What brands “grew” from marketing campaigns


120 years ago, on July 1, 1903, the first ever stage of the Tour de France started. The multi-day road cycling race, which later became a prestigious sporting event, was originally conceived to advertise the French newspaper L`Auto. What other brands “grew” from marketing campaigns – in the material “Kommersant”.

Avon cosmetics

The first American cosmetics company was born thanks to the ingenuity of a traveling salesman David McConnell, who at the end of the 19th century sold books housewives on the East Coast of the United States. When the business stopped making money, he decided “bribe” them with free perfume samples own production. Quickly realizing that perfumery interests women much more than books, in 1886 McConnell founded California Perfume, which initially consisted of only five fragrances: lily of the valley, violet, heliotrope, white rose and hyacinth.

However, the success of the company was ensured not so much by a well-chosen profile, but by an innovative method of sales. Housewives themselves acted as agents, distributing products among their acquaintances. By the beginning of the 20th century, California Perfume had acquired its own laboratory and printed catalog, which included a wide range of cosmetics, and its sales network consisted of over 5 thousand sellers. In 1939, the company received the familiar name Avon – in honor of the river on the banks of which stands the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was born and whose work McConnell admired.

Wrigley`s chewing gum

Perhaps chewing gum would never have become an everyday product if not for the marketing talent of the American entrepreneur William Wrigley Jr.. At the end of the 19th century, he began selling soap, offering a jar of baking mix (baking powder) as a bonus. It soon became more popular than the soap itself, and then Wrigley switched to selling the mixture, this time offering chewing gum as a bonus. When buyers began to take baking powder solely for the sake of free gum, the entrepreneur realized that it was time to launch his own brand.

Famous Wrigley`s Spearmint and Juicy Fruit Wrigley introduced in 1893. Four years later, their sales exceeded $1 million, and in 1910 the businessman managed to buy out the production. In 1914, he introduced a third classic flavor, Doublemint. Wrigley’s strategy consisted in massive advertising, which did not stop even in a crisis: chewing gum was promoted in newspapers, magazines, on radio, billboards. In 1915, he staged an unprecedented campaign by sending out three packages of his gum to every resident of the United States whose address was listed in the directory – more than 8.5 million people. As a result, sales increased fivefold in two years.

Michelin guide

IN 1900 brothers André and Edouard Michelin — the founders of the Michelin tire company — released a red-covered tourist guide to France, thus aiming to stimulate travel on cars. Initially, it was free and contained maps, gas station addresses, repair instructions, and other useful information. In 1920, the brothers updated the directory to include a list of Parisian hotels and restaurants, and in 1926 they introduced a rating system, marking the most sophisticated establishments with a star in the form of a flower. Then he began to be sold for seven francs.

As popularity grew, the Michelin brothers hired a team of critics to covertly inspect the establishments and increased the number of stars to three. Since 1936, this system has remained unchanged: one star indicates very good cuisine, two – excellent, for which you can deviate from the route, and three – excellent, which deserves a separate trip. After the war, the guide began to expand its geography: in 1952 it was first published in Spain, in 1956 in Italy, in 1964 in Germany, in 1974 in Great Britain, gradually earned the reputation of the most authoritative restaurant rating in the world.

Tour de France

Another successful advertising stunt came up with the editor of the sports newspaper L`Auto Henri Desgrange and reporter Geou Lefebvre. For publication promotion they organized the “greatest cycling test in the world” – a road race across France. The competition consisted of six stages along the route Paris-Lyon-Marseille-Toulouse-Bordeaux-Nantes-Paris with an average distance of 405 km. Cyclists had to pedal not only during the day, but also at night. However, before each new stage, the organizers provided for several days of rest.

One week before start V 1903 Only 15 people signed up for the race. To attract participants, L`Auto promised to compensate their expenses, and the winner – a prize fund of 20 thousand francs. As a result, 60 athletes came to the start, a third of which were professional racers, and 21 reached the finish line. The Frenchman Maurice Garin became the winner of the first race. The publicity stunt was a huge success: after the race, the circulation of the newspaper grew from 25,000 to 65,000 copies, and in 1908 it exceeded 250,000. Since 1919, the leader of the Tour de France general classification has been wearing a yellow T-shirt – the color of the pages of the newspaper L`Auto .

Miss America Contest

The history of beauty pageants began with an attempt attract tourists in Atlantic City, a resort on the east coast of the United States. IN 1921 an autumn festival was held there, culminating in the “bathers’ festival”. In the hope that vacationers will not miss such a spectacle, the organizers announced the participation of “thousands of the most beautiful girls in the country.” And although there were actually only nine contestants, the event was attended by 100 thousand people. The following year, the pageant became known as Miss America, and in 1923 the number of its spectators exceeded 300,000.

The first Miss, 16-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, won $100 and a mermaid trophy. Then the participants began to receive not only fees, but also lucrative advertising contracts, for example, the winner of 1926, Norma Smallwood, earned $ 100,000 from them. At first, the jury assessed the beauty of the contestants by individual parts of the body, and the greatest interest of the audience was caused by the fashion show in swimsuits. But in 1951, the winner Yolanda Betbese refused to participate in it, after which beachwear manufacturers refused to sponsor the competition, organizing two new ones – Miss USA and Miss Universe.

Hollywood Sign

One of the most famous US landmarks appeared in Los Angeles in 1923 as outdoor advertising of an elite residential area Hollywoodland. The 15-meter inscription was made of wood, and its three parts – Holly, Wood and Land – were alternately illuminated by 4,000 light bulbs. The advertisement was designed for only 18 months, but thanks to the heyday of cinema, the heart of which was in Hollywood, the structure turned into a symbol of the whole industry and remained in place.

However, in 1933, the owners turned off the electricity, and in 1944, the letter H fell under the pressure of the wind. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce first restored the inscription in 1949, dismantling the Land ending and giving it a modern look. But after almost 40 years, the symbol of the “dream factory” again needed repairs: because of the hurricane, the first O partially collapsed and the third completely collapsed. The restoration of the sign was sponsored by rock musician Alice Cooper (O), Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (Y), singer Andy Williams (W) and other celebrities, each of whom donated $ 27.8 thousand. This time the design was made of steel. Since 1978, the trademark has been owned by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Academy Award”

The American Film Academy, which annually presents the main award in the world of cinema, was originally created for completely different purposes. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Head Louis Mayer conceived to bring together industry leaders – producers, director, screenwriters, actors and technical specialists – in elite club, who would take over, on the one hand, union function, resolving disputes of the “inner kitchen”, and on the other – platforms for advertising Hollywood, whose reputation suffered from constant scandals.

For the first time, members of the Academy gathered for a solemn banquet on the occasion of the establishment of the organization in 1927 but the first ceremony of presenting “awards of merit” took place only two years later. The 15 statuettes in the form of a knight standing on a film reel found their owners in just 15 minutes, since the winners of the first prize were announced three months before the event. From the second attempt, the organizers realized that it was more profitable to keep the intrigue. The modern name “Oscar” was received in 1934, and where it came from is not known for certain. “The best way to deal with filmmakers is to hang medals on them,” Mayer explained the meaning of the ceremony.

Soap opera genre

Creative marketing has at times spawned full-fledged artistic movements. The most striking example is the soap opera genre, which appeared largely thanks to the corporation Procter & Gamble (P&G). During the Great Depression, P&G sponsored the production radio show, where various life situations were described in an emotional way. They were designed for housewives who could listen to the radio on the job, and therefore were replete with advertisements for detergents. For this, journalists dubbed them “soapy”.

The first such “opera” was the radio series “Painted Dreams”, which premiered in 1930. The extraordinary plot allowed releasing new and new episodes for 13 years. In 1933, P&G launched Ma Perkins, a radio show about the life of a good-natured widow who owns a lumber yard in the small southern town of Rushville. This series, which ran for 27 years, is considered the standard of the soap opera. P&G became the most prolific sponsor of such broadcasts on radio, reaching 21 by 1939, and in 1950 the corporation went on television with the series The First Hundred Years.

Author-compiler: Anastasia Vinnitskaya

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