Advertising Week Europe

Advertising Week Europe 2017 Official Guide

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 231 of 299

PERSPECTIVE IPA Centenary Celebration: 100 Years Of Advertising It started with soapy competition. Rival companies Pears and Sunlight Soap battled it out to make a name for their brands and in the process pioneered some methods that we still rely on. Pears Managing Director Thomas J. Barratt, known as the father of modern advertis- ing, adroitly used a painting by Millais called Bubbles to promote his brand; sent children whose births were announced in The Times free bars of soap; and persuaded health professionals and celebrities to endorse his products. While in the vanguard at the time, the use of cultural icons, sampling, and celebrity endorsements are all tactics that remain popular in the industry even today. Brands, as we now know them, first emerged during this time, which led to a boom in advertising. Large, hand-painted murals sprang up on walls in towns and cities across the UK, promoting everything from tobacco and beer to laxative "Bile Beans." Murals were gradually replaced by the new phenomenon of billboards, the start of today's out-of-home (OOH) business. Advertising on the nascent media of cinema, radio, and television began to captivate the pub- lic's attention. As outlandish advertising claims of what prod- ucts could cure proliferated, a group of reputable marketers banded together, form- ing the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising—ini- tially called the Association of British Advertising Agents—in order to distance its profes- sional members from "disrepu- table" outfits. A notorious advert in the late 19th century for a "car- bolic smoke ball" that fraudulently promised to cure influenza also led to a clampdown on advertising claims. "Legislative steps were then taken to ensure advertising wasn't being com- pletely dishonest in its presentation," says Paul Bainsfair, Director General of the IPA. Patriotism was all the rage as IPA members were enlisted by the British govern- ment to aid the war effort, which in turn helped to up their profes- sional credentials. Rudimentary posters from the time morphed from campaigns such as Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War, pointing at the viewer over the caption "Join Your Country's Army", to more sophisticated images that pro- moted the National Service Women's Land Army with the words "God Speed the Plough and the Woman Who Drives It." It was a staid precursor to today's wild post- ings. With the war effort in full swing, the government spent heavily on campaigns domi- nated by patriotic language and symbols designed to boost the country's morale. Posters encour- aged the public to "walk more, eat less, save more, spend less, and say nothing," according to the IPA. As the golden age of television dawned and the constraints of wartime propa- ganda faded, the industry flour- ished. The first TV commercial in the U.K.—a 30-second black-and-white spot—aired in September 1955 on ITV, promoting Gibbs S.R. tooth- paste, which was "tingling fresh" and "does your gums good too". Created by Brian Palmer of Young & Rubicam, the ad was watched in an estimated 105,000 homes. Pre–World War I 1917 World War I Interwar Period World War II 1950s

Articles in this issue

view archives of Advertising Week Europe - Advertising Week Europe 2017 Official Guide