Post contributed by Josh Larkin Rowley, Reference Archivist for the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.
One of the heaviest circulating collections in the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History is the Domestic Advertisements collection in the J. Walter Thompson Co. (JWT) advertising agency archives. The collection documents the print advertisements designed for magazines and newspapers for the agency’s clients in the United States. One of the most popular clients represented in the collection is the Ford Motor Company.
JWT and the Ford Motor Company have a long standing agency/client relationship, one still active today. The agency officially added Ford to its roster of clients in 1943 and launched the now iconic “There’s a Ford in Your Future,” campaign the following year. In the ensuing decades, JWT helped Ford launch many new automobile models including the Thunderbird, Mustang, Pinto, Taurus, Explorer, Ranger, and Escort. The agency crafted several well-known Ford campaigns including the first advertising “roadblock” announcing the launch of the Mustang in 1964; “Have You Driven a Ford Lately?”; the Falcon campaign incorporating Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters; and “No Boundaries.”
Thanks to the work of the Duke University Libraries’ Technical Services, Conservation Department, Digital Production Center, and Enterprise Services, nearly 12,000 Ford Motor Co. advertisements documenting JWT’s seven decades of creative work for Ford Motor Company are now available to students, scholars, and gearheads in our new digital collection.
In addition to advertisements for cars, trucks, vans and SUVs, the collection also includes ads for the company’s farm implement division, Ford Farm, Ford Motorsports, taxi cabs, school buses, and police vehicles. Advertisements for the Ford line of genuine replacement parts, Motorcraft, Ford automotive services, promotional literature, outdoor advertising, and insertion schedules are also among the materials represented in the collection. All ads are keyword searchable and browsable by model, vehicle category, and multiple subjects and ad formats.