Hands on History – It Pays To Advertise

Join us on  Saturday 15th October  when you can get hands on with objects from the Museum collections which follow the theme of product advertising.

We will go back in time to compare and establish the development of advertising over previous decades and see how much the advertising world has changed. From black and white to colour, from reading all about it to seeing all about it on the television screen, we will have on display a variety of products, packing samples and advertisements that you may recognise, even today, including Gillette, Horlicks, Mcdonald’s & OXO.

Below is an example of  two wartime advertisements  promoting two different brands through text and illustration.

Both advertisements were published on Thursday March 15th 1945, a few months prior to the end of the Second World War and in the newspaper that claimed to be ‘The advertising media that gets results’, the Midland Daily Tribune.


Gillette in Battledress implies that even everyday toiletries had a part to play in aiding the armed forces! Here the Royal Navy is associated with the brand.  Gillette has been associated with soldiers since the First World War when they produced razors for soldiers to carry in their kits.


Horlicks was also an important product carried by soldiers at home and on the front lines during the First and Second World Wars due to its high calorie count and its non-perishing packaging. The phrase ‘When Horlicks is scarce, don’t forget that many have special need of it’ implies both its popularity and its significance during wartime, contributing to the recovery of wounded soldiers as well as sustaining those working in heavy industry.

Both prints present an emotional and patriotic perspective in advertising and the ability for advertisements to link with wider events.

We look forward to seeing you in the Picture Gallery on Saturday between 11 am – 4pm, and finding out what advertisements you remember and if they had an influence on the items you bought.


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