So what do the textual-visual advertisements in this exhibition tell us about Madison County history? We’d love to hear what you think.
In the early twentieth century, some print advertising sought to create a receptive mood in the buyer. That strategy is alive and well today, but television/video does it more efficiently. Other ham-handed techniques used during the same period—“We Want Your Business,” a giant catsup bottle—seem unsophisticated today.
But the informative ad, later morphing into the “reason-why” proposition, persisted from the early 1800s through to the more recent textual-visual advertisements in the exhibition. As a society we expect textual communication to be rational, and in the end advertising seeks to meet rather than challenge our expectations.
Sources consulted for this exhibition:
Beard, Fred. “One Hundred Years of Humor in American Advertising.” Journal of Macromarketing 25, no. 1 (June 2005). doi:10.1177/0276146705274965.
Niedringhaus, Lee I. National Enameling & Stamping Company: The Early Years 1899-1928. New York: Lee I Niedringhaus, 2005. Available at the Madison County Archival Library.
O’Barr, William M. “A Brief History of Advertising in America.” Advertising & Society Review 6, no. 3 (2005) doi:10.1353/asr.2006.0006.
O’Barr, William M. “What Is Advertising?” Advertising & Society Review 6, no. 3 (2005) doi:10.1353/asr.2006.0005.
Schlueter, Roger. “Answer Man: Stag beer once flowed out of St. Louis, too.” Belleville News-Democrat, February 19, 2015. https://www.bnd.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/answer-man/article17737541.html
Schwarzkopf, Stevan. “What Was Advertising? The Invention, Rise, Demise, and Disappearance of Advertising Concepts in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Europe and America.” Business and Economic History On-Line 7 (2009).
Sell & Spin: A History of Advertising. Aired October 15, 1999. https://youtu.be/jAqM6sOQ3Yo
Sivulka, Juliann. Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising. 2nd ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011.