramatic purposes, ex. hand colored
-beautiful women = popular subject, ref to Pre-Raphaelite paintings
-smoking = male activity, women art often shown in ads, but never with a cigarette in their mouths until the 1920s
-“folk characters” used to sell, ex. Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat man, human faces of products: “housewife's best friend”
-ads created narrative, sometimes series of ads building off same narrative
-WWI sexuality started being used in ads
-suffrage/female liberation rise = more images of women smoking, drinking, showing skin, culminating in Roaring Twenties

Heinmann, Jim. All-American Ads 1900-1910, (Los Angeles: Taschen, 2005)

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