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Brief History of World War Two Advertising Campaigns

Even before the United States officially entered what would become the bloodiest war of all time, it had already undertaken the largest, broadest, and most ambitious advertising campaign ever. Charged with the task of selling wartime government programs and war bonds to the American public, the War Advertising Council and the War Finance Committee sought to promote voluntary compliance with bond buying quotas and rationing programs while at the same time contributing to the home-front morale. The work of these organizations produced "the greatest volume of advertising and publicity ever given to any product or agency" in the history of America.

Six major campaigns in support of the war effort are outlined below. A Timeline of advertising and military campaigns is also available.

Anti-Inflation | Awards | Conservation | Post-War | V-Mail | War Bonds (Loans)

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All World War Two research and text by Catherine Saleeby


Blum, John M. V Was For Victory. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.

Katona, George. War Without Inflation: The Psychological Approach to Problems of War Economy. New York: Columbia University Press, 1942.

Merton, Robert K. Mass Persuasion: The Social Psychology of a War Bond Drive. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946.

Morse, Jarvis M. Paying For a World War: The United States Financing of World War II. Washington: U.S. Savings Bonds Division?, 1971.

Samuel, Lawrence R. Pledging Allegiance: American Identity and the Bond Drive of World War II. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.

Ward, Barbara, ed. Produce and Conserve, Share and Play Square. Portsmouth, NH: Strawbery Banke Museum, 1994.

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