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Lecture 10: A History Of Advertising

The invention of large scale colour printing lead to the production of the first major, worldwide print advertising campaign by the Lever Bros. For their brand of soap, this lead the way for what is now known as creative advertising

Advertising presents the integration and combining of art and technology, which some say is an element of art history that is neglected

William Lever the founder of the Lever bros, is known as the founder of advertising and Bill Bernbach represents the beginning of true creative advertising as he was the first to combine the skills of an art director and the copywriter as part of an advertising team.

Sunlight exhibition is a permeant exhibition at the former house of the lever bros, which commemorates the years of adverting for Sunlight soap created by the lever brothers.

The lever bros is now more commonly known as Unilever and have over 900 worldwide brands within their company portfolio

Theorist refer to a brand as being furniture within one’s mind and the most expensive real estate one can buy is within somebody’s mind.

The lever bros opened a gallery alongside their factory for making soap so that the working could become involved with the brand, this was known as the sunlight village and his workers were at the centre of the company and had access to the companies ideas and vision

Lever was one of the first british tycoon’s and he represented the british economy at the time

In 1851 the great exhibition was held and this promoted the use of large scale colour printing for the masses, this was also one of the first times people ever saw a photograph, the first stereoscopic image was also revealed

Advertising forms an essential part of any economic community seen as a battlefield with brands competing against each other.

In the 1860’s the first prepackaged food was sold, when cereal companies figured out how to print, cut and fold cardboard cereal boxes, Kellogg’s were one of the first companies behind this innovation, this shows a strong contrast between how soap was sold at the time - in long bars which was cut and weighed and sold by the grocer

I was the first to advertise extensively [and pre-package] a tablet of soap...the result was I lifted Sunlight soap to a class by itself - Lever, the represents Lever adding brand value through advertising and packaging

An advertising boom took place as advertising became more affordable due to taxes being lifted on paper and the printing of newspaper (1855 and 1861) Newspaper now survive on the income advertiser provide, the closure of the newspaper news of the world is an example of this as it recently closed after advertisers pulled their adverts from the newspaper

A second advertising boom took place with the invention of colour printing in 1880’s this allowed for full colour printing of adverts in newspaper and magazines. In the 1890’s for the time reproductions of famous paintings were able to be produced

The ability of advertising transformed the local Lever company into a successful world wide brand, in 1885 sunlight soap became one of the first multinationals, Lever Bros. Were the largest corporation in Britain by 1930.

Colourful, innovative advertising was crucial to Lever’s success

His advertising was so brilliant because he used the work of contemporary artists within his adverts. (painting of a child with a bright white garment - child as a sign, white linen as a sigh, which both convey purity and cleanliness)

The use of the child as symbol is also significant as at the time child mortality rates were high and children were a popular subject for many artists as child symbolized the joy of life and they represent a blessing, a purity and innocence.

Contemporary art works were selected to powerfully communicate a desired message, these message were told in innovative and interesting ways, the images also provided a spectacle for entertainment.

The adverts communicated the masses and more importantly the working classes, which was as a result of the entertainment value within the adverts. Lever changes the meaning of an image to work to his advantage as a piece of advertising. Lever’s adverts were extremely distinct compared to other ads of the period

Advertising, from the moment it was born, was trying to entertain us - Hegarty

Up until the mid 19th century the advertising agency just sold space in newspaper and the client created the content however agencies started to offer creative services which is the model of the 20th century creative advertising agency. In 1860’s a fixed pricing for advertising was introduced therefore agencies were longer needed, this is when they began to offer creative services.

Paintings by artists began to used again in different ways lever brothers, they created the first formed of product placement, they took painting and replaced objects within them with images of sunlight soap.

Lever again innovated advertising by hosting events, the company organized a washing competition, sunlight soap could be purchased at the event. This was the first form of interactive advertising.

Sunlight was also one of the first products to gets endorsement from the queen, featuring the words ‘Queen’s will have only the best...sunlight soap is so cheap everybody can afford to use it’

One method beloved of advertisers was to capture the children. In 1890s, purchases of sunlight soap received free paper dolls with interchangeable outfits

Lever spent around 2 million on advertising of soap over two decades, the company began to take over other companies to grow the business.

Lever also encouraged creative collaboration and employed international expertise's, Lever also looked for the best places within an environment for an advert to gain the most traction. He placed advertisements on station and train doors

Lever advocated the power of truth within advertising - The power of truth... the trick is to tell the truth but make it interesting. Truth can be disarming

Targeted to women - Many of his early ads emphasised that Sunlight soap would save women from drudgery

Lever was exceptional at targeting specific markets - Copy in Sunlight soap ads spoke directly to working-class housewives. Salvation of Sunlight, improves their life, leaving quality-time for romance

To appeal to international audiences Lever used Britishness which appealed to all audiences. His adverts featured royal imagery and connotations, he also referred to the trading of Britannia, where the british flag flies. Imperialism was essential to the companies success internationally. - To convince people all over the world that they did not just want this product, they needed it

Advertisers made it their business to persuade consumers of their hygiene problems - the message was clear, if one wished to gain or retain a partner, a job, a reputation and self esteem, one needed to attend to personal hygiene...sales skyrocketed

Advertisers took advantage of new knowledge and developments within psychological theory, in order to understand how the brain worked to then use this information to better create more target adverts

Lever’s ad’s then started to become aspirational and promise people of a better life if they were to use product, his soap promised women ‘youthful lovely feminine hands’ celebrity endorsement was also used by Lever.

Soap Opera’s get there name from how they were originally produced due to being sponsored by soap brands and companies.

Economic liberals, celebrated unfettered agency of the consuming individual, Good trade relations between countries reduces conflict, Capitalism, commerce and consumption improves well being of population

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