Smithsonian World/WETA "Selling the Dream" Collection, 1990-91
Wieden & Kennedy
Center for Advertising History
15 cu. ft
Motion pictures (visual works)
Oral histories (document genres)
"Selling the Dream" was an hour-long television documentary that aired in early 1991 as part of the public television series "Smithsonian World." The program traces the evolution of advertising from the late 19th century through the creative revolution of the 1960s to explore how advertising both influences and reflects American culture. In addition to historical imagery, the program follows a contemporary Mitsubishi GT3000 automobile advertising campaign from conception to production. The program features interviews with the men and women who created the advertising as well as with scholars, historians, industry advocates and government officials who comment on the role and history of advertising in a comsumer culture. "Selling the Dream" was underwritten by Southwestern Bell and co-produced by WETA and the Smithsonian Institution. The Center for Advertising History served as a resource and consultant to the producers.
Series 1, boxes 1-15: 16 mm color film shot for the program, arranged in two subseries. Subseries A, boxes 1-10, consists of primary source materials including film footage of a meeting of scholars, historians, archivists, Weiden & Kennedy advertising agency personnel, and Nike executives at the Smithsonian's Center for Advertising History for the Nike Advertising Oral History and Documentation Project; interviews with scholars, historians, industry representatives (including transcripts for some interviews); and documentation of a Mitsubishi GT3000 ad from pitch to production, including meetings between Grey advertising agency personnel and Mitsubishi account representatives, a live commerical shoot and a production session with a commercial narrator. Subseries B, boxes 11-15, consists of secondary materials created during production, including pre-production sync pulls, trims, and lifts as compiled and edited by producer Steven York and Associates. Series 2, box 16, contains documentary materials relating to the show's production and broadcast, including correspondence, press releases, and publicity. Transcripts for the interviews are located here.
Smithsonian World/WETA "Selling the Dream" Collection, 1990-1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History