2012 marks the 75th anniversary of everyone’s favorite processed meat: Spam. In the frontispiece of Time in late 1936, Hormel Foods announced the introduction of two new canned meats: a spiced ham and a spiced luncheon meat. The name Spam was inaugurated the following year, putting this canned meat on the road to becoming the most memorable of Hormel’s product lineup of soups, chili con carne, and flavor-sealed chicken and ham. Spam, which now comes in 12 varieties, has sold over 7 billion cans worldwide. To celebrate this anniversary, Hormel is introducing its first spokescharacter, Sir Can-A-Lot.
Early advertisements for Spam called it a “tempting new miracle meat of many uses for many occasions,” specifically suggesting that Spam & Eggs would be “grand on Sunday mornings,” that Spam & Salad would make for “a cool, inviting luncheon,” and that Baked Spam could provide “a distinguished main course in only 20 minutes.” Copy highlighted Spam as the choice of a thrifty household, claiming that Spaghetti with Spam could serve four for only a dime each. All the advertisements took care to emphasize that Spam did not need refrigeration, which made it perfect for picnics or to feed unexpected guests. “SPAM’s always ready for action – morning, noon and night,” the ads proclaimed.
Post contributed by Jackie Reid Wachholz, Director of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.
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 Tuesday for the first talk in the series. Kenneth Roman, former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather and author of The King of Madison Avenue will present“David Ogilvy: The Original Mad Man” and sign books afterwards. The event is free and open to the public.
The 20th Anniversary Lecture Series 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, Alpha Kappa Psi, American Advertising Federation-Raleigh Durham, Association of Women in Business, Baldwin Scholars and the Duke Administrative Women’s Network.
Oreo celebrates its 100th birthday today, marking the anniversary of its introduction on March 6, 1912, by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco). It went on to become the best-selling cookie in the United States during the 20th century. To commemorate the occasion, Nabisco, now owned by Kraft, has launched a new birthday-cake flavored Oreo and a website where you can share Oreo moments or send Oreo-grams.
A hundred years of twisting and dipping the black and white cookie also means a hundred years of advertising Oreos to potential consumers. The Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History has a number of historic Oreo advertisements in its collections. The earliest print ads show Oreos alongside other Nabisco products, such as the Uneeda Biscuit and Lorna Doone Shortbread. These advertisements typically featured a young boy in a yellow raincoat. This character was developed by Philadelphia-based advertising agency N.W. Ayer & Son to highlight the effectiveness of Nabisco’s innovative moisture-proof packaging (called In-er-seal) in an era when other biscuits were packed by grocers in paper bags. Ads urged consumers to “look for the red seal.”
Oreo has had several name variations during its long life. It entered the world as “Oreo Biscuit,” changed to “Oreo Sandwich” in 1921 and then to “Oreo Creme Sandwich” in 1948. Now it’s just “Oreo” and billed as “Milk’s Favorite Cookie.” Nabisco introduced Double Stuf Oreos in 1975 and the Fudge Covered Oreos (pictured, below right) in 1987, just in time for the cookie’s 75thbirthday. Now the brand is sold worldwide – you can even get Green Tea Oreos in China and Japan!
Post contributed by Liz Shesko, Reference Intern, Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.
Eastman Kodak announced yesterday that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company has had a long struggle to reinvent itself in the digital photography age, having been a pioneer in the industry. The 132-year-old business has had a long and colorful history using advertising to promote its products. Through its advertising, Kodak taught the world what was worthy of picture taking. Think about it: before there were cameras, there were only illustrations and paintings to visually document people, places, and events. With the advent of photography, things could be depicted much more quickly and easily, but people needed to be shown how to use the new technology and inspired to capture images on film. In the multitude of print ads created over the company’s life, Kodak showed us examples of what could be photographed: weddings, graduations, holidays, births, proms, etc. These ads are literally and figuratively “snapshots” of American life.
Due to Eastman Kodak’s bankruptcy declaration, these digitized ads have received quite a bit of attention this week. Here are a few links to articles using Kodak ads from the Hartman Center’s collections: