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Television Advertising

Collection Interviewer:
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1973-1989
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection, 1972-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smiithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0306, Series 4
See more items in:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0306-ref17

Print, Radio and Television Advertising

Collection Creator:
Short, Bobby  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976-1997
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Researchers must use photocopies of scrapbooks due to the fragility of the originals, unless special access is approved.

Technical Access: Listening to sound recordings requires special appointment; please inquire.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Short Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0946, Subseries 4.4
See more items in:
Bobby Short Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0946-ref564

Television Advertisements

Collection Creator:
Eskimo Pie Corporation.  Search this
Nelson, Christian Kent, 1893-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1948-1992
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Copyright and trademark restrictions.
Collection Citation:
Eskimo Pie Corporation Records, 1921-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0553, Subseries 7.3
See more items in:
Eskimo Pie Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0553-ref443

L&M Close-up television advertising

Collection Manufacturer:
Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company.  Search this
Collection Collector:
Rangeloff, Evan  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-09
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection Rights:
Probable copyright and trademark restrictions.
Collection Citation:
Evan Rangeloff Collection of Punchboards and Liggett & Myers Tobacco Sales Materials, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Evan Rangeloff Collection of Punchboards and Liggett & Myers Tobacco Sales Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0716-ref537

Television advertising, schedules for Florida markets, September 8

Collection Creator:
Eskimo Pie Corporation.  Search this
Nelson, Christian Kent, 1893-1992  Search this
Container:
Box 25, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Copyright and trademark restrictions.
Collection Citation:
Eskimo Pie Corporation Records, 1921-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Eskimo Pie Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0553-ref449

Television Advertisements (1988)

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Productions  Search this
Container:
Box 2 of 2
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 05-165, Smithsonian Productions, Administrative Records
See more items in:
Administrative Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa05-165-refidd1e1162

Men & Women: Costume and Gender TV Commercials Collection

Creator:
National Museum of American History (U.S.)  Search this
Names:
Men and Women: A History of Costume, Gender and Power (Exhibition) (Washington, D.C.: 1989)  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (6 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Commercials
Videotapes
Date:
1988-1989.
Scope and Contents:
A collection of television advertisements, used in the research for and in some cases, in the exhibition "Men and Women: A History of Costume, Gender and Power". Both U-Matic and VHS video formats are included.
Arrangement:
1 series.
General:
Videotape cassettes, 3/4", U-Matic.
Videotape cassettes, 1/2", VHS.
Provenance:
Transferred from the Office of Telecommunications in 2002.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected films must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Sex role in advertising  Search this
Costume -- advertising  Search this
Exhibitions -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Commercials
Videotapes -- 1980-1990
Citation:
Men & Women: Costume and Gender TV Commercials Collection, 1988-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0529
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0529

Revlon, Incorporated Advertising Collection

Manufacturer:
Revlon, Inc.  Search this
Donor:
Stevens, Martin  Search this
Stevens, Martin  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (4 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Commercials
Compact discs
Date:
1936-1986
Summary:
Collection consists of commercial advertisements and promotional materials created by Revlon Incorporated, 1936-1986.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of advertising and promotional materials of Revlon Incorporated from 1936 to 1986. Revlon's print and television advertisements, semi-annual promotions, and techniques of planned obsolescence helped it become one of the leading brands of the cosmetics industry. The materials provide insight into the depiction and importance of beauty throughout the decades. Additionally, the names of models and photographers are identified throughout the collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in two series.

Series 1, Revlon Advertisements, 1936-1986

Series 2, Other Revlon Incorporated Brand Advertisements, 1965-1986
Historical:
In 1932, brothers Charles, Joseph and Martin Revson, and chemist Charles Lachman founded the Revlon company with the goal of creating a mainstream market for nail polish. The introduction of new colors each year branded the product and created a dedicated market. In 1940, Revlon introduced lipstick and by 1952, it achieved tremendous success with its "Fire and Ice" campaign. The Revlon Company continues to expand its product line including beauty tools, skincare, make-up, hair color, and fragrance lines simultaneously advancing the careers of models.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (NMAH.AC.0060)

Albert W. Hampson Commercial Artwork (NMAH.AC.0561)

Cover Girl Advertising Oral History and Documentation Project (NMAH.AC.0374)

NW Ayer Advertising Agency Records (NMAH.AC.0059)
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Martin Stevens in 2007
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use and access on site by appointment.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Beauty culture  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Cosmetics  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Cosmetics -- advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Tear sheets
Advertisements -- 20th century
Commercials
Compact discs
Citation:
Revlon Advertising Collection, 1936-1986, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Martin Stevens.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0939
See more items in:
Revlon, Incorporated Advertising Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0939
Additional Online Media:

John Thomas Collection of TV Commercials

Donor:
Thomas, John E.  Search this
Extent:
11 Cubic feet (11 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Motion pictures (visual works)
Commercials
Date:
1960s-1970s
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of approximately 1,700 television commercials on 16mm film, for products including cars and trucks; food and beverages, including snack foods, convenience foods and soft drinks; cleaning products; pet food; clothing; candy; tobacco products; airlines; toiletries; household products and other things.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical / Historical:
A retired teacher of English and Media Studies, Thomas amassed his collection by asking local television stations to save the commercials for him as they prepared to discard them. He also purchased some commercials and public service announcements (PSAs).
Provenance:
John E. Thomas
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research and access on site by appointment.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
advertising  Search this
Advertising, Public service  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Television  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Commercials
Citation:
John Thomas Collection of TV Commercials, ca. 1960s-1970s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1324
See more items in:
John Thomas Collection of TV Commercials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1324

Sayre Lockett, television advertisment, Wilson, number 169

Collection Creator:
National Cotton Council  Search this
Extent:
1 motion picture film
Container:
Reel AC1177
Type:
Archival materials
Motion picture films
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
National Cotton Council of America Photographs and Film, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
National Cotton Council of America Photographs and Film
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1177-ref395

Pan American World Airways Film Footage and Slide Presentations

Creator:
Pan American World Airways, Inc.  Search this
Names:
Pan American World Airways, Inc.  Search this
Extent:
2.63 Cubic Feet ((1 legal document box) (2 records center boxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Motion pictures (visual works)
Slides (photographs)
Audiotapes
Date:
1958-1980
bulk [ca. 1960s-1970s]
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 25 16 mm films, four tape/slide sets on travel, seven individual slides and a tape of Pan American 'Theme' music. The film footage includes the history of the company; promotional films for travel and services; television commercials; introduction to Boeing 747 service; and training films for employees.
Biographical / Historical:
Pan American World Airways was active in the airline industry from 1927, when it established a regular scheduled international service, to its bankruptcy in late 1991. Pan American was the first American airline to operate a permanent international air service. From its first route between Key West and Havana, Pan Am extended its routes into the rest of the Caribbean, Central America and South America. In 1936, Pan Am inaugurated passenger service in the Pacific, and began service in the Atlantic in 1939. Pan Am started around-the-world commercial air service in 1947. Besides setting many 'firsts' with routes, Pan Am also established 'firsts' in the aircraft technology they chose, such as being the first to use Boeing 747s in regular scheduled services.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Pan American World Airways, Inc., gift, 1992, 1992-0027, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Television advertising  Search this
Boeing 747 Family  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Airlines  Search this
advertising -- Airlines  Search this
Air travel  Search this
Travel  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Slides (photographs)
Audiotapes
Identifier:
NASM.1992.0027
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1992-0027

Stan Freberg Advertising Collection

Creator:
Freberg, Stan, 1926-  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Compact discs
Commercials
Videotapes
Audiocassettes
Date:
1958-1991
Summary:
Stan Freberg (1926-2015) was a writer, performer, and satirist who pioneered the use of comedy in radio and television commercials during advertising's creative revolution in the 1960s. The collection includes examples of his work including his radio and television shows as well as some of his best known television commercials.
Scope and Contents:
The Stan Freberg Advertising Collection contains commercially available recordings of Freberg's radio series, "The Best of the Stan Freberg Shows" (1958), his satire, "Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America" (1961), and the New Stan Freberg Show (1991). It also includes a compiliation reel of his television shows as well as commercials produced for Chung King, Jeno's Pizza, and Encyclopedia Britannica among others during the 1960s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in one series.

Series 1: Audiovisual, 1958 -1991
Biographical / Historical:
Stan Freberg (1926-2015) was a writer, performer, and satirist who pioneered the use of comedy in radio and television commercials during advertising's creative revolution in the 1960s. The collection includes examples of his work including his radio and television shows as well as some of his best known television commercials.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Stan Freberg in 1991.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies may be used. Digital reference copy available in the Smithsonian Institution Digital Asset Management System (DAMS). See repository for details.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Radio -- advertising -- 1950-2000  Search this
Radio programs  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Television programs  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Compact discs
Commercials
Videotapes
Audiocassettes
Citation:
Stan Freberg Advertising Collection, 1958-1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0444
See more items in:
Stan Freberg Advertising Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0444

Washington Lawyer's Committee, Denny's suit, radio/television advertisements

Collection Creator:
Jones, Caroline Robinson, 1942-2001 (advertising executive)  Search this
Container:
Box 57, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1994
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
See more items in:
Caroline R. Jones Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0552-ref711

Fred/Alan MTV Network Advertising Collection

Creator:
Ha! Comedy Network.  Search this
Goodman, Alan  Search this
VH-1.  Search this
Nickelodeon.  Search this
Seibert, Fred  Search this
MTV Network.  Search this
Fred/Alan, Inc.  Search this
Extent:
4 Cubic feet (15 boxes)
Container:
Box 7
Box 8
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Tear sheets
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1981-1992
Summary:
Collection contains advertsing and promotional materials primarily created by the Fred/Alan Advertising Agency, 1981-1992, for the MTV Network. Also advertising and promotional materials for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, VH-1 and Ha! Comedy Networks.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of advertising and promotional materials created by the Fred/Alan advertising agency between 1981 and 1992 for the MTV network, which includes Music Television, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, VH-1, and Ha! Comedy Network. Also included are advertising and promotional material for the Disney Channel, the Movie Channel, Showtime, Home Box Office and other Fred/Alan clients including Miller Beer, General Foods and Myers Rum. The materials demonstrate the intersection between American popular culture and advertising in several ways. First, because many of the advertisements were designed for trade publications of the cable television and advertising industries, they reveal some of the thinking behind the cable television industry's attempts to establish and stabilize its market during the 1980s, a decade which witnessed the emergence and spectacular rise of cable programming. Secondly, because MTV Networks began as a commercial proposition to attract a difficult-to-reach teenage audience and later, to capture the baby boom generation, the collection also provides evidence of the 1980s trend toward market segmentation. Finally, both in content and style, MTV Networks pioneered a new aesthetic which has had repercussions throughout American popular culture, and particularly in television programming and advertising.
Arrangement:
the collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1: Print Advertising and Promotional Material

Subseries 1.1: Music Television, 1981-1991

Subseries 1.2: Nickelodeon, 1988-1992

Subseries 1.3: Nick at Nite, 1987-1991

Subseries 1.4: Video Hits-1, 1987-1991

Subseries 1.5: Ha! Comedy Network, 1990-1991

Subseries 1.6: The Disney Channel, 1981

Subseries 1.7: The Movie Channel, 1982

Subseries 1.8: Fred/Alan and other clients, 1987-1989

Series 2: Videotaped Commercials

Series 3: Photographic Materials

Subseries 3.1: 2x2 color slides

Subseries 3.2: Still photos
Provenance:
Collection donated by Fred Seibert, President of the Fred/Alan advertising agency in New York City, February 15, 1992.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Music in advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
Motion picture producers and directors  Search this
Marketing -- 1980-2000  Search this
Humor in advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
Copywriters  Search this
advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
Television advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
Sex in advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1980-2000
Tear sheets -- 1980-2000
Slides (photographs) -- 1980-2000
Citation:
Fred/Alan MTV Network Collection, 1981-1982, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0453
See more items in:
Fred/Alan MTV Network Advertising Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0453
Additional Online Media:

Stanley Lomas Television Commercial Collection

Collector:
Lomas, Stanley  Search this
Manufacturer:
Coca-Cola Company  Search this
Colgate-Palmolive.  Search this
DuMont  Search this
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company  Search this
Actor:
Heston, Charlton  Search this
Keith, Brian, 1921-1997  Search this
Moore, Garry, 1915-1993  Search this
Wayne, John, 1907-1979  Search this
Extent:
7 motion picture films
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Motion picture films
Commercials
Date:
1947-1990
bulk 1950-1956
Scope and Contents:
The Stanley Lomas Television Commercial Collection consists of 226 television commercials for products including dishwashing soap, beer, cigarettes, soft drinks, and breakfast cereals. The collection also includes a short 1954 film demonstrating the DuMont Electronicam, a camera designed for simultaneous live broadcast and film recording. There is also an oral history interview conducted with Stanley Lomas in 1990. Supporting documentation includes memoranda about the use of television in advertising, photographs, articles by or about Stanley Lomas, and an abstract of the oral history interview.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in two series.

Series 1: Supporting Documentation, 1947-1990

Series 2: Audiovisual, 1950-1990

Subseries 2.1: Television Commercials, 1950-1956

Subsubseries 2.1.1: Reel 1

Subsubseries 2.1.2: Reel 2

Subseries 2.2: Oral History
Biographical / Historical:
Stanley A. Lomas (1913-2003) began working in television in 1948 at the DuMont network. He started his career producing sports broadcasts.. He went on to produce television commercials, first live and then filmed, for William Esty and Company, Inc., an ad agency with major clients including R.J. Reynolds, Coca Cola, and Colgate Palmolive. Around 1949 Lomas became Esty's vice president for televison commercial creation and production. Lomas often used celebrities to promote the products in his commercials. Many of the commercials in the Stanley Lomas Collection feature baseball players, Hollywood actors, and television personalities. Among the most well-known commercials are those that have doctors recommending specific cigarette brands. Lomas left Esty in 1957 and later founded his own agency, Stanley A. Lomas & Associates which specialized in market research. After retiring Lomas embarked on a career as an artist.
Provenance:
Donated by Stanley Lomas, January 18, 1990.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Only reference videos may be used. Reel 1 has been digitized and is available in the Smithsonian Institution Digital Asset Management Systen (DAMS).
Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Topic:
Baseball players -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Athletes -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Celebrities -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Television advertising -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Cigarettes -- advertising -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Beer -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Carbonated beverages -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Cereals, prepared -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Television cameras -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Soap -- 1950-1960 -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Commercials
Citation:
Stanley Lomas Television Commercial Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0342
See more items in:
Stanley Lomas Television Commercial Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0342

Cover Girl Advertising Oral History and Documentation Project

Creator:
Bunting, George L., Jr.  Search this
Brinkley, Christie  Search this
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Colonel, Sheri  Search this
Giordano, Lynn  Search this
Ford, Eileen  Search this
Hall, L. C. "Bates"  Search this
Grathwohl, Geraldine  Search this
Huebner, Dick  Search this
Harrison, Fran  Search this
Lindsay, Robert  Search this
Hunt, William D.  Search this
McIver, Karen  Search this
MacDougall, Malcolm  Search this
Noble, Stan  Search this
Nash, Helen  Search this
Noxell Corporation.  Search this
Bergin, John  Search this
O'Neill, Jennifer  Search this
Oelbaum, Carol  Search this
Pelligrino, Nick  Search this
Poris, George  Search this
Roberts, F. Stone  Search this
Tiegs, Cheryl  Search this
Troup, Peter  Search this
Weithas, Art  Search this
Witt, Norbert  Search this
Names:
Noxzema Chemical Company  Search this
Extent:
15.5 Cubic feet (30 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Business records
Audiotapes
Bumper stickers
Annual reports
Oral history
Photographs
Press releases
Scrapbooks
Television scripts
Videotapes
Tear sheets
Place:
Hunt Valley (Maryland)
Baltimore (Md.)
Maryland
Date:
1959-1990
Summary:
The Cover Girl Make-Up Advertising Oral History and Documentation Project, 1923-1991, is the result of a year-long study in 1990, which examined the advertising created for Noxell Corporation's Cover Girl make-up products from 1959 to 1990. The objective of the project was to document, in print and electronic media, the history of Cover Girl make-up advertising since its inception in 1959.
Scope and Contents:
Twenty-two oral history interviews (conducted by Dr. Scott Ellsworth for the Archives Center) and a variety of print and television advertisements, photographs, scrapbooks, personal papers, business records and related materials were gathered by the Center for Advertising History staff. The objective was to create a collection that provides documentation, in print and electronic media, of the history and development of advertising for Cover Girl make-up since its inception in 1959.

Collection also includes earlier material related to other Noxell products, including Noxzema, with no direct connection to the Cover Girl campaign.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1: Research Files

Series 2: Interviewee Files

Series 3: Oral History Interviews

Series 4: Television Advertising Materials

Series 5: Print Advertising Materials

Series 6: Company Publications and Promotional Literature

Series 7: Photographs

Series 8: Scrapbooks
Biographical / Historical:
George Avery Bunting founded the Noxzema Chemical Company in Baltimore, Maryland in 1917. In the 1890s, he left behind a teaching job on Maryland's Eastern shore to move to Baltimore, where he hoped to pursue a career as a pharmacist. He landed a job as errand boy and soda jerk at a local drugstore, where he worked while attending classes at the University Of Maryland College of Pharmacy. Valedictorian of the Class of 1899, Bunting was promoted to manager of the drugstore, which he purchased. Bunting began to experiment with the formulation of medicated pastes and compounds, which he marketed to his customers. In 1909, he began refining a medicated vanishing cream, which he introduced in 1914. "Dr. Bunting's Sunburn Remedy," an aromatic skin cream containing clove oil, eucalyptus oil, lime water, menthol and camphor, was mixed by hand at his pharmacy. Marketed locally as a greaseless, medicated cream for the treatment of a variety of skin conditions, including sunburn, eczema, and acne, the product was renamed "Noxzema" for its reputed ability to "knock eczema." By 1917, the Noxzema Chemical Company was formed. During the 1920s, distribution of the product was expanded to include New York, Chicago, and the Midwest and, by 1926, the first Noxzema manufactory was built in northwest Baltimore to accommodate the demand for nearly a million jars a year.

Having achieved a national market by 1938, Noxzema Chemical Company executives pursued product diversification as a means to maintain the corporate growth of the early years. In the 1930s and 1940s, line extensions included shaving cream, suntan lotion and cold cream, all with the distinctive "medicated" Noxzema aroma.

In the late 1950s, Bill Hunt, director of product development at Noxzema, suggested a line extension into medicated make-up. Creatives at Sullivan, Stauffer, Colwell & Bayles, Incorporated (SSC&B), Noxzema's advertising agency since 1946, suggested that the advertising for the new product focus on beauty and glamour with some reference to the medicated claims made for other Noxzema products. In contrast to other cosmetics, which were sold at specialized department store counters, Noxzema's medicated make-up would be marketed alongside other Noxzema products in grocery stores and other mass distribution outlets. After experimenting with names that suggested both glamour and the medicated claims (including Thera-Blem and Blema-Glow), Bill Grathwohl, Noxell's advertising director, selected Carolyn Oelbaum's "Cover Girl," which conveyed the product's usefulness as a blemish cover-up, while invoking the glamorous image of fashion models. These three elements of the advertising, wholesome glamour, mass marketing, and medicated make-up, remain central to Cover Girl advertising nearly a half-century later.

Beginning with the national launch in 1961, American and international fashion models were featured in the ads. The target audience was identified as women between eighteen and fifty-four and, initially, the "glamour" ads were targeted at women's magazines, while the "medicated" claims were reserved for teen magazines. Television ads featured both elements. Cover Girl advertising always featured beautiful women -- especially Caucasian women, but the Cover Girl image has evolved over time to conform to changing notions of beauty. In the late 1950s and 1960s, the Cover Girl was refined and aloof, a fashion conscious sophisticate. By the 1970s, a new social emphasis on looking and dressing "naturally" and the introduction of the "Clean Make-up" campaign created a new advertising focus on the wholesome glamour of the "girl next door," a blue-eyed, blonde all-American image. In the 1980s, the Cover Girl look was updated to include African-American, Hispanic and working women.

In January 1970, SSC&B bought 49% of the Lintas Worldwide advertising network. After SSC&B was acquired by the Interpublic Group of Companies in 1979, the entire Lintas operation was consolidated under the name SSC&B/Lintas in 1981. With the Procter & Gamble buy-out of the Noxell Corporation in September 1989, the cosmetics account was moved to long-time P&G agency Grey Advertising, in order to circumvent a possible conflict of interest between P&G competitor Unilever, another Lintas account. In 1989 SSC&B/Lintas, Cover Girl's agency since its launch in 1961, lost the account it helped to create and define, but the brand continues to dominate mass-marketed cosmetics.

This project is the result of a year-long study of advertising created for the Noxell Corporation's Cover Girl make-up products, 1959-1990. The effort was supported in part by a grant from the Noxell Corporation. The target audience was identified as women 18-54, and initially, the "glamour" ads were targeted at women's magazines, while the "medicated" claims were reserved for teen magazines. Television ads featured both elements. Cover Girl advertising has always featured beautiful women (especially Caucasian women), but the Cover Girl image evolved over time to conform with changing notions of beauty. In the late 1950s-1960s, the Cover Girl was refined and aloof, a fashion conscious sophisticate. By the 1970s, a new social emphasis on looking and dressing "naturally" and the introduction of the "Clean Make-up" campaign created a new advertising focus on the wholesome glamour of the "girl next door," a blue-eyed, blonde all-American image. Through the 1980s, the Cover Girl look was updated to include African-American and Hispanic models and images of women at work.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)

N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records (AC0059)
Separated Materials:
The Division of Home and Community Life, Costume Collection holds eighty-six cosmetic items and one computer that were also donated by the Noxell Corporation in 1990 in conjunction with the oral history project. These artifacts include lipstick, manicure sets, brushes, make-up, eye shadow, blush, powder puffs, eyelash curler, nail polish, and mascara. See accession number 1990.0193.
Provenance:
Most of the materials in the collection were donated to the Center for Advertising History by the Noxell Corporation, 1990. All storyboards and videoscripts, and a large collection of business records and proofsheets were donated by George Poris in June 1990. All mechanicals were donated by Art Weithas in June 1990. (These contributions are noted in the finding aid).
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.
Rights:
Copyright and trademark restrictions.
Topic:
Women in advertising  Search this
advertising -- 1930-1940 -- California  Search this
Cosmetics -- advertising  Search this
Endorsements in advertising  Search this
Beauty culture  Search this
advertising -- 1950-2000  Search this
African American women -- Beauty culture  Search this
Modelling -- 1950-1990  Search this
Sex role in advertising  Search this
Radio advertising  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews -- 1950-2000
Business records -- 20th century
Audiotapes
Bumper stickers
Annual reports
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Press releases
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Television scripts
Videotapes
Tear sheets
Citation:
Cover Girl Advertising Oral History & Documentation Project, 1959-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0374
See more items in:
Cover Girl Advertising Oral History and Documentation Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0374
Additional Online Media:

Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Collection

Creator:
Sunshine, Sara  Search this
Spanish Advertising and Marketing Service (creator)  Search this
Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies  Search this
Extent:
3.5 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Storyboards
Video recordings
Posters
Photographs
Advertisements
Audio cassettes
Clippings
Date:
1962 - 2000
Summary:
The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Collection includes advertisements, research, and publications produced by SAMS (Spanish Advertising and Marketing Service), which was founded by Luis Diaz Albertini in 1963.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the work of SAMS (Spanish Advertising and Marketing Service). It contains advertising campaign materials such as print advertisements, storyboards, proofs of print advertisements, point of purchase advertisements, audio recordings of radio advertisements, and video footage of television commercials. SAMS created advertising for manufacturers of tobacco, movies, cosmetics, watches, toothpaste, cleansers, food products, and alcoholic beverages, to name a few. SAMS was founded during a time in which the "Spanish speaking" consumer was of growing significance in the American market, and American advertisements increasingly catered to and targeted this audience.

The collection contains extensive explanatory notations written by Sara Sunshine, a Cuban immigrant, who created advertising print, audio, and visuals from the 1960s to 1990s and founder of the co-founder of Spanish Advertising and Marketing Services, the nation's first Latino ad agency.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seven series.

Series 1: Storyboards and Scripts, 1970-1995

Series 2: Advertisements, 1962-1974

Series 3: Publications, 1976-1988

Series 4: Marketing Research, 1962-1984

Series 5: Packaging, 1962

Series 6: Ephemera, 1980-1989

Series 7: Audiovisual Materials
Biographical / Historical:
Luis Diaz Albertini founded SAMS (Spanish Advertising and Marketing Service) in 1963. Sara Sunshine was the head copywriter and art executive. The agency had a staff of just four employees. It was the first full-service Spanish language advertising agency in the United States. In 2007, the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies was formed. Among its goals was preserving the industry's past and preserving the history of Hispanic advertising. The first archival collection they accepted was the records of SAMS. Originally housed at the University of Maryland, it was transferred to the National Museum of American History in 2015.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center

Goya Foods, Inc. Records (AC0694)
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2015 by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, through Horacio Gavilan.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Contact the Archives Center for details.
Topic:
Advertising executives -- 1950-2000  Search this
Advertising agencies -- 1950-2000  Search this
Television advertising -- 1950-2000  Search this
advertising -- History -- 1950-2000  Search this
Advertising campaigns -- 1950-2000  Search this
Minorities in advertising -- 1950-2000  Search this
Marketing -- 1950-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Storyboards
Video recordings -- 1950-2000
Posters -- 1950-2000
Photographs -- 1950-2000
Advertisements -- 1950-2000
Audio cassettes -- 1950-1990
Clippings -- 1950-2000
Citation:
Association of HIspanic Advertising Agencies Collection, 1962-1995, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1343
See more items in:
Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1343
Additional Online Media:

Smithsonian World/WETA "Selling the Dream" Collection

Producer:
Smithsonian World  Search this
Names:
Center for Advertising History  Search this
Grey Advertising.  Search this
Mitsubishi  Search this
WETA  Search this
Wieden & Kennedy  Search this
Gitlin, Todd  Search this
Marchand, Roland  Search this
Oda, Frances  Search this
Ogilvy, David  Search this
Pertshuk, Michael  Search this
Polykoff, Shairley  Search this
Extent:
23 Cubic feet (16 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Audiovisual materials
Oral history
Motion pictures (visual works)
Transcripts
Interviews
Press releases
Date:
1990-1991
Summary:
The collection documents "Selling the Dream" was an hour long television documentary that aired in early 1991 as part of the public television series, Smithsonian World.
Scope and Contents:
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.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1: Film

Series 2: Documentary Material
Biographical / Historical:
"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.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Smithsonian World through executive producer Sandra Bradley, in August 1991.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
There are reproduction restrictions on material in this collection. See repository details.
Topic:
Stereotypes (Social psychology) in advertising  Search this
Symbolism in advertising  Search this
Wit and humor in advertising  Search this
Sex role in advertising  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiovisual materials
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 1990-2000
Transcripts
Interviews -- 1950-2000
Press releases -- 1990-2000
Citation:
Smithsonian World/WETA "Selling the Dream" Collection, 1990-1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0418
See more items in:
Smithsonian World/WETA "Selling the Dream" Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0418

The Federal Express Advertising History Collection

Interviewer:
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Creator:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Fallon McElligott Advertising Agency  Search this
Federal Express Corporation  Search this
Names:
Ally & Gargano, Inc. (advertising agency)  Search this
Collector:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Interviewee:
Ally, Carl  Search this
Altenburg, Nancy  Search this
Burnham, Patrick  Search this
Frazier, Sharon  Search this
Gargano, Amil  Search this
Kelly, Patrick  Search this
Miller, William B.  Search this
Moschitta, John (actor)  Search this
Oliver, Tom  Search this
Presley, Carol  Search this
Sedelmaier, Joe (filmmaker)  Search this
Smith, Fred  Search this
Tesch, Mike  Search this
Williams, Carl  Search this
Extent:
6.6 Cubic feet (20 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Oral history
Commercials
Videotapes
Clippings
Storyboards
Posters
Audiocassettes
Abstracts
Advertisements
Audiotapes
Place:
Memphis (Tenn.)
Minneapolis (Minn.)
Chicago (Ill.)
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Date:
1972-1989
Summary:
Created in 1971, the Federal Express Corporation, an overnight air freight delivery system was an innovative company known for its memorable advertising campaigns. The core of the Federal Express Advertising History Collection is a series of interviews conducted in 1988 by Dr. Scott Ellsworth. Twenty-five individuals associated with Federal Express advertising were interviewed about the company and its award-winning advertising.
Scope and Contents:
The Federal Express Advertising Collection documents the dvelopment of the overnight air freight delivery company with particular emphasis on the innovative advertising campaigns used to introduce and promote the company's services. The oral histories with individuals associated with both Federal Express Corporation and the advertising agencies form the core of the collection. Abstracts that provide biographical information and summaries of the interviews supplement the oral histories. Research files and company publications provide background information. Television commercials and print advertising contain examples, particularly illustrating the campaigns discussed in the interviews.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1, Research Files, 1972-1988

Subseries 1.1, Federal Express Clippings Files

Subseries 1.2, Federal Express Research Reports

Subseries 1.3, Research Files

Series 2, Interviewee Files, 1988

Series 3, Oral History Interviews, 1988

Subseries 3.1, Original Interviews

Subseries 3.2, Researcher Copies

Subseries 3.3, Masters

Series 4, Television Advertising, 1973-1989

Subseries 4.1, Television Commercials

Subseries 4.2, Storyboards

Subseries 4.3, Slides and Photographs

Series 5, Print Advertising, 1972-1988

Subseries 5.1, Federal Express Print Advertising

Subseries 5.2, Federal Express Mechanicals

Subseries 5.3, Slides of Mechanicals and International Marketing

Subseries 5.4, Federal Express Posters

Subseries 5.5, Print Reference Materials

Series 6, Public Relations Materials, 1973-1988

Series 7, Company Publications, 1973-1988

Series 8, Miscellaneous, Undated
Biographical / Historical:
In 1971, Fred Smith of Memphis, Tennessee created the Federal Express Corporation, an overnight air freight delivery system. He based his idea for a new approach to the air freight delivery service on the "hub and spoke system." According to Smith's innovative model, a fleet of airplanes would fly packages from cities across the nation each evening to a central "hub" in Memphis, where the parcels would be unloaded, sorted, and re-loaded onto other planes for travel to their final destinations. Smith's objective was two-fold: to expedite delivery of the parcels and to ensure their security in the process.

In 1977, Congress passed the Air Cargo Deregulation Act. This enabled Federal Express to fly much larger planes and to expand its business without substantial capital investment. During its first decade of existence, the corporation achieved remarkable success, enjoying its first billion-dollar revenue in 1981.

Federal Express originally employed two advertising agencies: Ally & Gargano, Inc. of New York City (1974-1987) and Fallon McElligott of Minneapolis (1987 - 1994). In its early years, Federal Express was attracted to Ally & Gargano due to the agency's small size and its entrepreneurial spirit. Fred Smith believed these traits would foster the creativity necessary for original and effective advertising to introduce Federal Express. It was the responsibility of the agency to convince customers not only to abandon such incumbants in the industry as Emery, United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service, but also to trust Federal Express, a newcomer.

Ally & Gargano targeted the professional community and the general public through print advertisements and television commercials. Especially in the latter medium, the agency used humor as its primary marketing technique, emphasizing competitors' "slowness" and "unreliability." In 1981, the agency launched a series of widely acclaimed ads with John Moschitta as the "Fast Talking Man." The slogan "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight" seen at the close of most commercials served as a practical reminder of Federal Express' function.

Federal Express moved its account from Ally & Gargano to Fallon McElligott in 1987. Fallon McElligott's first television campaign used the phrase "It's more than just a package -- it's your business" and depicted scenes of different work environments. The campaign stressed the seriousness with which Federal Express handled its customers' parcels. In 1988, Federal Express was a sponsor of the Winter Olympics.
Related Materials:
Ally and Gargano, Inc. Print Advertisements (AC0938)
Provenance:
Made by the Smithsonian Institution and donated by the Federal Express Corporation, 1988.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Television advertising  Search this
Advertising campaigns  Search this
advertising -- History  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Service industries  Search this
Overnight delivery service  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- Freight  Search this
Business -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews -- 1970-1990
Oral history
Commercials
Videotapes
Clippings
Storyboards
Posters
Audiocassettes
Abstracts
Advertisements
Audiotapes
Citation:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection, 1972-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smiithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0306
See more items in:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0306

Kraft Television Theatre Oral History Project

Creator:
Blocki, Jim  Search this
Cook, Fielder  Search this
Durante, Al  Search this
Green, Chester  Search this
Courtice, Richard  Search this
Dougherty, Marion  Search this
Holland, Dorothy  Search this
Holland, Fran  Search this
Herlihy, Ed  Search this
Hill, George Roy  Search this
Myers, Farlan  Search this
Jeffrey, Tad  Search this
Kraft General Foods, Inc.  Search this
Pratt, Lee  Search this
Powell, Bob  Search this
Wiener, Tom  Search this
Names:
National Broadcasting Company, Inc.  Search this
Thompson, J. Walter (advertising agency).  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Commercials
Interviews
Audiotapes
Audiovisual materials
Date:
1947-1992
Summary:
Oral history interviews with fourteen former Kraft and J. Walter Thompson executives chart the evolution of Kraft's approach to television, from its pioneering efforts in the medium's infancy to the search to maintain identity in an increasingly competitive and fragmented media landscape. Casting, directing, and production of the live dramas and the commercials are discussed at length. Kraft's philosophy of advertising, its relationship with J. Walter Thompson advertising agency and NBC, and consumer outreach are also featured.
Scope and Contents:
Oral history interviews with fourteen former Kraft and J. Walter Thompson executives chart the evolution of Kraft's approach to television, from its pioneering efforts in the medium's infancy to the search to maintain identity in an increasingly competitive and fragmented media landscape. Casting, directing, and production of the live dramas and the commercials are discussed at length. Kraft's philosophy of advertising, its relationship with J. Walter Thompson advertising agency and NBC, and consumer outreach are also featured.

Series 1, Research Files, 1947-1992 contains newspaper and magazine clippings, reports and scholarly articles about the history and development of Kraft, Kraft Radio Music Hall, and Kraft Television Theatre. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 2, Interviewee Files, 1992 contains the abstracts of the oral history interviews and additional information about the interviewee, such as resumes, publications and correspondence, when available. The files are arranged alphabetically by interviewees' last name. Each abstract begins with a brief biographical statement about the interviewee, and a note about the scope and content of the interview. The abstracts correspond to a timed message on track two of the research copy of each audiocassette tape. At the end of each abstract is an index to proper names (people, trade names, KTT episodes, etc.) and to some general themes addresses during the interview. A master index, located in the last folder of this series, combines these individual indices into a comprehensive listing. Complete transciprts are also available for most interviews.

Series 3, Oral History Interviews, 1992 is subdivided into three subseries, representing each of three audio formats: original masters, research copies, and reel-to reel preservation copes. The interviews are arranged alphabetically.

Series 4, Television Commercials, circa 1950 feature comemrcials for a variety of Kraft products. They aired on Kraft Television Theatre between 1947 and 1958.

Series 5, Administrative Files, circa 1950 - 1992 are files created by the Center for Advertising History. Included in this series are bibliographies , briefing books, project proposals and budget, files on project consultants, deeds of conveyance, publicity, and Center publications prepared for the project.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series.

Series 1: Research Files, 1947-1992

Series 2: Interviewee Files, 1992

Series 3: Oral History Interviews, 1992

Subseries 3.1: Original Audio Tapes

Subseries 3.2: Researcher Copies

Subseries 3.3: Preservation Masters

Series 4, Television Commercials, circa 1950

Subseries 4.1: Master Copies

Subsieries 4.2: Researcher Copies

Series 5: Administrative Files, circa 1950 - 1992
Biographical / Historical:
The Kraft Television Theatre Oral History Project is the result of a year-long study undertaken by the former Center for Advertising History. The objective of the project was to create a collection of oral history interviews that documentated the history and development of Kraft Television Theater, especially the relationship between advertising and the origins of commercial sponsorship in the early days of television programming.

Oral history interviews with fourteen former Kraft and J Walter Thompson executives were conducted in 1992 by Tom Wiener, a free-lance writer and oral historian under contract to the former Center for Advertising History. Included were Ed Herlihy, the voice of many of Kraft's memorable commercials; James Blocki, Richard Courtice, Chester Green, and Robert Powell, the architects of Kraft's advertising and marketing strategies in the television era; directors George Roy Hill and Fielder Cook, who launched their successful careers at Kraft Television Theatre; Marion Dougherty, one of Hollywood's leading casting directors who also got her start on KTT; and Dorothy Holland, a veteran of Kraft's Consumer Affairs Department and the company's first female Vice President.

The oral history interviews chart the evolution of Kraft's approach to television, from its pioneering efforts in the mediums infancy to the search to maintain identity in an increasing competitive and fragmented media landscape. Casting, directing and production of the live dramas and the commercials are discussed at length. Kraft's philosophy of advertising, its relationship with J Walter Thompson advertising agency and NBC, and consumer outreach are also featured.

On May 7, 1947, at 7:30 p.m. in New York City, advertising made a first significant step into the television era with the debut of Kraft Television Theatre. The program, which became the first regularly scheduled dramatic series on network TV presented weekly live adaptations of plays featuring performers familiar to New York theater goers. Included in each week's installment were commercials for Kraft Cheese Company products.

Kraft's foray into a new advertising medium grew out of the company's progressive advertising policies and its long running association with its primary advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson. Kraft was founded by James Lewis Kraft, a Canadian-born entrepreneur who in 1903 began buying cheese from Chicago wholesalers and peddling it from a horse-drawn wagon. Through acquisitions of other companies and their established brands, as well as development of new products, Kraft's company steadily grew into a leader in the cheese and dairy products business.

As early as 1911, Kraft began advertising on Chicago elevated trains and billboards. In 1919, Kraft inaugurated a 70-year tradition of advertising in such national magazines as Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping. Fourteen years later, looking for a vehicle to promote its newest product, Miracle Whip Salad Dressing, Kraft entered the electronic era with The Kraft Program, hosted by popular bandleader Paul Whiteman on the NBC Radio Network.

Soon renamed The Kraft Music Hall, the show also acquired a new host, crooner Bing Crosby. Crosby's relaxed style was mirrored in the Music Hall's commercials. As written by J. Walter Thompson staffers, they possessed a relaxed, conversational tone, extolling the practical uses of Miracle Whip, Velveeta and other Kraft products.

The Music Hall continued on the air until 1949, but by that time, Kraft Television Theatre was into its third season, well established as the leading dramatic series on the air. Kraft Television Theatre provided a unique laboratory for both its sponsor and Thompson. As with the Music Hall, Thompson actually produced the program: its staffers adapted the dramas, directed them, and hired the casts. NBC provided only technical facilities and crew. Each week, in effect, was opening night for a play that was performed live in front of bulky cameras, under hot lights. Working with modest budgets, producer-directors Stanley Quinn, Maury Holland, and Harry Herrmann took an important first step toward exploiting the potential of television to inform and entertain.

For its part, Kraft drew on the tradition established in its radio ads. From the start, Kraft acted as if it were a guest in the viewer's home, which led to a remarkably effective means of presenting its products. No human face was ever seen, only a pair of hands demonstrating the uses of the product, as a reassuring voice explained the virtues of Cheez Whiz, Draft Cheddar, or any number of products from Draft's expanding line.

In 1958, after eleven years and over 600 programs, Kraft Television Theatre left the air. The show's ratings had slipped under increased competition from mystery and adventure shows filmed in Hollywood as well as quiz shows. Kraft's single sponsorship didn't end with the demise of the Television Theatre. It revived the Music Hall, quite successfully, with Perry Como, whose relaxed personality was a throwback to Bing Crosby. In later years, Kraft chose to be sole sponsor of several specials a year, including the Country Music Association Awards show. Although these programs were pre-recorded, Kraft continued to produce its commercials live through the 1960's, with those same hands and that same soothing voice. Kraft's place in both television and advertising history is secure. Kraft Television Theatre launched a decade of live televised drama that is still regarded as the cornerstone of TV's Golden Age. And the Kraft "hands" commercials are a reminder of the effectiveness of a low-key, low-tech approach to promoting products as humble as Velveeta and Miracle Whip.

As part of a program to document and study modern advertising, the former Center for Advertising History selected Kraft Television Theatre as the last in a series of case studies of significant American advertising campaigns.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center

N W Ayer Advertising Collection (AC0059)

Materials at Other Organizations

J. Walter Thompson Archives, Duke University

Kraft General Foods Archives, Glenview, Illinois

The Kraft General Foods Archives was established as an internal information resource for the comanpy. ARchives staff will assist outside researchers whenever time and resources permit by answering questions over the phone or through the mails. Requests for direct access to archival collections will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Source materials documenting Kraft's television advertising efforts include: film and videotape copies of Kraft Television Theatre, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Kraft Mystery Theatre, Kraft Music Hall, and other Kraft-sponsored shows. Videotape copies of these shows can be accessed through the Musuem of Broadcast Communication in Chicago, and through the NBC collection at the Library of Congress. Materials also include film and videotape copies of Kraft commercials, early 1950s-present; publications and magazine/newspaper articles about the various shows; company publications featuring articles about the various shows; NBC listings of production details about the shows (dates, producers, actors/actresses, etc.) Any requests for copies of pages from this listing must be cleared through NBC; photos of scenes from the shows as well as still photos of the actors/actresses who appeared in them; print ads supporting Kraft's televiison advertising efforts; casting lists for Kraft Television Theatre (incomplete); and musical scores for Kraft Television Theatre (incomplete).
Provenance:
Collection donated by Kraft General Foods, Inc., on April 16, 1993. Oral histories created by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution in 1992.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons may use researcher copies of audio and video cassettes. Two of the three videotapes of television commercials have been digitized and can be viewed in the Smithsonian Institution's Digital Asset Management System (DAMS).
Rights:
Copyright restrictions. Contact the Archives Center.
Topic:
Copy writers  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
advertising -- Food  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Television producers and directors  Search this
Actors in the advertising industry  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Commercials
Interviews
Audiotapes
Audiovisual materials
Citation:
Kraft Television Theatre Oral History Project, 1947-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0464
See more items in:
Kraft Television Theatre Oral History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0464
Additional Online Media:

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