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Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University
Updated: 2 min 54 sec ago

Swag Comes to the Hartman Center

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 13:00

Anyone who’s ever been to a doctor’s office or clinic has encountered a vast array of items: calendars, pens, coffee mugs, Post-Its, paperweights, tent signs and other items promoting some brand of medicine. This kind of material is routinely distributed along with free samples by traveling route salespersons and representatives for pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers and laboratory service providers; doctors and health professionals also encounter a regular stream of this kind of stuff at conferences, meetings and trade shows—as do professionals in a number of other occupations. Swag constitutes an important form of direct marketing but its ubiquity means that it is frequently taken for granted, willfully ignored and drifts into a kind of background invisibility.

One of the most eclectic collections to come to the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History was donated by the family of Albert Cornell, MD, former head of the gastrointestinal clinic at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Nearly 90 years of medical promotional materials are included beginning in the early 20th century, everything from note pads to mugs, beakers, pamphlets, even three-dimensional models of the colon, and personal items including keychains, golf balls, nail files, pins, and a tie clasp featuring the gastrointestinal tract in miniature.

Men’s and women’s health are covered, such as peptic ulcers, STDs, reproductive wellness and diabetes. Companies like Kellogg’s and Knox produced cookbooks for weight loss, convalescent care and diabetic patients. Pharmaceutical companies promoted new ulcer medications and delivery systems. Other companies advertised clinical equipment, food supplements, even orthopedic shoes for children. Professional organizations like the AMA and the American Dental Association published pamphlets on their organizations, or current health campaigns. In all the Collection of Albert Cornell MD highlights an important niche in both pharmaceutical and health care advertising as well as in health-related direct marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post contributed by Richard Collier, Technical Services Archivist for the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History

Mad Men Mondays Tuesdays: Episode 7, “Waterloo”

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:50

Mad Men‘s  midseason finale juxtaposes the U.S. space program and Napoleon as twin parables on the successes and failures of grand vision and ambition. The Apollo 11 launch and landing on the moon in July 1969 provides a running theme through the episode, and creates a poignant contrast between everyday life and a preoccupation with events 100,000 miles out in space.

The episode opens with Bert Cooper trying to watch the Apollo liftoff and yelling at the maid to turn off the vacuum cleaner. Meanwhile in California, Ted Chaough’s existential crisis while flying over Claremont terrifies the Sunkist representatives; in a later phone call he tells Jim Cutler that he wants to leave advertising altogether. Lou Avery complains to Jim Cutler that Don’s appearance in the Philip Morris client meeting cost them the Commander business to Leo Burnett. Betty entertains house guests that include surly teenager Sean and his nerdy younger brother Neil. Harry’s partnership in the firm is still under consideration, not finalized, and serves as a nodal point in a power struggle between Jim Cutler and Roger Sterling. The creative team preps for their presentation to Burger Chef in Indianapolis, while Pete worries that “now we just have to pray everything goes smoothly on the moon.”

Elsewhere at the agency, SC&P staff members speculate on the consistency of the moon’s surface while Don receives a breach of contract letter from the agency attorney. It turns out that Jim Cutler had initiated the letter in an attempt to force Don out, a move that enrages some of the other partners who hadn’t been notified before their names were placed on the letter. Don calls for a vote on his status, which is affirmed with only Joan and Jim voting to remove him. Joan, bitter that Don’s actions have cost her money, nonetheless criticizes Jim for his tactics: “You shouldn’t have done that.” Don phones Megan to tell her about the tensions at the agency, but when he suggests to her that it may be an opportunity to start over on the west coast, Megan hesitates before breaking things off with Don.

On Sunday all eyes are watching the lunar landing on television; most are amazed but surly Sean complains about the cost of the space race. When Sally repeats this to Don over the phone, he tells her “Don’t be so cynical.” Bert Cooper says a quiet “Bravo.” Shortly after, Roger receives a call that Bert has died, and goes to the office to remove Bert’s name plate from his door. He meets Joan and Jim Cutler there. Jim uses Bert’s death to suggest an opportunity to get rid of Don, to which Roger objects. Roger informs Don of Bert’s passing, and Don goes to Peggy’s hotel room to tell her to do the Burger Chef presentation herself. Roger meets with an associate at McCann Erickson who wants the Chevy team for the Buick account, but Roger suggests that McCann buy a stake in SC&P. McCann is interested only if Roger can keep the creative team of Don and Ted together.

The Burger Chef management is wowed by Peggy’s presentation, where she used the lunar landing event as a symbol of people’s hunger for connection and turned it into an analogy for the kinds of connections often missed at family dinners mediated by ever-present television. Burger Chef, she argues, offers a place to re-connect families. Her presentation ultimately wins the account. When Don returns home from Indianapolis, Roger is waiting for him and tells him of the McCann offer. Roger says it’s the only way to save the agency, as he fears Jim won’t stop until he gets rid of everyone. The next day Roger calls a partners’ meeting to announce the McCann offer; Don talks Ted into staying on and the partners’ unanimously agree to the buyout—including Jim Cutler who sees he has been outmaneuvered by Roger. On his way back to his office, Don sees the ghost of Bert Cooper, singing “The Best Things in Life Are Free.”

Last night’s episode featured references to the space mission, Napoleon, Newport, Popsicle, electric percolators and The Wild Bunch, among other things. Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.

A gallery of our selected images may also be found on Flickr.

Mad Men Mondays: Episode 6, “The Strategy”

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 17:51

After weeks of angst and anxiety, Mad Men showed viewers a happier Don Draper and Peggy Olsen last night. They are finally back in sync and working well together. Peggy and Mathis survey mothers at a Burger Chef restaurant about their reasons for buying family dinners there. Pete and Bonnie fly to New York together. Peggy presents a seemingly successful Burger Chef pitch to Lou and others, but is told that Don should be the one to present it to the client, which angers her.

Megan comes to New York for the weekend and spends time looking for her fondue pot and other items she wants to bring back to Los Angeles, while Don tries to make her nostalgic for her New York home. Bob Benson comes to New York with representatives from Chevy.  He has to bail one of them out of jail and is told that GM will be pulling the Chevy account and giving it to Campbell-Ewald, but that Bob will be offered a job at Buick. Peggy second guesses the Burger Chef pitch and works on it all weekend.

Pete visits his daughter Tammy, who barely recognizes him, and he is angry that Trudy is not around.  He gets drunk and waits for her return, only to be told that he is no longer part of that family and doesn’t get to complain.  Bonnie is angry that Pete doesn’t spend time with her in New York and leaves to go back to Los Angeles.

Don comes in to help Peggy rework the Burger Chef campaign and they manage to have productive and candid conversations.  Their creative compatibility shows through and their conversations inspire a better pitch for Burger Chef. Bob visits with Joan and her family, bearing gifts for everyone.  He proposes to Joan, and tells her that a marriage would be good for both of them. She says no, stating that she will hold out for love. The SC&P partners meet to discuss losing Chevy.  They decide to make Harry Crane a partner, with some dissention from Joan and Roger. Don and Peggy meet Pete at a Burger Chef to sell him on the new pitch.

Last night’s episode featured references to loafers, Buick, Barbie, Fondue pots, among other things.  Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.

A gallery of our selected images may also be found on Flickr.