Tag: marketing

Vintage Coca-Cola Advertising, Pt. 1

Vintage Coca-Cola Advertising, Pt. 1

Advertising
For the better part of a century-plus, Coca-Cola has been one of the most recognizable brands in the United States and the world. This is in no small part to the almost incalculable amount of gorgeous advertising images used to sell Coke over the past several decades. From major print and TV ad campaigns to the most unassuming store displays, Coke has had their marketing nailed down for what seems like forever. In honor of one of advertising's greatest triumphs -- not to mention an American institution -- I present here the first of hopefully many ad galleries featuring great Coca-Cola images throughout the decades. This collection features ten signs and displays from the mid 20th century, each in various stages of completeness. Click on any image for the full-size version. ...
Uh Oh SpaghettiOs, Pearl Harbor Day Edition

Uh Oh SpaghettiOs, Pearl Harbor Day Edition

Advertising, Funny Stuff
You'd think that by now companies would have learned how to effectively manage their social media presence. You'd be wrong. The latest corporate gaffe comes courtesy everybody's favorite canned, sauce-drenched, pasta-like product, SpaghettiOs. OK, so let's talk about this for a second. While I'm all for remembering the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7, 1941, the jovial nature of this image doesn't really fit the solemn tone of the day. Really, SpaghettiOs, if you can't be bothered to alter your mascot so it doesn't have its tongue sticking out and a goofy smile, maybe just stick with a text message? Anyway, here's a few more tragedies that we might expect SpaghettiOs to commemorate in the future. First is the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln: And for a more cont...
It’s a Ford Falcon, Charlie Brown

It’s a Ford Falcon, Charlie Brown

Retrotisements
Several years before classic TV specials such as A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown secured the place of Charles Schulz's beloved Peanuts characters in the hearts of millions of Americans, Charlie Brown and his friends came to life to sell cars. In 1959, Ford Motor Company secured licensing rights to the Peanuts for use in a series of color TV commercials for its cars and the intros for Ford-sponsored The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. The first spots appeared in January 1960 and marked the first time that Schulz's creation had been animated. Here's one of those early show intros: While that show left the air in June 1961, the Peanuts' association with Ford was just getting started. The gang's most high-profile (and memorable assignment) was to he
Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

Rants
For those not familiar with the term Christmas Creep -- and no, I'm not referring to the skeevy dude dressed as Santa Claus at the mall who looks way too excited to have little kids sitting on his lap -- it refers to the ever-widening window stores use to stock their shelves with gift items and bombard us with advertisements. While some people still debate whether or not climate change is a real thing, there can be no debate that Santa and his multi-billion dollar operation have inched further and further outside the traditionally defined Christmas shopping season barrier of Black Friday. It has become more and more common to see Christmas store displays and ads not only well before Thanksgiving, but now just after Halloween. Hell, I even spotted displays in places like Home Depot and L...
The Saul Bass AT&T Logo Design, 1969

The Saul Bass AT&T Logo Design, 1969

History
AT&T was one of the largest companies of the 20th century and put considerable effort into documenting its own history and accomplishments. In recent years, the films created as part of that effort have been released through the AT&T Archives, and we at The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit will be taking a look at them, with a particular focus on the mid-century styles that you've come to expect here. To kick off our series digging through the archives, let's look at the introduction of the Bell System logo of 1969. If you're anything like me, you tend to vacation in places that trade on nostalgia -- ones that tend to have "Cape" or "Towne" in their names. Inevitably, there will be a store in the town, usually themed as a hardware store, that sells enameled metal advertis...
Logo Evolution: Top 10 U.S. Airlines

Logo Evolution: Top 10 U.S. Airlines

Advertising, Featured Posts
I had so much fun putting together my logo evolution post on fast food burger chains, I decided to do it again. So for this little logo gallery, I took a look at the U.S. airline industry, and put together a countdown of the top 10 domestic carriers. These rankings are based on 2012 passenger totals, obtained here. Those who have been keeping up with the news already know that at least one of these airlines is going away fairly soon, so perhaps I'll update this in 2014. If anyone spots bad information or can provide me with better logos, use the contact form up top and let me know. #1. Delta Air Lines (est. 1924) (via gtwreck98) Delta has has an unusually high number of logos since their founding as the Delta Air Service in 1928. Making things even more confusing is that in any giv...
Logo Evolution: ABC TV

Logo Evolution: ABC TV

TV & Radio
Until the Fox television network went on the air in 1986, the American Broadcasting Company -- ABC -- was the young kid on the block. It began in 1943 as a direct descendant of RCA's NBC Blue radio network. Originally known as the Blue Network, the network was re-branded in 1944 as the American Broadcasting Company. On April 19, 1948 the ABC television network went on the air, and so it is in that year that I begin my look at the history of the ABC-TV network logos. Dates on some of the early logos are approximate. If any readers have more accurate information please let me know in the comments. To check out my history of the NBC logo, click here. Logo #1 (1948 - ?) Not surprisingly, ABC's first television logo was directly inspired by radio -- the same is true for NBC as well. Ba
Great Moments in Comic Book Advertising, Vol. 2: Captain Marvel for Mechanix Illustrated

Great Moments in Comic Book Advertising, Vol. 2: Captain Marvel for Mechanix Illustrated

Advertising
I have to say, as vintage examples of cynical marketing aimed at kids goes, this one is a doozy. It's an advertisement for Mechanix Illustrated from America's Greatest Comics #2 (Fawcett Publications, Feb/May 1942), and features none other than Captain Marvel himself. That's right young fellas, don't even think about reading Mechanix Illustrated if you're a crummy sissy! OK, so let me provide a little bit of historical context here. Mechanix Illustrated, in case you couldn't tell, was positioned as a competitor to established magazines like Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. It was published by Fawcett, which of course owned Captain Marvel. And lest you think being thought of as a sissy by Captain Marvel wasn't a big deal in 1942, keep in mind that throughout the '40s Captain...
Retrotisements: Mad Men Clients Edition

Retrotisements: Mad Men Clients Edition

Retrotisements
One of the many brilliant things about Mad Men is how the show deftly mixes fictional characters and storylines with real-life events. This includes the many clients of the Sterling Cooper/Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce advertising firm. While some of the firm's clients are fake, many are quite real (or at least were). Here are some vintage advertisements for actual Mad Men clients, from the approximate early '60s period they appeared on the show.