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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:

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:

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:

The Campbell Soup Advertising Collection

Interviewee:
Murphy, W.B.  Search this
Norris, Alice  Search this
Norris, E. E.  Search this
Prior, Joseph  Search this
Meehan, Vincenta  Search this
Mercer, Richard  Search this
Meyers, Peter H.  Search this
Mulcahy, Paul  Search this
Welsh, Dick  Search this
White, Richard  Search this
Rindlaub, Jean  Search this
Rombach, Scott  Search this
Shaub, Harold  Search this
Weir, Chris  Search this
Coulson, Zoe  Search this
Gearon, Dan  Search this
Cronin, Betty  Search this
Conill, Alicia  Search this
Conlon, Robert  Search this
Conill, Rafael  Search this
Jordan, James  Search this
McNutt, James  Search this
McGovern, R. Gordon  Search this
Goerke, Donald E.  Search this
Holmes, Martha  Search this
Haber, Bernie  Search this
Jones, Caroline Robinson, 1942-2001 (advertising executive)  Search this
Adams, Anthony  Search this
Baum, Herbert M.  Search this
Bergin, John F.  Search this
Bair, Dean  Search this
Interviewer:
Griffith, Barbara S., Dr.  Search this
Creator:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Campbell Soup Company  Search this
Names:
Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborn  Search this
Connill Advertising  Search this
Extent:
12 Cubic feet (25 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Clippings
Audiotapes
Interviews
Commercials
Ephemera
Videotapes
Oral history
Tear sheets
Date:
1904-2015
bulk 1904-1989
Summary:
This collection is the result of a year-long study of Campbell's "Red and White" Soups advertising and marketing, supported in part by a grant from the Campbell Soup Company. Thirty-one oral history interviews were conducted by Dr. Barbara Griffith for the project, and a variety of related materials were gathered by the Center for Advertising History staff. The objective of the project was to create a collection that provides documentation, in print and media, of the history and development of advertising for Campbell's Red and White Soups in the decades following World War II.
Scope and Contents:
This collection is the result of a year-long study of Campbell's "Red and White" Soups advertising and marketing campaigns. Oral histories conducted by Smithsonian Institution staff with individuals involved with the Campbell's Soup Corporation and its advertising campaigns form the core of the collection. Also included are clippings and background research files, abstracts of the oral history interviews, television and radio commercials, company publications, and promotional items and packaging.

A 2015 addition to the collection was born digital and consists of materials from the groundbreaking "Real Life Campaign" which featured inter-racial couples as well as a gay couple. These materials include storyboards, scripts, consumer feedback both postive and negative, focus group material, labels, commercials, supporting documentation on the development and implementation of the campaign. These materials are available in the Smithsonian Institution DIgital Asset Management System (DAMS).
Arrangement:
Collection is organized into nine series.

Series 1, Research Files, 1939-1989

Series 2, Interviewee Files, 1989-1990

Series 3, Oral Histories, 1989-1990

Series 4, Television Commercials, 1957-1990

Series 5, Radio Commercials, 1966-1975

Series 6, Print Advertisements, 1905-1989

Series 7, Promotional Items and Packaging, 1968-1991

Series 8, Company Publications, 1983-1988

Series 9, Real Life Campaign, 2015
Biographical / Historical:
The Campbell Soup Company's "Red and White" advertising campaigns are remarkable not only for their longevity, but for the consistency of the advertising message. Since 1898, when the red and white label was incorporated, the packaging and the message have changed only marginally. When Andy Warhol painted his pop art Campbell Soup cans in the early 1960s, he presented an immediately recognizable image with which all of America could identify.

Campbell's condensed soups, first marketed in 1897, have become a staple of the 20th century American household. The Joseph Campbell Preserve Company, a canning concern which grew out of an 1869 business partnership between a fruit merchant and an ice box manufacturer, was well established by the time Arthur Dorrance succeeded Joseph Campbell as president. When Dorrance's nephew, John T. Dorrance, a chemical engineer and organic chemist trained at MIT, developed a process for making condensed soup, the company was faced with the task of successfully marketing the revolutionary new convenience food. The soup won a gold medallion for excellence at the 1900 Paris Exposition, and the company incorporated the image on its labels and in its advertising.

In the developing consumer culture which began to grow during and after the industrial revolution, women were identified as the primary consumers of household goods and services. Homemakers have been the target of Campbell' s Red & White advertising since its inception, and this focus is reflected both in the content and the placement of the advertising. The identification of a predominately female consumer market was also influential in the creation of a widely recognized and long-lived symbol, the Campbell Kids, created in 1904 by Grace Gebbie Drayton. The Kids were meant to convey a sense of wholesomeness and physical well-being associated with eating Campbell Soups.

The advertising of the early teens and twenties most often consisted of black and white or two-color depictions of the can and the product, often accompanied by images of the rosy-cheeked Kids. A large portion of the ad was devoted to narrative description of the soups' healthful properties, suggesting that"Campbell Soups Give Vigor and Strength", "I Couldn't Keep House Without Campbell's Tomato Soup", and "If Every Woman Realized How Much Her Husband Likes Soup - She Would Serve It Everyday".

The advertising of the 1930s tended towards idealized illustrations of women and children; the Kids were less visible during the 1930s and 1940s, deemed too "chucklesome" for the Depression years, and too old-fashioned during World War II. Ad copy continued its appeal to women's sense of responsibility for the well-being of husbands and children, with slogans suggesting "It Takes a Bright and Sparkling Flavor to Attract Children", "When a Man Says It's Good, It's Good", and "Wouldn 't I Be Silly to make It Myself?"

Campbell broadened the scope of its advertising by sponsoring radio programming, beginning in 1931 with the "Hollywood Hotel" program on CBS. Later radio sponsorships included the George Burns and Gracie Allen show, "Campbell Playhouse", "Amos and Andy", the "Jack Carson Show", "Hildegarde", and "Edward R. Murrow with the News", among others . The jingle "M'm M'm Good" was first aired during the radio broadcasts of this period, and was reinforced in the print advertising. Beginning in 1950, Campbell began to sponsor television shows, continuing its focus on women and children as primary purchasers and consumers of suop. Most notable among these sponsorships were "The Donna Reed Show" and "Lassie" . Print ads of the 1950s featuring Johnny Carson, Donna Reed, and the cast of the Lassie Show helped to reinforce the Company's sponsorship of these popular shows.

In 1954, Campbell moved its $10 million dollar condensed soup account from Ward Wheelock Company, the Philadelphia firm which had handled the account since 1910, to Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO) of New York. By 1966, BBDO account executives urged "selective but not major" use of the Kids and the slogan "M'm M'm Good", choosing instead to employ advertising that stressed health claims and fitness issues rather than the wholesome, comforting associations of hot soup. The Kids became more athletic and less rotund.

Reflecting changes in American social and family structures Campbell' s advertising, began to depict the working wife and the busy schedules of a family "on the go". A 1960 ad declares "Good Things Begin to Happen When Working Girls Have Soup and Crackers" or "Somethings Happened to Supper". In light of the women 's movement, which was gaining momentum during this period, Campbell advertising remained decidedly traditional. In the 1970s, "Give Me the Campbell Life" recognized women 's expanded roles as working mothers, but "They Always Eat Better When You Remember the Soup" and "Get Your Campbells Worth" reveal a more conservative pitch to homemakers responsibilities. Other societal changes are suggested in the advertising, for instance, the "Soup is Good Food" and "Health Insurance" campaigns of the 1980s reflected a new emphasis on health and fitness.

In 1981 the company transferred the soup account to another New York firm, Backer Spielvogel and Bates . The 1980s saw a renewed emphasis on network primetime, strategic radio advertising (where ads for hot soup are tagged to reports of rain or snow, or are aired just before the noon lunch hour), and regional marketing of specialized products or packaging designed to appeal to local tastes and changing nutritional standards. These new products have engendered some changes in Campbell' s time-honored red and white label to emphasize the "new and improved" characteristics of the products

In 2015, Campbells developed the "Real Life" campaign. This campaign was groundbreaking in many ways. The commercials portrayed not only inter-racial couples but also a gay couple, two fathers and their son. This campaign had a product tie in with the 2015 release of the new installment in the motion picture franchise, Star Wars. The campaign received commentary from the public both pro and con. Campbells continued the campaign without revising or pulling any of its commercials. While running in selected markets, the campaign made nationwide headlines and pointed up the continuing change in the make-up of the American family.
Provenance:
Paul N. Mulcahy, V.P. Marketing Services, Campbell Soup Company,1990. Made for the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution by the Center for Advertising History, 1989-1990.
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:
Broadcast advertising  Search this
advertising -- Food  Search this
Soups -- advertising  Search this
Advertising agencies  Search this
Advertising departments  Search this
Advertising campaigns  Search this
Sex role in advertising  Search this
Radio advertising  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Art directors  Search this
Advertising executives  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Audiotapes -- 1980-1990
Interviews -- 1980-1990
Commercials
Ephemera -- 20th century
Videotapes
Oral history
Tear sheets
Citation:
Campbell Soup Advertising Oral History and Documentation Project, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0367
See more items in:
The Campbell Soup Advertising Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0367
Additional Online Media:

N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records

Creator:
Ayer (N W) Incorporated.  Search this
Names:
American Telephone and Telegraph Company -- Advertisements  Search this
Cunningham & Walsh.  Search this
Hixson & Jorgenson  Search this
United Air Lines, Inc. -- Advertisements  Search this
Ayer, Francis Wayland  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Extent:
270 Cubic feet (1169 boxes )
7 Film reels
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Film reels
Business records
Interviews
Oral history
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Date:
1817-1851
1869-2006
Summary:
Collection consists of records documenting one of the oldest advertising agencies created in Philadelphia. The company then moves to New York and expanses to international markets. During its history NW Ayer & Sons acquires a number of other advertising agencies and is eventually purchased. The largest portion of the collection is print advertisements but also includes radio and television. NW Ayer is known for some of the slogans created for major American companies.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists primarily of proof sheets of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son, Incorporated for their clients. These materials are in series one through thirteen and consist primarily of print advertisements. There are also billboards, radio and television commercials. The advertisements range from consumer to corporate and industrial products. The majority of the advertisements were created for Ayer's New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and international offices. Printed advertisements created by Cunningham & Walsh, Hixson & Jorgensen and Newell-Emmett are also included among these materials. Researchers who are interested in records created by Ayer in the course of operating an advertising agency will find these materials in Series fourteen-nineteen.

Series fourteen consists of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son to promote their services to potential clients.

Series fifteen are scrapbooks of some of the earliest advertisements created by the company. Series sixteen are publications. Some of the publications were created by Ayer while others were about Ayer or the advertising industry in general. Provides good background materials and puts the company in perspective. Series eighteen are the legal records. Materials relating to employees including photographs, oral histories etc. are found in series nineteen.

Series twenty is one of the smallest amounts of materials and includes information relating to the history of NW Ayer & Son.

The container lists for series one-thirteen are part of a database and are searchable. The list has been printed for the convenience of the researcher and is included in this finding aid. Series fourteen-twenty container lists are also a part of the finding aid but are not in a searchable format.

Series 1, Scrapbooks of Client Advertisements, circa 1870-1920, is arranged into three boxes by chronological date. There are two bound scrapbooks and one box of folders containing loose scrapbook pages. NW Ayer & Son compiled an assortment of their earliest ads and placed them into scrapbooks. Besides the earliest advertisements, the scrapbooks contain requests to run advertisements, reading notices and listings of papers Ayer advertised in. The early advertisements themselves range from medical remedies to jewelry to machines to clothing to education and more. Most of the advertisements in the bound scrapbooks are dated.

Series 2, Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930, NW Ayer was fond of creating scrapbooks containing proofsheets. The series contains proofsheets created between 1892 and 1930, organized into 526 boxes. For convenience of storage, access and arrangement, the scrapbooks were disassembled and the pages placed in original order in flat archival storage boxes. The proofsheets are arranged by book number rather than client name. Usually the boxes contain a listing of the clients and sometimes the dates of the advertisements to be found within the box.

Series 3, Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975, is organized into 532 oversize boxes, and contain proofsheets and tearsheets created between 1920 and 1972. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by company name (occasionally subdivided by brand or product), and thereunder chronologically by date of production. Many major, national advertisers are represented, including American Telephone & Telegraph, Armour Company, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Carrier Corporation, Domino Sugar, Caterpillar tractor company, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Goodyear, Hills Bros. Coffee, Ladies Home Journal, National Dairy, Plymouth (Chrysler Corporation), Steinway, TV Guide, United Airlines and the United States Army. Also contained in this series are three scrapbooks of client advertisements including Canada Dry, Ford Motor, and Victor Talking Machine.

Series 4, 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001, is organized into ninety three oversized boxes,one folder and contains proofsheets for select Ayer clients, created between 1975 and 2001. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by client name and there under chronologically by date of production. Major national advertisers represented include American Telephone & Telegraph, Avon, the United States Army, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Dupont, TV Guide, Sealtest, Kraft Foods, Gillette, General Motors, Cannon Mills.

Series 5, Billboards, circa 1952-1956, consists of mounted and un-mounted original art/mock-ups. Twenty-two pieces of original art created as mock-ups for Texaco billboards.

Series 6, Film and Video Commercials, 1967-1970,

Series 7, Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated, is arranged into eight boxes and includes radio scripts, television scripts, and story boards for commercials.

Subseries 7.1, Scripts and storyboards for Radio and Television Commercials, dates Scripts for radio and television commercials includes title, date, length of commercial, advertising agency, client information

NW Ayer's radio and television materials mainly focus on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Some of Ayer's materials relate to Bell Telephone Hours.

Storyboards are used in television and film to assist the director in working with crew to tell the story. To show the viewer through the use of figures, visual effects and camera angles. When directors first start thinking about their storyboard they create a story in their mind. They think of all the camera angles, visual effects and how the figures will interact in their mind. They try to create an extraordinary story in their head to attract the viewer (YOU) In order for the storyboard to be entirely effective it can't be a passive document. When done properly, a storyboard serves as a central design, meeting the needs of many team members including graphics artists, video personnel and programmers.

Another function of a storyboard is to help the team communicate during the training development process. This communication is very important in working with a large team as in the movie King, produced in 1996. Figures help the director explain to the crew how they are going to record the film and how to present it to the audience. Sometimes the director wants special effects to be added to the film, but his budget might not be that big so the director will have to change the story to fit their budget.

The Visual Effects are an important part in the storyboards it adds a special touch of creativity to your film. Camera angles are an important expects in your film because the camera angles determine where the viewing audience will look. If you want your audience to look at a certain object you must turn their attention to it by focusing on that object and maybe you might try blocking something out. Then you will have your audience's attention and you may do whatever else you have to, it could be scaring them are just surprising them or whatever you do.

Also included is talent information and log sheets relating to the storage of the commercials.

Bell Telephone Hour Program, 1942-[19??], The Bell Telephone Hour, also known as The Telephone Hour, was a five minute musical program which began April 29, 1940 on National Broadcasting Company Radio and was heard on NBC until June 30, 1958. Sponsored by Bell Telephone showcased the best in classical and Broadway music, reaching eight to nine million listeners each week. It continued on television from 1959 to 1968.

Earlier shows featured James Melton and Francia White as soloists. Producer Wallace Magill restructured the format on April 27, 1942 into the "Great Artists Series" of concert and opera performers, beginning with Jascha Heifetz. Records indicate that the list of talents on the program included Marian Anderson, Helen Traubel, Oscar Levant, Lily Pons, Nelson Eddy, Bing Crosby, Margaret Daum, Benny Goodman, José Iturbi, Gladys Swarthout and .The series returned to radio in 1968-1969 as Bell Telephone Hour Encores, also known as Encores from the Bell Telephone Hour, featuring highlights and interviews from the original series.

National Broadcasting television specials sponsored by the Bell System, 1957-1987includes information relating to Science series, Bell system Theshold Series, Bell telephone hour and commercial and public sponsored programs

Series 8, Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989, is arranged alphabetically by the name of the client in ninety boxes and six oversize folders. Clients include Illinois Bell Telephone (1955-1989), Microswitch (1969-1989), Teletype (1975-1984), John Deere (1974-1989) and Caterpillar (1966-1972) are particularly well represented. Other clients of interest include Dr. Scholl's shoes (circa 1968-1972), the Girl Scouts (1976-1980), Sunbeam Personal Products Company (1973-1981), Bell and Howell (1974-1983) and Alberto Culver shampoos (1967-1971), Honeywell, Incorporated, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations, Kraft, Incorporated, Sears, Roebuck and Company, and YMCA.

Series 9, Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987, include printed advertisements created by this office and information relating to the employees.

Subseries 9.1, Print Advertisements, 1977-1987, printed advertisements arranged in one box alphabetically by client. There is a sparse sampling of clients from this particular Ayer branch office. The majority of the advertisements contained within this series are from Pizza Hut (1986-1987). Also included are Computer Automation (1977-1978), State of the Art, Incorporated (1982) and Toshiba (1986).

Subseries 9.2, Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s, includes cards of employees who worked in the Los Angeles office. Information on the cards includes name, address, telephone number, birthday, date hired, departure date and why (retired, terminated, resigned, etc) and position. Not all cards have all information. There is also a photograph of the employees on the cards.

Series 10, Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated, NW Ayer maintained partnerships with international companies such as Sloanas Ayer in Argentina, Connaghan & May Paton Ayer in Australia, Moussault Ayer in Belgium, NW Ayer, LTD. in Canada, GMC Ayer in France, Co-Partner Ayer in Germany, Wong Lam Wang in Hong Kong, MacHarman Ayer in New Zealand, Grupo de Diseno Ayer in Spain, Nedeby Ayer in Sweden, and Ayer Barker in United Kingdom. This group of material is a small sampling of advertisements created from these International offices. It is arranged alphabetically by client. There are quite a few automobile advertisements (i.e. Audi, Fiat, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen). In addition there are numerous advertisements for various personal items from MacLean's toothpaste to Quick athletic shoes to Labello lip balm, etc. Most of the advertisements have the creator's name printed on the advertisements.

Series 11, Cunningham & Walsh, Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated contains 98 boxes 11 folders materials from the New York advertising agency acquired by NW Ayer in the 1960s. The company began with Newel-Emmett, an agency of nine men which broke up in 1949. Two of the men Fred Walsh and Jack Cunningham formed this agency in bearing their names in 1950. The agency created "let your fingers for the walking campaign for American Telephone & Telegraph, Mother Nature for Chiffon, and Mrs. Olson for Folgers's coffee and let the good times roll for Kawasaki motorcycle. In 1986, NW Ayer Incorporated purchased Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated.

Subseries 11.1, Print Advertisements, 1915-1987, are contained in ninety eight boxes of primarily print advertisements arranged alphabetically by client name. Clients that are particularly well represented are Graybar (electrical implements, circa1926-1937), Johns-Manulle (circa1915-1971), Smith and Corono typewriters (circa 1934-1960), Sunshine Biscuit Company (circa 1925-1961), Texaco Company (circa 1936-1961), Western Electric (circa 1920- 1971) and Yellow Pages (circa 1936-1971). Cunningham and Walsh also represented several travel and tourism industry clients, including Cook Travel Services (circa 1951-1962), Italian Line (circa 1953-1961), Narragansett and Croft (circa 1956-1960) and Northwest Airlines (circa 1946-1955). There are photographs of Texaco advertisements dating from 1913-1962. There is also a scrapbook of advertisements from the Western Electric Company dating from 1920-1922.

Subseries 11.2, Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967, consist of materials created for Western Electric. Materials are arranged in chronological order.

Subseries 11.3, Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated include client lists, information relating to NW Ayer purchase and annual report 1962.

Series 12, Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, a Los Angeles advertising company, merged with Ayer in 1969. This series is housed in one box. Within the box are four scrapbooks and folders with a hodgepodge of materials relating to advertising. Of most interest are the scrapbooks. Two scrapbooks deal with Hixson and Jorgensen's self promotion ad campaign "the right appeal gets action" (1953-1957). The other two scrapbooks contain news clippings about the company and its activities (1959-1971).

Series 13, Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957, founded in 1919 and governed in the 1940s by a partnership of nine men. The partnership broke up in 1949 when the men went their separate ways. The materials consist of print advertisements for one of client, Permutit Company, a water conditioning company. The materials are arranged in one box in chronological order.

Series 14, House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991, 16 boxes consists of advertisements or self-promotion advertisements to campaign for new clients. The series is arranged chronologically by date into fifteen boxes. Within the series are two scrapbooks containing self promotion ads from 1888-1919 and 1892-1895. Numerous house ads relate to Ayer's "Human Contact" campaign. In addition to the self promotion ads, Ayer ran advertisements expounding about particular concepts or themes for example, one month the concept would "understand" while another month would be "teamwork" and yet another would be on "imagination". Some of the self promotion ads target specific groups like Philadelphia businessmen. Other advertisements incorporate the fine arts.

Series 15, Scrapbooks, 1872-1959, relates to company events, records and news clippings about Ayer's history. The six boxes are arranged by chronological date. Two of the boxes focus solely on the death of founder F.W. Ayer (1923). Another box houses a scrapbook that showcases Ayer's annual Typography Exhibition (1931-1959). One box contains a scrapbook that specifically deals with correspondences relating to Ayer's advertising. Yet another box's contents are folders of loose pages from scrapbooks that have newspaper clippings, order forms, correspondences and other company records. In one box, a bound scrapbook houses a variety of materials relating to Ayer and advertising (i.e. newspaper clippings, competitor's advertisements, NW Ayer's advertisements, correspondences for advertisements, clippings regarding the "theory of advertising."

Series 16, Publications, 1849-2006, are housed in thirty four boxes and are arranged into three main categories.

Subseries 16.1, House Publications, 1876-1994, covers diverse topics; some proscriptive works about the Ayer method in advertising, some commemorating people, anniversaries or events in the life of the agency. Materials consist of scattered issues of the employee newsletter The Next Step 1920-1921. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date of publication. Ayer in the News, The Show Windows of an Advertising Agency, 1915, book form of advertisements published on the cover of Printer's Ink, highlighting Ayer's relations with advertisers. The Story of the States, 1916, Reprint in book form of a series of articles published in Printer's Ink for the purpose of adding some pertinent fact, progressive thought and prophetic vision to the Nationalism of Advertising highlights major businesses, manufacturer, natural resources and other qualities or attractions of each state. The Book of the Golden Celebration, 1919, includes welcome address and closing remarks by founder F. Wayland Ayer, The Next Step, 1920 employee newsletter with photographs, employee profiles, in-house jokes, etc., Advertising Advertising: A Series of Fifty-two Advertisements scheduled one time a week. Twenty-seven, thirty and forty inches, a day of the week optional with publisher, 1924

Subseries 16.2, Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-2006, includes a book first published in 1939. Includes articles, documenting events and is arranged chronologically by date of publication.

Subseries 16.3, General Publications about Advertising, 1922-1974, are arranged chronologically by date of publication and relate primarily to the history of advertising.

Subseries 16.4, Publications about Other Subjects, 1948-1964, include four books about the tobacco industry primarily the history of the American Tobacco Company and Lorillard Company from the Cunningham and Walsh library.

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1, Contracts, 1885-1908, undated, are arranged alphabetically and span from 1885-1908. The majority of the contracts are with newspaper and magazine publishers from around the country.

Subseries 17.2, General client information, 1911-1999, undated, including active and cancelled lists with dates, client gains, historical client list, (should move this to series 20) Ayer Plan User Guide Strategic Planning for Human Contact, undated

Subseries 17.3, Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated, contain information used by Ayer to create advertisements for some of its clients. American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate Case History, American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate advertisement memo, commissioned artists for DeBeers advertisements, DeBeers information relating to the creative process and photography credits, a case history for DeBeers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., The Diamond Engagement Ring, Managing Communication at all levels, DuPont publications, JC Penny Marketing Communication Plan Recommendation, Leaf, Incorporated, Saturn presentation, and USAREC oral presentation.

Subseries 17.4, Potential Clients, 1993, includes grouping has a questionnaire sent to Ayer by a potential client. Questionnaire response for Prudential Securities, 1993 Prudential Securities advertising account review, 1993.

Subseries 17.5, Financial Records, 1929-1938, includes balance sheet, 1929 May 1 Balance sheet and adjustments Consolidated statement of assets and liabilities, Expenses 191936-37 Business review and expenses, 1937 and 1938 Business review and expenses comparative statement, 1937 and 1938.

Series 18, Legal Records, circa 1911-1982, Ayer's legal records are arranged by twelve subject groupings within four boxes. The twelve groupings are advertising service agreements (circa 1918-1982), bylaws, copyright claims, correspondences, international correspondences, dissolution of trusts, stock information, agreements between partners, incorporation materials, reduction of capital, property information and miscellaneous materials. The bulk of the materials are the advertising service agreements. These agreements are between Ayer and their clients and state the services Ayer will offer and at what cost. The bylaws are Ayer's company bylaws from 1969 and 1972. The copyright claims are certificates stating Ayer's ownership over certain published materials (i.e. "Policy", Media Equalizer Model, and Don Newman's Washington Square Experiment). The correspondences relate to either the voting trust and receipts for agreement or the New York Corporation. The international correspondences are from either Ayer's Canadian office or London office. The dissolutions of trusts contains materials about the dividend trust of Wilfred F. Fry, the investment trust of Winfred W. Fry, the voting trust, and the New York corporation. The stock information has stock certificates and capital stock information. The agreements between partners (1911-1916) specify the terms between F.W. Ayer and his partners. The incorporation materials (circa 1929-1977) deal with Ayer advertising agency becoming incorporated in the state of Delaware. The reduction of capital grouping is a notification that shares of stock have been retired. The property information grouping contains property deeds and insurance policy (circa 1921-1939), a property appraisal (1934), and a bill of sale (1948). The miscellaneous grouping contains a house memo regarding a set of board meeting minutes and a registry of foreign companies in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1929-1954).

Subseries 18.1, Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2, Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4, Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5, International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6, Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7, Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8, Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9, Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10, Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11, Property Information, 1921-1948

Subseries 18.12, Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19, Personnel Records, circa 1889-2001, are arranged into eight groupings within eight boxes. The groupings are employee card files, photographs, Ayer alumni, biographies, speeches, recollections, oral histories, and miscellaneous. Typed manuscript of book A Copy Writer Speaks by George Cecil, NW Ayer, Incorporated copy head 1920s-1950s

Subseries 19.1, Employee card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963, consists of index cards with the name, age, job title, date and wage increases, date of hire/fire, as well as remarks about the employee's service and/or reasons for seeking or leaving the job. Materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the employee within three boxes.

Subseries 19.2, Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated, are housed in two boxes. The photographs grouped together by subjects i.e. personnel, company events, Ayer buildings, and miscellaneous. This grouping primarily consists of personnel photographs. Includes a glass plate negative dated 1924 of NW Ayer.

Subseries 19.3, Ayer Alumni, circa 1989-98, include employees who have left Ayer. There is a listing of Ayer "graduates" and their current job. Emeritus, Ayer's alumni newsletter 1989-1996, makes up the majority of materials in this grouping. The newsletter keeps the alumni up to date with the happenings of Ayer and what has become of former Ayer employees. Emeritus is a quarterly newsletter devoted to the activities, thoughts and feelings of Ayer alumni a body of people who consists of retirees and former employees.

Subseries 19.4, Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994, undated, prominent members of Ayer's operations had biographical sketches completed of them. This was true for the bio sketches of Robert Ervin, Louis T. Hagopian, and George A. Rink. There is a substantial file on Dorothy Dignam ("Mis Dig"), a leading woman in the advertising world from the 1930s to the 1950s. Also of interest is a video ("The Siano Man") compiled by Ayer employees to commemorate Jerry Siano's retirement from Ayer in 1994. The series is arranged alphabetically by last name.

Subseries 19.5, Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975, contains speeches made by Wilfred W. Fry and Neal W. O'Connor. Wilfred W. Fry had various speaking engagements connected with Ayer. Contained in this group is a sampling of his speeches from 1919 to 1931. Neal O'Connor's speech "Advertising: Who Says It's a Young People's Business" was given at the Central Region Convention for the American Association of Advertising Agencies in Chicago on November 6, 1975. The speeches are arranged alphabetically by the speaker's last name.

Subseries 19.6, Recollections, 1954-1984, undated, are arranged alphabetically by last name. These are recollections from Ayer employees about the company and its advertisements. Some recollections are specifically about certain types of advertisements, like farm equipment while others reflect on F. W. Ayer and the company.

Subseries 19.7, Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991, include interviews with key NW Ayer personnel, conducted by Ayer alumnae Howard Davis, Brad Lynch and Don Sholl (Vice President creative) for the Oral History Program. The materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.8, Oral History Interview Audio Tapes, 1985-1990, include interviews on audiotape the materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.9, Internal Communications, 1993-1999, includes information sent to employees relating to retirements, management changes, awards won by the company, promotions, potential new accounts, free items, grand opening of Ayer Café, donation events, sponsorship programs, holiday schedules, discounts for employees from clients, Ayer joins MacManus Group.

Subseries 19.10, General Materials, 1940; 1970, includes agency directory entry including a list of the employees, 1970s, annual banquet program for the Curfew Club May 22, 1940 a group formed by the Philadelphia employee in 1938. It sponsored numerous sports, social and educational activities. Groups were formed in public speaking, music appreciation and a series of talks on Monday evenings title the modern woman. The front page was a series of talks for general interest. A list of officers, 1991, Twenty five year club membership, 1973 December 1, List of NW Ayer graduates, 1970, List of Officers, 1991 May 31, Obituary for Leo Lionni, 1999 October 17, List of photographers of advertisements, 2001

Series 20, Background and History Information, 1817-1999, undated includes a chronology, 1817-1990, quick reference timeline, 1848-1923, loose pages from a scrapbook containing examples of correspondence, envelopes, advertisements dating from 1875-1878; slogans coined by NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1899-1990, history of management, 1909-1923, articles and photographs about the building and art galleries, 1926-1976, publications about the Philadelphia building, 1929, pamphlet relating to memories of NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1930s-1950s, television history, 1940-1948, Article about the history of the company, 1950 January, pocket guide, 1982, AdWeek reports about standings for advertising agencies, information relating to Human Contact which is NW Ayer's Information relating to Human Contact, undated which is their philosophy on advertising.

Series 21, Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated, consists of print advertisements collected by Ayer from other major advertising companies. The companies include Doyle Dane Bernback, Incorporated, Leo Burnett Company, Grey Advertising Agency, D'Arcy Ad Agency, Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Incorporated and Erwin Wasey Company. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by client and include products from Ralston Purina and Van Camp (Chicken of the Sea), Kellogg, American Export Lines and No Nonsense Fashions.

Series 22, 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1999, undated, includes material given to the Archives Center in 2010. It is organized into seventy one oversized boxes and contains proofsheets of print advertisements for select Ayer clients. These are arranged alphabetically by client name and include substantial quantities of materials from American Telephone &Telegraph (1945-1996), Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (1967-1987), Carrier (1971-1981), Citibank (1973-1991), DeBeers (1940s-1960s and1990s), Electric Companies Advertising Program [ECAP] (1942-1970s), General Motors (1989-1998), J.C. Penney (1983-1986), Newsweek (1966-1975), and Proctor and Gamble (1980s-1890s). There are also numerous other clients represented by smaller quantities of materials.

Subseries 22.1, Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2, Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated, include Cannon towels, Cheny Brothers silks, Cornish & Company organs and pianos, Enterprise Manufacturing Company, 1879 sad iron, an ad from Harper's Weekly 1881 for ladies clothing, Ostermoor & Company mattresses, Pear's soap, Porter's cough balsam, Steinway pianos.

Series 23, Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985, consists of three boxes of printed advertisements for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Some of the same advertisements might also be found in series two, three and four.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twenty-three series.

Series 1: Scrapbooks of Client Print Advertisements, circa 1870-1920

Series 2: Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930

Series 3: Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975

Series 4: 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001

Series 5: Billboards, circa 1952-1956

Series 6: Audiovisual Materials

Series 7: Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated

Series 8: Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989

Series 9: Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987

Subseries 9.1: Printed Advertisements, 1977-1987

Subseries 9.2: Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s

Series 10, Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated

Series 11, Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated

Subseries 11.1, Printed Advertisements, 1915-1987

Subseries 11.2, Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967

Subseries 11.3, Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated

Series 12: Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, undated

Series 13: Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957

Series 14, House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991

Series 15: Scrapbooks, 1872-1959

Series 16: Publications, 1849-2006

Subseries 16.1, House Publications, 1876-1994

Subseries 16.2, Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-1995

Subseries 16.3, General Publications about Advertising, 1922-2006

Subseries 16.4, Publications about other Subjects, 1948-1964

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1, Contracts, 1885-1908, undated

Subseries 17.2, General Client Information, 1911-1999, undated

Subseries 17.3, Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated

Subseries 17.4, Potential Clients, 1993

Subseries 17.5, Financial Records, 1929-1938

Series 18: Legal Records, circa 1911-1984

Subseries 18.1, Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2, Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries18.4, Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5, International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6, Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7, Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8, Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9, Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10, Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11, Property Information, 1921-1948

Subseries 18.12, Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19, Employee Materials, circa 1889-2001

Subseries 19.1, Employee Card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963

Subseries 19.2, Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated

Subseries 19.3, Alumni Publications, circa 1989-1998

Subseries 19.4, Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994

Subseries 19.5, Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975

Subseries 19.6, Recollections, 1954-1984, undated

Subseries 19.7, Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991

Subseries 19.8, Oral History Audiotapes, 1985-1990

Subseries 19.9, Internal Communications, 1993-1999

Subseries 19.10, General Materials, 1940-2001

Series 20, History and Background Information about the Company, 1817-1999, undated

Series 21: Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated

Series 22: 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1990s, undated

Subseries 22.1, Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2, Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated

Series 23, Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in Philadelphia in 1869, NW Ayer & Son is one of the oldest and largest advertising agencies in America. For most of its history, it was the undisputed leader and innovator in the field of advertising. In 1876, NW Ayer & Son pioneered the "open contract", a revolutionary change in the method of billing for advertising which became the industry standard for the next hundred years. NW Ayer pioneered the use of fine art in advertising and established the industry's first art department. It was the first agency to use a full-time copywriter and the first to institute a copy department. The agency relocated to New York City in 1974. During its long history, the agency's clients included many "blue-chip" clients, including American Telephone & Telegraph, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Ford Motor Company, Nabisco, R. J. Reynolds and United Airlines. However, in later years, the Ayer's inherent conservatism left the agency vulnerable to the creative revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the advertising industry restructuring of the 1980s and the economic recession of the early 1990s. The agency was bought out by a Korean investor in 1993. In 1996, NW Ayer merged with another struggling top twenty United States advertising agency, Darcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, under the umbrella of the McManus Group. Ayer continues to operate as a separate, full-service agency.

Through a series of buyouts and mergers, Ayer traces its lineage to the first advertising agency founded in the United States, a Philadelphia agency begun by Volney Palmer in 1841. Palmer began his career in advertising as a newspaper agent, acting as middleman between newspaper publishers and advertisers across the country. By 1849, Palmer had founded his own newspaper, V. B. Palmer's Register and Spirit of the Press, and had developed a complete system of advertising which included securing advertising space and placing ads in scores of commercial, political, religious, scientific and agricultural journals across the country. Palmer went one step further than the "space jobbers" of the day when he began offering "advertisements carefully drawn for those who have not the time to prepare an original copy." Always an enthusiastic promoter of advertising as an incentive to trade and American economic growth, Palmer promised advertisers that "every dollar paid for advertising in country newspapers will pay back twenty-fold" and encouraged skeptical consumers that "he who wishes to buy cheap should buy of those who advertise." When Palmer died in 1863, the agency was bought by his bookkeeper, John Joy, who joined with another Philadelphia advertising agency to form Joy, Coe & Sharpe. That agency was bought out again in 1868 and renamed Coe, Wetherill & Company. In 1877, Coe, Wetherill and Company was bought out by the newly formed NW Ayer & Son.

Francis Wayland Ayer was an ambitious young schoolteacher with an entrepreneurial streak. Having worked for a year soliciting advertisements on a commission basis for the publisher of the National Baptist weekly, Francis Ayer saw the potential to turn a profit as an advertising agent. In 1869, Ayer persuaded his father, Nathan Wheeler Ayer, to join him in business, and with an initial investment of only $250.00, NW Ayer & Son was born. Notwithstanding a smallpox epidemic in Philadelphia in 1871 and the general economic depression of the early 1870s, the agency flourished. The senior Ayer died in 1873, leaving his interest in the agency to his wife, but Francis W. Ayer bought her out, consolidating his interest in the company's management. In 1877, with Coe, Wetherill & Company (the successor to Palmer's 1841 agency) on the verge of bankruptcy and heavily indebted to Ayer for advertising it had placed in Ayer publications, Ayer assumed ownership of that agency. Thus did NW Ayer lay claim to being the oldest advertising agency in the country.

Both Nathan Wheeler and Francis Wayland Ayer began their careers as schoolteachers, and one of their legacies was a commitment to the cause of education: correspondence schools and institutions of higher learning were historically well-represented among Ayer clients. Just after World War I, the agency was heralded as "co-founder of more schools than any citizen of this country" for its conspicuous efforts to advertise private schools. Well into the 1960s, an "Education Department" at Ayer prepared advertisements for over three hundred private schools, camps and colleges, representing almost half the regional and national advertising done for such institutions. In fact, to its clients Ayer presented advertising itself as being akin to a system of education. In 1886, Ayer began promoting the virtues of the Ayer way advertising with the slogan, "Keeping Everlastingly at It Brings Success."

The agency's goals were simple: "to make advertising pay the advertiser, to spend the advertiser's money as though it were our own, to develop, magnify and dignify advertising as a business." Initially, Ayer's fortunes were tied to newspapers, and the agency began to make a name for itself as compiler and publisher of a widely used American Newspaper Annual. During the first years, Ayer's singular goal was "to get business, place it [in newspapers] and get money for it"; after several years as an independent space broker, however, Francis Ayer resolved "not to be an order taker any longer." This decision led NW Ayer and Son to a change in its mode of conducting business which would revolutionize the advertising industry: in 1876, Ayer pioneered the "open contract" with Diggee & Conard, Philadelphia raised growers and agricultural suppliers. Prior to the open contract, NW Ayer & Sons and most agencies operated as "space-jobbers," independent wholesalers of advertising space, in which the opportunities for graft and corrupt practices were virtually unlimited. In contrast, the open contract, wherein the advertiser paid a fixed commission based on the volume of advertising placed, aligned the advertising agent firmly on the side of the advertiser and gave advertisers access to the actual rates charged by newspapers and religious journals. The open contract with a fixed commission has been hailed by advertising pioneer Albert Lasker as one of the "three great landmarks in advertising history." (The other two were Lasker's own development of "reason-why" advertising copy and J. Walter Thompson's pioneering of sex appeal in an advertisement for Woodbury's soap.) Although the transition to the open contract did not happen overnight, by 1884, nearly three-quarters of Ayer's advertising billings were on an open contract basis. Since Ayer was, by the 1890s, the largest agency in America, the switch to direct payment by advertisers had a significant impact on the advertising industry, as other agencies were forced to respond to Ayer's higher standard. Just as important, the open contract helped to establish N W Ayer's long-standing reputation for "clean ethics and fair dealing" -- a reputation the agency has guarded jealously for over a century. The open contract also helped to establish Ayer as a full service advertising agency and to regularize the production of advertising in-house. From that point forward, Ayer routinely offered advice and service beyond the mere placement of advertisements. Ayer set another milestone for the industry in 1888, when Jarvis Wood was hired as the industry's first full-time copywriter. Wood was joined by a second full time copywriter four years later, and the Copy Department was formally established in 1900. The industry's first Art Department grew out of the Copy Department when Ayer hired its first commercial artist to assist with copy preparation in 1898; twelve years later Ayer became the first agency to offer the services of a full time art director, whose sole responsibility was the design and illustration of ads.

Ayer's leadership in the use of fine art in advertising has roots in this period, but achieved its highest expression under the guidance of legendary art director Charles Coiner. Coiner joined Ayer in 1924, after graduating from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Despite early resistance from some clients, Coiner was adamant that "the use of outstanding palette and original art forms bring a greater return in readership, in impact and prestige for the advertiser." To this end, Coiner marshaled the talents of notable painters, illustrators and photographers, including N.C. Wyeth and Rockwell Kent (Steinway), Georgia O'Keefe (Dole), Leo Lionni (DuPont), Edward Steichen (Steinway, Cannon Mills), Charles Sheeler (Ford), and Irving Penn (DeBeers). Coiner believed that there was a practical side to the use of fine art in advertising, and his success (and Ayer's) lay in the marriage of research and copywriting with fine art, an arrangement Coiner termed "art for business sake." Coiner's efforts won both awards and attention for a series completed in the 1950s for the Container Corporation of America. Titled "Great Ideas of Western Man" the campaign featured abstract and modern paintings and sculpture by leading U.S. and foreign artists, linked with Western philosophical writings in an early example of advertising designed primarily to bolster corporate image. In 1994, Charles Coiner was posthumously named to the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Fame, the first full time art director ever chosen for that honor.

Coiner and fellow art director Paul Darrow also created legendary advertising with the "A Diamond Is Forever" campaign for DeBeers; ads featured the work of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and other modernist painters. The "A Diamond is Forever" tagline was written in 1949 by Frances Gerety, a woman copywriter at Ayer from 1943 to 1970. In 1999, Ad Age magazine cited "A Diamond is Forever" as the most memorable advertising slogan of the twentieth century.

Coiner also earned respect for his volunteer government service during World War II; he designed the armbands for civil defense volunteers and logos for the National Recovery Administration and Community Chest. As a founding member of the Advertising Council in 1945, Ayer has had a long-standing commitment to public service advertising. In the mid-1980s, Ayer became a leading force in the Reagan-era "War on Drugs". Lou Hagopian, Ayer's sixth CEO, brokered the establishment of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a media coalition which generated as much as a million dollars a day in donated advertising space and time to prevent the use and abuse of illegal drugs. Famous names appear among NW Ayer's clientele from the very earliest days of the agency. Retailer John Wanamaker, Jay Cooke and Company, and Montgomery Ward's mail-order business were among the first Ayer clients. The agency has represented at least twenty automobile manufacturers, including Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Plymouth, and Rolls-Royce. Other major, long-term clients through the years have included American Telephone & Telegraph, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Kellogg's, R. J. Reynolds, Steinway and Sons, United Airlines, and the United States Army. By the time of Ayer's hundredth anniversary in 1969, some of these companies had been Ayer clients for decades if not generations, and the longevity of those relationships was for many years a source of Ayer's strength.

But the advertising industry began to change in the late 1960s and 1970s, due in part to a "creative revolution." Small advertising agencies won attention with provocative copywriting and art direction that more closely resembled art than advertising. Advances in market research allowed clients to more narrowly tailor their advertising messages to distinct groups of consumers, and this led to a rise in targeted marketing which could more readily be doled out to specialized small agencies than to larger, established firms like NW Ayer & Son. The civil rights and anti-war movements also contributed to increasing public skepticism with the values of corporate America, and by extension, with some national advertising campaigns. Older, more conservative firms like Ayer were hard pressed to meet these new challenges.

About 1970, in an effort to meet these challenges and to establish a foothold on the West Coast, Ayer bought out two smaller agencies--Hixson & Jorgenson (Los Angeles) and Frederick E. Baker (Seattle). The agency relocated from Philadelphia to New York City in 1974 in an attempt both to consolidate operations (Ayer had operated a New York office since the 1920s) and to be closer to the historic center of the advertising industry. Riding the wave of mergers that characterized the advertising industry in the late 1980s and 1990s, Ayer continued to grow through the acquisition of Cunningham & Walsh in 1986 and Rink Wells in 19xx.

During this transitional period, Ayer received widespread acclaim for its work for the United States Army, which included the widely recognized slogan "Be All You Can Be". Ayer first acquired the Army recruitment account in 1967 and with help from its direct marketing arm, the agency was widely credited with helping the Army reach its recruitment goals despite an unpopular war and plummeting enlistments after the elimination of the draft in 1973. Ayer held the account for two decades, from the Vietnam War through the Cold War, but lost the account in 1986 amid government charges that an Ayer employee assigned to the account accepted kickbacks from a New York film production house. Despite Ayer's position as the country's 18th largest agency (with billings of $880 million in 1985), the loss of the agency's second largest account hit hard.

NW Ayer made up for the loss of the $100 million dollar a year Army account and made headlines for being on the winning end of the largest account switch in advertising history to date, when fast food giant Burger King moved its $200 million dollar advertising account from arch-rival J. Walter Thompson in 1987. Burger King must have had drive-thru service in mind, however, and Ayer made headlines again when it lost the account just eighteen months later in another record-breaking account switch. Another devastating blow to the agency was the loss of its lead position on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Ayer pioneered telecommunications advertising in 1908, when the agency was selected to craft advertising for the Bell System's universal telephone service. Despite valiant efforts to keep an account the agency had held for most of the twentieth century, and for which they had written such memorable corporate slogans as American Telephone &Telegraph "The Voice with a Smile" and "Reach Out and Touch Someone", the agency lost the account in 1996.

After a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the late 1980s, the economic recession of the early 1990s hit Madison Avenue hard, and Ayer was particularly vulnerable. Despite the agency's long history and roster of "blue-chip" clients, Ayer was not known for cutting-edge creative work. Moreover, though the agency had offices overseas, Ayer had never built a strong multinational presence, and many of the smaller international offices were sold during the financial turmoil of the 1980s. This left a real void in the new climate of global marketplace consolidation. By about 1990, earnings were declining (although Ayer was still among the top twenty United States agencies in billings), and the agency was suffering from client defections, high management turnover, expensive real estate commitments and deferred executive compensation deals, all fallout of the high-flying 1980s. This was the atmosphere in 1993, when W.Y. Choi, a Korean investor who had already assembled a media and marketing empire in his homeland, began looking for an American partner to form an international advertising network. Jerry Siano, the former creative director who had recently been named Ayer's seventh CEO, was in no position to refuse Choi's offer of $35 million to buy the now floundering agency. The infusion of cash was no magic bullet, however. Choi took a wait-and-see approach, allowing his partner Richard Humphreys to make key decisions about Ayer's future, including the purging of senior executives and the installation of two new CEOs in as many years.

The agency's downward trend continued with the loss of another longtime client, the DeBeers diamond cartel in 1995. Adweek reported that Ayer's billings fell from $892 million in 1990 to less than $850 million in 1995. Several top executives defected abruptly, and the agency failed to attract major new accounts. Ayer was facing the loss not merely of revenue and personnel, but the loss of much of the respect it once commanded. Ayer remained among the twenty largest U.S. agencies, but an aura of uncertainty hung over the agency like a cloud. A new CEO was appointed, and Mary Lou Quinlan became the agency's first woman CEO in 1995. A year later, Ayer and another struggling top twenty agency, D'arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, combined as part of the McManus Group of companies. In 1998, the McManus Group had worldwide billings of more than $6.5 billion.

Under the McManus Group, Ayer was able to expand its international operations and begin to rebuild a stronger global presence. Several important new clients were won in 1997 and 1998, including Avon, General Motors, Kitchenaid, several Procter & Gamble brands and, most notably, Continental Airlines worldwide accounts. Born in the nineteenth century, Ayer may be one of a very few advertising agencies to successfully weather the economic and cultural transitions of both the twentieth and twentieth first centuries. Ayer was eventually acquired by the Publicis Groupe based in Paris, France which closed down the N.W. Ayer offices in 2002.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)

Hills Bros. Coffee Incorporated Records (AC0395)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by N W Ayer ABH International, April 15, 1975 and by Ayer & Partners, October 30, 1996.
This collection was donated by Jane Doe's widower, John Doe, 1919; additional materials donated by Jane Doe's children, 1936.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Technical Access: Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to audio discs requires special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Topic:
Advertising agencies  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 1840-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Oral history -- 1980-1990
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks -- 1840-1990
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Citation:
NW Ayer & Sons, incorporated Advertising Agency Records, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0059
See more items in:
N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0059
Additional Online Media:

Hurry up, Mother! Here come the elephants! [color advertisement; tear sheet]

Advertiser:
General Electric Company  Search this
Collection Creator:
Ayer (N W) Incorporated.  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 13.8" x 11.0".)
Container:
Box 241, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Date:
Circa 1950
Scope and Contents:
Young girl pointing to clown and elephant on television.
Local Numbers:
AC0059-0000001 (AC Scan)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Technical Access: Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to audio discs requires special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Topic:
Television advertising  Search this
Clowns  Search this
Elephants  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Tear sheets -- 1940-1970
Advertisements -- 1950-1960
Collection Citation:
NW Ayer & Sons, incorporated Advertising Agency Records, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0059-ref8415

Nike Advertising Oral History and Documentation Collection

Interviewer:
Center for Advertising History, Archives Center  Search this
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Creator:
Nike, Inc.  Search this
Names:
Adidas  Search this
Asics  Search this
Nike, Inc.  Search this
Wieden & Kennedy  Search this
Interviewee:
Onitsuka  Search this
Bedbury, Scott  Search this
Bowerman, William  Search this
Brown, John A.  Search this
Champ, Janet  Search this
Clarke, Tom  Search this
Clow, Lee  Search this
Conlon, Jerry  Search this
Davenport, Bill  Search this
Dolan, Liz  Search this
Donohue, Richard  Search this
Farris, Nelson  Search this
Hale, Cindy  Search this
Hoffman, Susan  Search this
Jackson, Bo  Search this
Jaqua, John  Search this
Johnson, Jeff  Search this
Kitami, Shoji  Search this
Knight, Phillip  Search this
McConnell, Pam  Search this
Moore, Charlotte  Search this
Moore, Kenny  Search this
Moore, Peter  Search this
Onitsuka, Kimachiro  Search this
Parker, Mark  Search this
Riswold, Jim  Search this
Robinson, Charles  Search this
Sakaguchi, Tokio  Search this
Stobie, Patsy Mest  Search this
Strasser, Robert (marketing executive)  Search this
Thomashow, Mark  Search this
Wieden, Dan  Search this
Extent:
12 Cubic feet (25 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Oral history
Videotapes
Tear sheets
Clippings
Audiotapes
Fliers (printed matter)
Advertising fliers
Commercials
Interviews
Place:
Beaverton (Or.)
Portland (Oregon)
Date:
1958 - 1992
Summary:
The Nike Advertising Oral History and Documentation Collection is the result of a two-year study of advertising of Nike athletic shoes. The effort was supported in part by a grant from Nike, Inc. Thirty-one oral history interviews were conducted with advertising, marketing and product development executives at Asics, Nike, John Brown & Co., Chiat/Day/Mojo and Wieden & Kennedy. A variety of related materials were gathered by the Center for Advertising History staff. The objective of the project was to create a collection that documents, in print and electronic media, the history and development of the company and its advertising campaigns.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of thirty-one oral history interviews conducted by historian Scott Ellsworth with advertising, marketing and product development executives at Asics, Nike, John Brown & Co., Chiat/Day/Mojo and Wieden & Kennedy and related materials collected by the Center for Advertising History staff. There are audiocassettes (original and reference), 1/4" open reel audiotape (master), 3/4" videotapes, and VHS videotapes.
Arrangement:
The collection is rganized into seven series.

Series 1, Research Files, 1979-1992

Subseries 1.1, Materials Compiled by the Center for Advertising History, 1979-1992

Subseries 1.2, Material Compiled by Nike, 1982-1992

Series 2, Interviewee Files, 1990-1992

Series 3, Oral History Interviews, 1990-1992

Subseries 3.1, Original Audiotapes (audio cassette), 1990-1992

Subseries 3.2, Researcher copies (audio cassette), 1990-1992

Subseries 3.3, Preservation masters (1/4 inch audiotape), 1990-1992

Series 4, Television Commercials, 1977-1990 and undated

Subseries 4.1, Master Copies, 1977-1990 and undated

Subseries 4.2, Researcher copies, 1977-1990 and undated

Series 5, Print Advertisements, 1985-1993

Subseries 5.1, Ad Slicks, 1985-1993

Subseries 5.2, Slides, 1989 and undated

Series 6, Trade Catalogues and Photographs, 1958-1982

Series 7, Administrative Files, 1982-1990
Biographical / Historical:
The Nike Advertising Oral History and Documentation Collection is the result of a two-year study of advertising of Nike athletic shoes. The effort was supported in part by a grant from Nike, Inc. Thirty-one oral history interviews were conducted with advertising, marketing and product development executives at Asics, Nike, John Brown & Co., Chiat/Day/Mojo and Wieden & Kennedy. A variety of related materials were gathered by the Center for Advertising History staff. The objective of the project was to create a collection that documents, in print and electronic media, the history and development of the company and its advertising campaigns.

The consistently high quality of this advertising, its award-winning artistic and creative innovations, and its contribution to the fitness movement in America combine to make this a significant chapter in the history of contemporary American advertising.

One aim of the project was to record the process of decision-making in the creation of successful ad campaigns, a process not often documented in the surviving records. Topics addressed in the oral history interviews include the origins of Nike and Nike advertising, the relationship between corporate culture and advertising, the place of advertising in overall marketing strategy, the development of brand image and identity, the nature of the creative process in producing effective advertising images, the use of athletes as endorsers, and Nikes'simpact on the popular culture. Well-known campaigns are examined in depth, including Nikes's, use of the Beatles tune "Revolution", the "I Love L.A Spots" produced in conjunction with the 1984 Olympics, the controversial billboards campaign, the award-winning "Bo Knows" spots, and a series of commercials directed by African-American filmmaker Spike Lee. The collection is also a rich source of visual imagery for researchers interested in the portrayal of athletes, women and African-Americans.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Alka-Seltzer Documentation and Oral History Collection, 1953-1986 (AC0184)

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, 1849-1851, 1869-1996 (AC0059)

Campbell Soup Advertising Oral History and Documentation Project, 1904-1989 (AC0367)

Cover Girl Make-Up Advertising Oral History and Documentation Project, 1959-1990 (AC04374)

Federal Express Oral History and Documentation Project Collection, 1972-1987 (AC0306)

Caroline R. Jones Collection, circa 1942-1996 (AC0552)

Marlboro Oral History and Documentation Project, circa 1926-1986 (AC0198)

Pepsi Generation Oral History and Documentation Collection, 1938-1986 (AC0092)

Rob and Julie Strasser Collection, 1970-1990 (AC0525)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Nike, Inc. in 1991 and 1992.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
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:
Women in the advertising industry  Search this
Sports for women  Search this
Sports  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Signs and signboards -- 1970-2000  Search this
Slogans  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Music in advertising  Search this
Commercial art  Search this
Endorsements in advertising  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Business -- History  Search this
Basketball  Search this
advertising -- History  Search this
Track and field  Search this
Copy writers  Search this
Athletes  Search this
Shoes -- 1970-2000  Search this
Motion picture producers and directors  Search this
African American athletes  Search this
Running -- 1970-2000  Search this
Running shoes -- 1970-2000  Search this
Athletic shoes -- 1970-2000  Search this
Shoe industry -- 1970-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history
Videotapes
Tear sheets
Clippings
Audiotapes
Fliers (printed matter)
Advertising fliers
Commercials
Interviews -- 1970-1990
Citation:
Nike Advertising Oral History and Documentation Collection, 1958-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0448
See more items in:
Nike Advertising Oral History and Documentation Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0448
Additional Online Media:

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