History of Advertising in the 1800s or 19th Century Part 2

About the history of advertising in the 1800s or 19th century, use of ads and ad agencies, biography of Thomas Lipton, reform in ads.

ADVERTISING IN THE 1800S

Another advertising visionary was Thomas Lipton, a Scotch-Irishman who pioneered all kinds of inventive promotional tricks. According to James Wood's Story of Advertising: "He issued thousands of Lipton one-pound notes. They were facsimiles of those issued by Scottish banks but read across the face, '... Promise to pay on demand at any establishment for 15 shillings, ham, butter, and eggs as offered else-where for One Pound Sterling.' The notes were at least a sensation. Many were redeemed at Lipton shops. More got into general circulation and were used as currency, to pay debts, or thriftily deposited in collection plates at church. Lipton fitted concave and convex mirrors in each of his shops. The one marked 'Going to Lipton's' showed people elongated and miserable; the other, marked 'Coming from Lipton's,' showed them fat and happy. He hired balloons to drop advertising telegrams. He recruited an army of 200 men, dressed them as Chinese, marched them between sandwich boards extolling his tea (Lipton's Tea). Like Barnum, he imported his own Jumbo. This Jumbo was a huge cheese he had made and shipped from Whiteborough, N.Y. For weeks in advance, Lipton advertised that it was being made, that it had been shipped, that it was on the high seas, that it had taken all the milk of 800 cows for 6 days to make it. Crowds greeted Jumbo at the docks. Gold sovereigns were hidden in the cheese. Police were called out to protect the huge crowds that swarmed on Christmas Eve when the cheese was to be cut...."

A soap manufacturer, Pears, hired a famous and beautiful actress, Lily Langtry, to do a testimonial, "Since using Pears Soap, I have discarded all others." This is believed to have been the 1st such endorsement on a large scale. Pears also paid a large sum of money for a painting by artist John Millais, and started the trend of using fine art to sell products.

Ad agencies and ad agents proliferated in the 1890s. J. Walter Thompson, founder of what is now the biggest agency in America, said, "No one will ever make as much money out of advertising as I have." Independent writers or groups of writers prepared ad copy for manufacturers, and the agencies "placed" the ads. When Ayer handled the Uneeda Biscuit campaigns for the National Biscuit Company, the 1st full-service-agency approach was born. The agency took care of all aspects of the manufacturer's advertising needs from copywriting through merchandising coordination. By 1900, there were 20-25 agencies, mostly in New York.

Reform struck advertising: In 1892, Cyrus Curtis announced that the Ladies' Home Journal would take no patent medicine ads. The bogus potions were costing Americans millions of dollars per year, and were coming under heavy attack by commentators and consumers.

The Duryea automobile was advertised November, 1895. This is considered the 1st complete car ad.

Competitive advertising was stepped up with the introduction of the bicycle into American culture. Between 1890 and 1896, Americans spent $100 million for bicycles, produced by some 100 manufacturers. Brand name differentiation became of prime importance.

Ads for pills were projected on Nelson's Column in London by a magic lantern device in 1894.

In 1898, Sears (later of Sears, Roebuck and Co.) spent half of his operating expenses on advertising.

Ads for and by "young masseuses" were commonplace in newspapers of this period.

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