Commercials in the Classroom

How have TV commercials changed over time? The answer to part of that question is found in this video about AdViews. Five Duke undergraduates discuss their small group project using commercials found in AdViews as primary sources for a fall 2009 Markets & Management Studies class taught by George Grody.

Using AdViews, the students compared a number of historic 1960s and 1970s commercials with corresponding ones from today. The students analyzed commercials for Hardees, Schick, Bounce, Pledge, and perfume, finding both interesting similarities and drastic contrasts that reflect the branding strategies of each time period.

AdViews, a digital archive of over 8,000 vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s, is one of the newest resources available from the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

The Hartman Center collects and provides access to commercials, print ads, books, and other documents chronicling the advertising and marketing of products from the mid 19th century to the present. Our staff also provides targeted presentations to a wide range of classes each semester, helping to integrate primary source material into subjects ranging from Anthropology to History to Visual Studies, and most anything in between. Students are able to discover not only how TV commercials have changed, but how advertising tracks the evolution of not only the ad industry but also of society itself.

If you are interested in learning more about AdViews, classroom presentations, or research assistance, please contact the Hartman Center Reference Archivist at hartman-center(at)duke.edu or 919-660-5827.

Post contributed by Lynn Eaton, Hartman Center Reference Archivist.




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