Tag Archives: advertising

Fantastical Characters for Twelfth Night

Tonight is Twelfth Night, with the conclusion of the twelve days of Christmas (and coming of the Epiphany celebration) on tomorrow, 6 January.  In England, Twelfth Night is a time of celebration with rich food and drink; traditionally, and especially in the Tudor era, it was also a festival of fantasy and role-reversal presided over by a Lord of Misrule.  Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was written as a fitting performance for the night.

By the nineteenth century, these associations were inspiring many commercial endeavors as well.  A recently acquired sheet of advertisements for a lottery to be held in January 1820 features a menagerie of 24 Twelfth Night characters, mostly anthropomorphic edibles, from “Tabby Turnip” to “Solomon Sirloin.”

Uncut sheet of lottery puffs featuring Twelfth Night characters by George Cruikshank, 1820.
Uncut sheet of lottery puffs featuring Twelfth Night characters by George Cruikshank, 1820.

These advertisements, known as “puffs,” were made to be cut apart and handed out on the street to encourage the Lottery Puffs Tunbellypurchase of lottery tickets.  The characters were engraved by George Cruikshank, and this sheet is a rare, early example of his work, before he became famous as a caricaturist and illustrator of the works of Charles Dickens and others.

Twelfth Night, with its sudden elevation of commoner to (mock)  royalty, was a logical association to cultivate for a lottery.  The eight-line poems beneath each character all promote the lottery.  For instance, the poem for Timothy Tun-Belly reads:

With a bottle and glass, and a favorite Lass,
For old Daddy Care, what care I?
Supporters like mine — fill’d with generous wine,
Blue Devils and Care may defy.
By the drop in my eye, — a scheme I espy;
My cellars with liquor to store,
This Month, Sirs, the Twelfth, gives us Lottery wealth,
And Fortune I mean to implore.

JWT Newsletters Are Now Available Online!

We are pleased to announce one of Rubenstein’s newest digital collections: over 1,600 newsletters of the J. Walter Thompson Co. advertising agency from 1916 to 1986. These internally distributed newsletters touch on myriad topics of interest to the company, such as account and client news; general and client-specific marketing surveys; developments in print, radio, and television advertising and marketing research; as well as personnel news such as new hires, transfers, promotions, and brief biographical sketches.

The agency’s newsletters are among the most requested and circulated collections in the J. Walter Thompson Co. Archives. Thanks to the work of the Duke University Libraries’ Digital Projects and Production Services Department and Conservation Department, this tremendously rich resource is now available online. You can browse by title, year, and date, and can also search by keyword. Some select issues include:

Issue No. 1, June 6, 1916
Issue No. 1, June 6, 1916

The first J. Walter Thompson Co. newsletter contains client and product news. It also includes an article, “Selling to the Multitude,” which discusses the professionalization of the advertising industry, its superiority over traditional modes of salesmanship, and the hope that one day advertising will be a budget line in all industries, right alongside “material, labor, overhead, and personal selling.”

“JWT Across the Seas,”  January 15, 1929
“JWT Across the Seas,” January 15, 1929

This particular newsletter is focused on news briefs from various overseas offices including London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Antwerp, Paris, Berlin, and Madrid.

“Pepsi Challenges and Wins,” Fall 1982.
“Pepsi Challenges and Wins,” Fall 1982.

The fall 1982 newsletter highlights the success of the “Challenge” campaign in foreign markets.  JWT launched the international campaign in Canada in 1976; it is considered the first notable worldwide application of an aggressive comparative campaign.

Check out the rest of the collection online and be sure to tune in to the Digital Collections blog for more information about this new collection.

Post contributed by Joshua Larkin Rowley, Hartman Center Reference Archivist.

Happy 4th of July!

Nothing says Fourth of July like friends and family, outdoor barbeques and, for the adults of course, a cooler of refreshing canned beer.

Check out these examples of vintage beer cans found in the corporate archive of the JWT Advertising Agency in the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Marketing and Advertising History in the Rubenstein Library. The Hamm Brewing Co. was a client of the agency in the 1960s and early 1970s.  The agency collected the beer cans of their competitor’s accounts as part of their market research. And just like clothing and automobiles, there’s something here for everyone.

For the conscientious buyer that appreciates brute honesty in advertising, there’s Gablinger’s Beer, “Not Diatetic or Theraputic.” If an element of regal refinement is more your speed why not try a Duke Beer, “The Prince of Pilsner,” or perhaps a Stite, “Pale and Dry as Champagne.”

Beer Collage

If you’re not easily wooed by fanciful slogans and colorful graphics then there’s the subtle simplicity of “Cold-Aged!” Genese. If you like a beer can that looks like it’s constructed of wood paneling  (and who doesn’t?), then Meister Brau is the beer for you.

PicMonkey Collage1

For all of you classicists, there’s the iconic Leinenkugel’s of Chippewa Falls, WI, and the “Original” Pabst Blue Ribbon.”

PicMonkey Collage3Whatever your choice, we at the Rubenstein wish you a wonderful holiday!

Post contributed by Joshua Larkin Rowley, Research Services Dept.

Mad Men Monday, Episode 12

Mad Men Mondays logo

Don stays home from work feigning illness and drinking too much, as he mourns what happened with Sally. Ken goes hunting with two Chevy executives and accidentally gets shot in the face. Betty tells Don that Sally doesn’t want to visit him anymore and that she wants to go to boarding school. Ted and Peggy’s fondness for each other becomes apparent to others in the office. Harry calls Don to tell him that Sunkist has approved a large media budget. Megan and Don go to the movies to see Rosemary’s Baby and run into Ted and Peggy.

Ken steps down from the Chevy account and Pete offers to take his place in Detroit. All of the partners except Ted are excited about the Sunkist news, but agree they need to start working more coherently on new business. Ted is angry that Ocean Spray will be resigned, but is conflicted since Sunkist is a bigger account. Pete is thwarted when he tries to move Bob off of the Chevy account. Duck Phillips tells Pete that Bob has lied about his education and work history.

Sally stays overnight at Miss Porter’s Boarding School and her student hosts demand alcohol and cigarettes. She calls her friend Glen, who arrives with liquor and a friend, Rolo, who has marijuana. Glen fights with Rolo when Sally accuses him of trying to force her to get physical, which makes her smile. The next day, a pleased Betty offers Sally a cigarette during the drive home from the boarding school visit.

Don tells a St Joseph’s aspirin executive that their expensive commercial was Frank Gleason’s last idea, which gets the client to approve a budget increase, but undermines Ted and Peggy. Later Don tells Ted that his feelings for Peggy are impairing Ted’s judgement. Pete confronts Bob about his identity fraud, but offers a truce so they can work together, as long as Pete is “off limits.” Peggy yells at Don for ruining the St. Joseph’s situation for her and Ted.

Episode twelve referred to vodka and orange juice, hunting, Nixon’s campaign, Cranprune juice, travelers checks, and Rosemary’s Baby, among other things. Here is a selection of ads and images that illustrate some of the products and cultural references mentioned in last night’s Mad Men. A gallery of our highlighted images may also be found on Pinterest and Flickr.

Smirnoff - Blog

shot guns - master - Blog

New England life - hunting - Blog

AAA2126 cropped - Blog

travelers checks - Blog

cranprune juice - Blog

St Joseph childrens asprin - 2


Mad Men Monday, Episode 8

Mad Men Mondays logo

The Chevy executives in Detroit aren’t happy with any ad campaigns the merged agency is submitting. Don asks them to work all weekend to come up with new ideas for Chevy. After talking with Sylvia, Don begins having flashbacks of being a teenager in the brothel with his stepmother. Jim brings in his doctor to “fix everyone up” and gives some staff an energy serum shot, guaranteed to give 1-3 days of uninterrupted creative focus and energy. The energized creatives are unable to focus, leaving Peggy and Ginsberg frustrated with their frenetic, but useless, work. Don asks Peggy to find a soup ad in the archives to inspire them for the campaign. Don’s thoughts are more focused on a pitch to win Sylvia back, rather than to persuade Chevy.

Sally babysits her brothers at Don’s apartment while he works and Megan is at a dinner. Awakened by sounds from the dining room, Sally walks out to find an African-American woman rummaging through the cupboards. She tells Sally she raised her dad, but she’s actually a thief. Finally returning home, Don finds the kids, Megan, Henry, Betty (back to a blonde), and the police in his apartment. He promptly faints. The episode ends with Don reassuring Sally the robbery was not her fault, and Don telling Ted to call him in 1970 when Chevy is ready to make an ad.

Episode eight’s plot referred to Admiral radios, Chevy Impala, tuna salad, soup, and gold watches, among other things. Enjoy our selection of ads and images that illustrate some of the products and cultural references mentioned in last night’s Mad Men. A gallery of our highlighted images may also be found on Pinterest and Flickr.

admiral radio - blog

Impala - Blog

starkist - Blog

Campbells 1958 - blog

watch - blog

pajamas - Blog

Helene Curtis - blog

typewriter - Blog

Alice in Wonderland 1960 - Blog

Mad Men Monday, Episode 7

Mad Men Mondays logo

The CGC staff move into the SCDP office space and everyone scrambles to figure out their place at the new agency.  A number of staff members get laid off. Don meets Sylvia at a hotel for a daytime tryst.  Ted leads a creative meeting discussing Fleischmann’s Margarine.  Later he and Don continue brainstorming over drinks in Ted’s office and Ted drinks too much.  Pete’s difficult mother shows up at his apartment and he becomes responsible for her care.  Because of her issues Pete misses an important meeting with Mohawk Airlines.  Ted and Don fly upstate to the Mohawk meeting in Ted’s airplane through a storm.  Sylvia waits for Don at the hotel at his request and a red dress is delivered to her room.  Joan is in pain and Bob Benson takes her discreetly to the emergency room, where he talks the nurse into admitting her.  Later Joan returns the favor by advocating for his job during a meeting about staffing cuts. Sylvia breaks off the affair with Don and he seems devastated.  The episode ends with news of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, which Megan watches in tears.

Episode seven’s plot referred to St. Joseph’s Children’s Aspirin, Fleischmann’s Margarine, Topaz Pantyhose, Mohawk Airlines, gin and tonics, among other things.  Enjoy our selection of ads and images that illustrate some of the products and cultural references mentioned in last night’s Mad Men.  A gallery of our highlighted images may also be found on Pinterest and Flickr.


St Joseph Aspirin for Children

Topaz hosery - Blog

Fleischmann's Margarine


Fly Mohawk


Gilbey's Gin


Robert F Kennedy Newsweek Cover



Nancy Fletcher on Outdoor Advertising

Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Time: 5:00 PM reception, 6:00 PM talk
Location: Gothic Reading Room, Perkins Library
Contact information: Jacqueline Reid Wachholz, 919-660-5836 or j.reid(at)duke.edu.

The John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke University celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2012 with a lecture series of advertising luminaries. Please join us next Thursday for the fourth talk in the series.

Nancy Fletcher, CEO of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) will talk about Outdoor Advertising: Unified Vision. Bold Future. Outdoor advertising is one of the oldest forms of media in existence, dating back to the circus posters of the 1800’s. Since those early days, outdoor advertising has constantly evolved to adapt to new markets, formats, technology, and opportunities. Please join us and take another look at one of the fastest-growing advertising media around. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the lecture series website.

This 20th Anniversary Lecture Series event is sponsored by the Duke University Office of the Provost, Fuqua School of Business, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Markets & Management Studies, Duke Marketing Club, NCOAA, SCOAA, Fairway Outdoor Advertising, and Adams Outdoor.

Post contributed by Jacqueline Reid Wachholz, Director of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.

Two Words for Halloween: Scary Clowns!

Cover of Merchant’s Gargling Oil Dream and Fate, Palmistry, &c. Songster, Lockport, NY, ca. 1880-1890s.

We’ve seen many advertising campaigns of yesteryear here at the Rubenstein Library, thanks to the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.  Our History of Medicine Collections contain many examples of promotional items for patent medicines and related remedies.  And the Library holds an extensive collection of American songsters, or ephemeral booklets of song lyrics popular in the nineteenth century.  But never have we seen more terrifying examples of any of these genres than the Merchant’s Gargling Oil Songsters, which feature scary clowns on their covers.

We have the Merchant’s Gargling Oil Co. to thank for these frightful specimens.  The Hagley Museum and Library’s online exhibit on patent medicines tells us that the oil was “primarily used as a topical ointment to treat horses and other animals for burns, scalds, sprains, and bruises,” but could also be used to treat other odd ailments, from foot rot to mange.  The oil was not, apparently, gargled.

We know what you’re asking: why use scary clowns to promote veterinary medicine?  We presume that the clowns used to promote the Merchant’s Gargling Oil Liniment were not intentionally scary.   Perhaps they were not creepy at all to the nineteenth-century eye, but rather appeared amusing, colorful, and whimsical.  However, the fact that these particular songsters combined popular song lyrics with instruction on dream interpretation and fortune telling lends itself to the belief that there’s more to these clowns than meets the eye. Not to mention the owl on the shoulder of one of the clowns, and the deranged look in the eyes of the other.

Cover of Merchant’s Gargling Oil Songster, Lockport, NY, ca. 1880-1890s.

We wouldn’t want to meet either of these clowns on a dark Halloween night, but you’re welcome to come see them in person in the Library’s reading room… if you dare. Happy Halloween!

Post contributed by Will Hansen, Assistant Curator of Collections. 


Conversation with an Advertising Legend

Date: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Time: 3:00 to 4:30 PM
Location: Biddle Rare Book Room, Perkins Library
Contact information: Jacqueline Reid Wachholz, 919-660-5836 or j.reid(at)duke.edu.

The John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke University will be hosting “Tea and Conversation with Carl Spielvogel.” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill James L. Knight advertising professor, Robert Lauterborn will moderate and lead the Ambassador in a discussion of his career in advertising.  Spielvogel’s journey from the NY Times, to McCann Erickson, Interpublic, and Backer Spielvogel ultimately lead to his appointment as Ambassador to the Slovak Republic by President Clinton. Please join us for this fascinating discussion.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.  For more information, visit the Hartman Center homepage or contact Jacqueline Wachholz.

Post contributed by Jacqueline Reid Wachholz, Director of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.

Coke in the Jumbo Size, Sir?

The John W. Hartman Center recently acquired the papers of Adrienne Cohen, an advertising copy writer and creative director who worked for several agencies from the 1960s to the 1990s, including Young & Rubicam, McCann-Erickson and a number of agencies in the Atlanta, Ga. area. Ms. Cohen was the recipient of numerous advertising industry awards and was highly regarded in her field.

Adrienne Cohen
Adrienne Cohen in 1974.

She worked on the Coca-Cola account during the early 1960s, and her papers include several pamphlets produced for the food and beverage industry intended to provide sales and comportment training to waitresses. The pamphlets sought to show restaurant and café managers how the wait staff could boost sales through a program called “Plusmanship” that emphasized the waitress’s power of suggestion to guide diners’ menu item selection.  The title quote and image below come from two of the pamphlets.

These materials add to the Hartman Center’s growing collection of sales and sales training literature, and especially materials pertaining to Coca-Cola retailing.

Post contributed by Rick Collier, Technical Services Archivist for the Hartman Center.