Iconic brands of the 20th and 21st centuries

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The 20th century witnessed the phenomenon of brand building on a global scale. Although multiple elements of marketing were used to build and develop brands, the major instrument of the 20th century was the advertising campaign, initially in print but later in broadcast media. Towards the end of the 20th century, however, we see the phenomenon of brands being built to global scale and recognition whose primary instrument of brand building is the internet and its multi media applications.

This gives a selection of some of the more iconic brands of the 20th and early 21st century. It is a representative selection rather than an exhaustive or definitive selection. Understanding the development of these brands, and the campaigns that enabled their development will assist in an understanding of modern marketing and its application. The selection is presented below in various categories:

Automotive and Petroleum Industry

Throughout the 20th century, the automotive industry has been in the vanguard of global brand building. The industry has also been one of the higher spenders on advertising, which has resulted in many memorable brand development and advertising campaigns.

Here are a few successful car brands:



BMW—Bayerische Motoren Werke—is a fine example of a powerful brand whose core value is the driving performance of its range of vehicles. Its enduring brand slogan is aligned, and in tune, with its core value of high performance engineering.

The company that led to the creation of BMW was established as an aircraft engine manufacturer in October 1913 by Karl Rapp in Munich and known as ‘Rapp Motoren Werke’. In 1916, it merged with Gustav Otto's nearby company to form Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke or BFW (Bavarian Aircraft Works). In March 1916 it was then changed to Bayerische Motoren Werke and was taken over by Popp with chief engineer Max Friz. The first engines were used in biplanes and sold to the German government in the last year of the First World War. After the war, with the prohibition on military aircraft as part of the Versailles Treaty, BMW turned to other types of transport engine: tractors, trucks, boats, cars, motorbikes. By the 1930s BMW was established as a car manufacturer. Under Hitler, BMW resumed making aircraft engines, both for civilian and military use. During the Second World War, BMW stepped up its manufacture of fighter aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe and also produced military motorcycles for the Wehrmacht. During the war the company started to manufacture jet engines and rockets for military use. By the end of the war, however, the majority of BMW factories had either been bombed into ruins or dismantled by the Allies and a three-year ban on all military engine production was imposed. BMW in the post-war period was confined to motorcycles, in which it became a world leader. In 1951 the company resumed car production; by 1956, it was manufacturing sports cars in West Germany. The new director, Paul G Hahnemann introduced a marketing strategy to segment the market for BMW products and started to restructure the company around market niches both within Germany and internationally. Under his leadership, BMW undertook a systematic expansion into markets outside Germany—increasing the range of car and motorbike models throughout the 1960s and '70s. BMW gradually started to dominate the market for luxury high performance cars. To reinforce their image, BMW also became a major sponsor of Formula 1 and started to compete which deepened their knowledge of high performance engine design. In the 1980s BMW started to make Formula 1 engines and to sponsor leading racing teams. In 1994, it bought out the Rover group and increased the number of brands under its management, notably the Mini.


BMW's iconic campaign from which its famous strapline emerged started in 1975:

The Ultimate Driving Machine, 1975 (Puris and Ammirati)


The campaign not only helped to define the essence of the BMW brand, but also symbolized an era of conspicuous consumption, particularly in the 1980s. BMW came to be seen as the car brand favoured by thrusting, ambitious, successful young men. The focus was on BMW's engine and handling performance and was unashamedly elitist. The ads targeted the affluent and successful professionals who responded to advertising that tapped into their sense of superiority.

The campaign and slogan that started in the 1970s spanned three decades and lasted until 2010.


The Rolls-Royce car brand (the company also made aircraft engines) is among the most prestigious in the history of the automotive industry. Since 1907, the name of Rolls-Royce has been synonymous with refined and distinctive motor cars that have made it one of the world's most celebrated marques. The famous Rolls-Royce badge has two interlocking letter R's and these simple initials of the founders, Sir Henry Royce and the Hon. Charles Rolls, have acquired significance as an immediately recognized symbol of quality, evoking ideals of precision, integrity, and attention to fine detail. The Spirit of Ecstasy mascot, which has adorned the motor cars since 1911, likewise identifies characteristics of Rolls-Royce with a romantic representation of elegance and craftsmanship.

Engineer Royce had focused his unquenchable enthusiasm to improve the mechanical aspects of automobiles. He had firm views on the need for quality and a Victorian fancy for expressing his aims in stirring phrases. ‘Small things make perfection, but perfection is no small thing,’ declared Mr Royce. ‘Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble,’ he added. And one of his memorable observations was: ‘The quality remains long after the price is forgotten.’ Those seeking to emphasize value over price in their marketing often use this phrase.


As well as numerous appearances in the movies throughout the century, one landmark campaign helped reinforce the luxury marque of Rolls-Royce:

‘At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise…comes from the electric clock’ 1958


Written by David Ogilvie, it epitomized many of Ogilvie's tenets of good advertising copy:

Specificity: Ogilvy's copy gives an actual speed of the car.

Quotation marks: The quotation marks around the Rolls-Royce headline indicate to the reader that this was a remark made by someone authoritative, such as the engineer.

Believability: the image of driving in a car in which the electric clock is actually louder than the engine is believable—it is ‘the loudest noise’—whereas the mind rejects the idea of a moving car making absolutely no noise except for that of the clock.

Emotional: noise is unwanted—but that the loudest noise in the car comes from a ticking electric clock invites the driver to experience a near silent engine and an interior which removes outside noise.

Substantiation: the full copy includes engineering and expert testimonials or quotes and provides 12 bullet points of factual copy—facts proving the extreme quality, engineering, and attention to detail that goes into making a Rolls-Royce and states the actual price of the car. This slogan saw sales of Rolls-Royce cars jump by 50% in the following year.


The development of the Volkswagen brand is intertwined with the history of the 20th century. It is one of the greatest automotive brand successes in history.

The Volkswagen Company was originally operated by the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront), a Nazi organization specifically charged with the organization of the German workforce without trade unions. The legendary German car designer, Ferdinand Porsche, designed the original ‘People's Car’ during Hitler's tenure of power. Nazi propaganda heavily promoted the Volkswagen as a symbol of German technological progress and social community. World War II interrupted production of the Volkswagen and its production was shifted to armaments. Slave labourers, captured from all over Europe, were forced to work at the plant. By 1945, both the Volkswagen factory and its home city of Wolfsburg were in ruins. Volkswagen was seen through its association with the Nazi regime as having a tainted brand and, for some, an unsaleable brand. A series of famously missed opportunities occurred. The British, who administered the northern zone of Germany in the post-war period, refused to transfer the plant to the UK on the grounds it could not be successful again! The British, however, did start up production again at the Volkswagen Werks. The French tried to get the British to sell the equipment to France, but that did not happen. The machinery was also taken as payment in kind for war reparations. The British occupiers looked for a car company to manage the Wolfsburg plant. The Ford Motor Company was contacted, and Henry Ford II assessed the plant. Their opinion was that the Volkswagen was not worth their investment.

Eventually, and despairingly, the plant was turned over to German management under Heinz Nordoff. The Volkswagen Corporation that we know today was born. Exports to most parts of the world grew in strength. In 1955 the company had produced its one millionth car. However, the vast and profitable market of the US remained elusive until the 1950s. The Volkswagen car's unusual rounded appearance, its engine in the rear, together with its historical connections with Nazi Germany, originally proved a disincentive in the US, particularly in the key market of New York.

This changed in 1959, when the New York advertising agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach, began a landmark advertising campaign, dubbing the car ‘the Beetle’ because of its shape and pointing to its small size as an advantage to the consumer. This campaign, which used minimalist techniques (‘Think Small’) against all the accepted wisdom of the time to glamorize, was very successful, and for some years following, the Beetle became the leading automobile import sold in the United States. Its apex was reached when the Beetle became the ‘hero’ of the popular Disney ‘Love Bug’ movie series.

Although the German government had founded the company, in 1960 the state denationalized Volkswagen by selling 60% of its stock to the public. Volkswagen acquired the Audi auto company in 1965. In 1972 Volkswagen broke the world car production record with 15,007,034 units assembled: more Beetle models had been produced than that of the previous record holder—the Ford Motor Company's Model T Ford, between 1908 and 1927.

Volkswagen and its affiliates operated plants throughout most of the world. In addition to cars, the company produced vans and minibuses, automotive parts, and industrial engines. Volkswagen owns several other auto companies, including Audi in Germany and SEAT (Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo) in Spain, and it also makes and markets cars with Fiat of Italy and Skoda of the Czech Republic. The Volkswagen hardly changed from its original design: by 1974 it had fallen out of fashion and, with increasing competition from other compact foreign cars, Volkswagen came near to bankruptcy. This spurred the company to develop newer, sportier car models. After a period of absence from production, in 2000 the legendary Beetle design was revived with a new engine, with great international success. Billboards in New York for the new Beetle cleverly read ‘The World's Cup Is Half Full Again’.

In 1998 Volkswagen was taken over by another iconic brand—Porsche—whose founder had, ironically, been the original designer of the People's Car.

Car Petroleum

Exxon Corp.

Notable campaign

‘Put a Tiger in Your Tank’

Exxon started to use a tiger in various images from the 1950s. Esso first used the tiger in the early days of branded petrol that followed the end of rationing after World War II. The tiger image has adapted over time, to meet the changing times.

In the 1960s, the tiger assumed the aura of a cartoon, contrasting humorously with the fashion at the time for baffling scientific improvements to the performance of petrol. ‘Put a tiger in your tank’ became one of the most famous campaigns in advertising history, complete with merchandised ‘comical’ tiger tail to fix around the petrol cap along with the bumper-sticker proclaiming ‘I've got a tiger in my tank’: 2,500,000 tails were sold.

Esso, the UK brand for Exxon, started to use tiger images in the 1950s, but it was only in the 1960s that it became a craze. A cartoon tiger was used and a whole range of merchandise using the tiger was given away at filling stations. The campaign was also taken to France (‘Mettez un tigre dans votre moteur’) and to Germany (‘Pack den Tiger in den Tank’). In the UK, the campaign then gave way to a real and beautiful tiger, carrying a subtler environmental message.

Cigarette Industry

The discovery of the link between lung cancer and smoking was made in the 1950s. However, it was not until half a century later that the advertising of tobacco-based products was banned in the West. During the 20th century however, the advertising of cigarettes (much of which now seems both risible, and dangerous to public health) was expansive and, given the rising public clamour against the tobacco industry, increasingly creative in its indirect advertising and brand development.

Philip Morris

The Marlboro Country campaign

Come to where the flavour is. Come to Marlboro Country, 1950s


The ‘Marlboro Country’ adverts are among the most successful (and most controversial) sustained ad campaigns of all time. Created by the advertising agency Leo Burnett in 1954, they were originally intended to reposition Marlboro's filter cigarettes as a male cigarette by associating it with rugged, individual cowboys alone in the great American outdoors—as filtered cigarettes were viewed as a woman's cigarette. The ‘Marlboro Man’ and the ‘Marlboro Country’ campaigns ran through four decades and, despite the public outcry against tobacco and the banning of cigarette advertising in the West, sales increased year after year and Marlboro remains in the top ten of most valued brands into the 21st century.

In a sadly macabre counterpoint to this commercially successful advertising campaign, the three men who appeared in Marlboro advertisements—Wayne McLaren, David McLean, and Dick Hammer—all died of lung cancer.

Richard J Reynolds

Camel Cigarettes campaigns

I'd walk a mile for a Camel 1944–69



The Richard J Reynolds company created Camel cigarettes in 1913. The cigarette pack was simple. The front panel showed one single-humped, riderless camel on a desert landscape with two pyramids and three palm trees. The brand's name in silvered blue Arabic style letters appeared across the sky. The name of the camel that modelled for the pack was ‘Old Joe’.

Camel advertisements of the 1920s spoke of the quality and mildness of its tobacco. They showed smokers of good taste and breeding in evening attire, at dinner parties, on ocean liners, and at tennis or polo matches. All were urged to ‘Have a Camel’. In the 1930s the company used advertisements that implied that Camel cigarettes relieved stress and tension. It became a popular belief that cigarettes were ‘good for your nerves’. The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company began to make health claims in their advertisements. They even employed practising doctors to endorse cigarette smoking! Endorsements by athletes stated, ‘They [Camels] Don't Get Your Wind’. The advertisement implied that cigarettes were harmless by stating, ‘So mild…You can smoke all you want’.

In 1942, The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company put up a billboard in New York's Times Square. It became famous overnight. It was two storeys high. The brand name was in giant letters. The slogan read ‘I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel’. The sign remained for twenty-five years and served as the prototype for smaller versions around the country. By 1988, when Camels celebrated their seventy-fifth birthday, and the world was very different and actively hostile to cigarette advertising, the company initiated the company's most effective, and infamous, advertising campaign. The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company turned ‘Old Joe’ (formerly used for French advertising) into a ‘smooth character’. ‘Joe Camel’ was suave, confident, independent, wealthy, and appealing to women. He became the quintessential party animal, in a tuxedo and sunglasses, with a cigarette dangling from his lips, surrounded by women. The company budgeted about $75 m a year to advertise and promote ‘Joe Camel’. They put up a huge illuminated billboard in Times Square a block away from where the first Camel sign was. The company also promoted ‘Joe Camel's’ likeness in a line of merchandise. Anti-smoking advocates saw ‘Joe Camel’ as proof of the tobacco industry's desire to target children. The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company denied the allegations, claiming the campaign was directed at persuading young adults to switch from other brands. In any event, the RJ Reynolds Tobacco company succeeded in gaining younger customers, mainly from the leading Marlboro brand. By 1993 Camels' market share in the 24-and-under sector had risen to 7.9% from 4.4% in 1988. However, the brand's total market share had risen only 1% to just over 4. In 1988, 67.2% of Camel smokers were under 50. By 1992 78.3% were under 50. In 1991 Camel's market share among underage smokers increased from less than 1% to 32.8%. However, its share of the adult market barely budged. In 1989 only 8.1% of adolescents preferred Camels. By 1993 this figure was up to 13.3%.

On May 28, 1997 the Federal Trade Commission charged the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company with illegally targeting minors with its ‘Joe Camel’ advertising campaign. The company denied that it focused on under-age smokers. Despite their reluctance to drop the campaign, RJ Reynolds backed down in the face of overwhelming public dismay and accusations that they were encouraging children to smoke. In 1997, ‘Joe Camel’ died at the age of 23. ‘We must put tobacco ads like ‘Joe Camel’ out of our children's reach forever,’ said President Bill Clinton.


Clothes are more difficult to market as individual items—therefore, clothes brands have tended to take prominence in specific campaigns.

United Colours of Benetton campaign, 1980s

Striking print advertising:






The photographic poster ads depicting the ‘United Colours’ of Benetton by Oliviero Toscani became increasingly shocking as they portrayed Aids victims, the clothes of dead soldiers, new babies soaked in blood from the womb, and black stallions mounting white mares. It is an excellent example of an advertising campaign that builds an image without actually mentioning the core product, which is a range of expensively priced clothing. As it generates controversy, usually through demands to ban the public display of the photographic images, then more people are drawn to the campaign, which then becomes fuelled by word of mouth and unpaid media attention.

Luciano Benetton summarized his views: ‘The purpose of advertising is not to sell more. It's to do with institutional publicity, whose aim is to communicate the company's values.…We need to convey a single strong image, which can be shared anywhere in the world.’ Oliviero Toscani the photographer who created the startling images said: ‘I am not here to sell pullovers, but to promote an image…’ Benetton's advertising draws public attention to universal themes like racial integration, the protection of the environment, and the devastating effect of Aids.

Equipment for the Masses

Mass consumer electronic goods became the symbol of rising affluence in society and economic development for countries in the 20th century. The creation of a mass market for sophisticated electronic products, previously only used by scientific experts, for people of all levels across the world (the majority of whom did not understand, or care, about the underlying technology behind the devices) became one of the more advanced disciplines in brand building and marketing.

Here are some examples of companies who excelled at bringing sophisticated equipment to mass consumers throughout the 20th and 21st centuries:


Apple, created in 1976 in his family garage by Steve Jobs with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne (who sold his share for $800 only 3 months after its inception), is now an iconic, global consumer electronics brand. It has, over the course of its commercial existence, brought intuition and style to product design, which, when combined with its innovative marketing, created a worldwide following of consumer advocates. Apple is a leading example of how a company can also generate an emotional response to what is at its core a sophisticated technical product.

Apple was an early leader in the PC revolution of the early 1980s, and in the early 21st century the company has enjoyed major success with the innovative iPod (combined with the iTunes service), then the multimedia iPhone and, more recently, the iPad. Not only was this a popular product, it also provided a new dynamic of change in the music and mobile phone industries. The ‘i’ range (Mac, pod, tunes, phone, pad) not only enhanced Apple's brand as an innovator in consumer products, it also revolutionized the media distribution and its business model.

Apple's iPod, however, did not begin well: for the first 3 years of its existence the iPod was unsuccessful. The iPod was launched in October 2001, and between 2001 and 2004 iPod sales were between 100–200 thousand units per quarter (today 10–20 million units per quarter are sold). Then, in June–August 2004 something happened, and iPod sales began to grow strongly, quarter after quarter. It was content that made the difference. Apple launched its iTunes store in 2003, offering legal music downloads for 99 cents per song. (iTunes software had already debuted in 2001 as a music storage and organization system for Apple computers.) Apple's entry into digital music sales changed the industry. The iTunes store was significantly easier to use than its competitors' services, with a vastly greater library: in its first week, iTunes sold 1 million songs; within a year, it sold more than 50 million. The iPod + iTunes, the launch pad for Apple's recent success, was a business idea that was not conceived inside Apple but proposed to Apple by an outside source, a music lover and engineer named Tony Fadell.

In June 2007 the iPhone was released to tremendous popular acclaim and in 2010 the iPad.

Historic campaign

‘1984’ (Chiat/Day)


A landmark television ad heralding the high point of the first wave of the PC market, and directed by Ridley Scott, this ad cost $1.6 m to make and was inspired by George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948). The ad, where a young lady silences Big Brother with the aid of a hammer, was only ever shown once, during the US Super Bowl in January 1984, to announce the launch of the Apple Macintosh on 24th January 1984, promising 1984 would not be like 1984. Despite only being shown once, the ad had one of the highest audience recall figures in America.

This ad is often seen to be the beginning of advertising as a major event rather than just a campaign. The ad launched the Apple Macintosh without even showing the product.

The memorable line, ‘Why 1984 won't be like 1984’, was written for an Apple II newspaper ad, then rejected, then recycled by copywriter Steve Hayden and art director Brent Thomas in 1983.

The main purpose of the campaign was to stop customers from buying the IBM PC until there were sufficient quantities of the Apple Macintosh on the shelves. The ad was almost not shown. When Apple initially dragged its feet on approving a 60-second version of ‘1984’ at a pre-screening for their board of directors, one board member called for the agency to be fired. Shortly before the Super Bowl, the company decided to sell off its airtime. However, the valuable time could not be unloaded, and the spot ran. Nearly 20 years later, clients spend millions to advertise during the Super Bowl.

The 1984 advert reappeared nearly 25 years after its original outing as a political parody used by Barack Obama supporters during the primary campaign against Hillary Clinton (‘2008 won't be like 1984’).

Eastman Kodak

With the slogan ‘you press the button, we do the rest’, George Eastman put the first simple camera into the hands of a world of non-specialized consumers in 1888. In so doing, he made a cumbersome and complicated process easy to use and accessible to nearly everyone, opening the door for photography for the masses. Eastman's goal was to make photography ‘as convenient as the pencil’. The name ‘Kodak’ itself has no meaning. It was Eastman himself who created the brand name and he explained it thus: ‘First. It is short. Second. It is not capable of mispronunciation. Third. It does not resemble anything in the art and cannot be associated with anything in the art except the Kodak.’ Eastman built his Kodak business on four basic principles:

• mass production at low cost;

• international distribution;

• extensive advertising;

• a focus on the customer.

He saw all four as being closely related. Mass production could not be justified without wide distribution. Distribution, in turn, needed the support of strong advertising. From the beginning, Eastman had a strong conviction that fulfilling customer needs and desires was the only road to corporate success.

Advertising became a major factor in George Eastman's success, making Kodak a household word around the world. Eastman created an advertising department as early as 1892. A well-known icon, the Kodak Girl, began to appear in magazine and poster advertising in 1893. By the end of the 19th century, the company was spending $750,000 annually on promotion, which was an enormous sum for the time. The company carefully positioned its magazine advertising, placing it in quality titles with high circulation. Eastman Kodak commissioned noted artists to illustrate many of its magazine ads, especially from 1900 to about 1915. Snapshot-like photos of families, holidays, get-togethers, and travel became mainstay illustrations in Kodak advertising throughout the century.

Since that time, the Eastman Kodak Company has led the way with an abundance of new products and processes to make photography simpler, more useful, and more enjoyable. In fact, today's Kodak is known not only for photography, but also for images used in a variety of leisure, commercial, entertainment, and scientific applications.

The Kodak logo is probably the most recognized in the world. This is how it developed:

Early 1900s: Kodak is the first company to integrate its name and look into a symbol.

1930s: Focus moved to the Kodak name and the red and yellow ‘trade dress’ colour.

1960s: The corner curl was introduced.

1970s: The mark retained the red and yellow colours and the Kodak name, but a box and graphic ‘K’ element were added.

1980s: A more contemporary type font streamlined the Kodak name within the existing logo.

Today: The box is gone, simplifying the logo. The rounded type font and distinctive ‘a’ give the name a more contemporary look.

Historic Campaign

You press the button—we do the rest early 1900s



A phrase that ushered in the age of popular mass photography, led by the Kodak ‘Brownie’ camera. People for a while started to call all cameras Kodaks.

Hoover Vacuum Cleaners

Hoover beats as it sweeps as it cleans 1920s


Hoover in the UK became the eponymous word for a vacuum cleaner. It even became an active verb (‘hoovering the carpet’). In 1926, Hoover introduced the famous ‘beats-as-it-sweeps-as-it-cleans’ feature which cleverly incorporated the three established but separate methods of cleaning carpets: beating, sweeping, and suction cleaning. This innovation set the standard for the rest of the market to follow and was a feature of Hoover cleaners until the 1980s.

Although Hoover's vacuum cleaners were very expensive, they carried the royal warrant and were used on the prestigious ocean liners of the late 1930s, they were also cleverly marketed under such headlines as ‘No millionaire can buy better’ (1947) and ‘All women are equal in this’ (1933), implying that if you had scrimped and saved for the ‘Hoover’ you were at least equal in this respect to royalty and the well-to-do. In 1935, Hoover's success was guaranteed by the launching of a British-built, compact, upright cleaner that retained the features and quality of their larger model, but at half the price. The subsequent success of the ‘Junior’ model (a version of which was still selling in the mid-1980s) was indicated by a biasing of the British cleaner market towards the upright format, in contrast to the rest of Europe.

In the mid-1930s Hoover USA pioneered the use of professional industrial design in vacuum cleaners by employing Henry Dreyfuss, one of the first industrial designers, to consider the design, manufacture and ease of use of their vacuum cleaner as a whole. The result was a new generation of cleaners, starting with the model 150 (1936), and the 160 (1938), which used fewer components, new light alloys, and plastics and had more benefits for the user. This development indicated the fact that by the late 1930s, at least in America, the electric vacuum cleaner was a common-enough product and required a ‘design overhaul’ to stimulate the next generation of sales. The basic component layout and manufacturing approach of these new models continued until the first ‘clean-fan’ plastic uprights in the mid-1960s.

Intel Corp

Intel Inside 1990s

A brilliant advertising technique for making the invisible memorable and valuable. It was targeted at the end consumer, who knew little of microchips, rather than the manufacturer, who had been the target up to that point. In a relatively short time, Intel Inside® has grown to be one of the world's largest, most successful cooperative brand marketing programmes in history.

Before this campaign, companies such as Intel were selling their semiconductor products directly to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), with their primary customers being the computer design engineers responsible for building computers.

With Intel's new 1386™ microprocessor, Intel had developed a product far superior to everything in the industry. Despite the benefits of the improved product, many OEMs shunned using the new technology in their mass-produced computers, fearing that their customers (primarily corporate information technology managers who purchased large numbers of computers) would not react well to higher prices. Intel realized it needed a way to break through the barrier and reach the OEM's customer directly—the IT manager—to help them understand the value of the i386 chip.

To solve this problem, a team at Intel proposed a revolutionary advertising campaign, designed to stimulate the IT manager's demand for the advanced technology. In the ads the i386 processor was touted as a better investment for the future. The campaign was successful, and it taught Intel that communicating technical information to end-consumers was not only possible, but also highly desirable. It was the first time that Intel had directed the ad campaign at PC consumers rather than at just PC makers.

The response was exactly what Intel wanted, but over time it proved to increase awareness and sales for new technology among computer companies across the board, not just for Intel. It became a new approach to advertising even the driest aspects of technology. Intel needed to build long-term awareness for their brand, creating a mindset of quality, innovation, and reliability.

Rather than just market the technology, they would market Intel technology, influencing consumers to pay attention to the Intel ingredient inside the computer. With this new thinking, Intel developed a cooperative advertising program in which OEMs would add a small Intel Inside® logo to their print ads. By attaching the logo, OEMs would add strength to their own brands by being identified with the strength of the Intel® brand.

Officially started July 1, 1991, Intel Inside has issued thousands of worldwide licences to use the Intel Inside logo, as well as TV spots, computer logos, and an e-commerce programme. Since the programme started, more than $7 bn in Intel Inside brand advertising has been generated. The Intel Inside programme manufactures more than 150 million Intel Inside logo system stickers each year for multiple Intel brands, colours, sizes, systems, and product packaging. Advertising with the Intel Inside logo runs in more than 130 countries.


Founded in 1860, Nokia Corporation, headquartered in Helsinki, became the world's leading supplier of mobile communications devices and related services. Nokia accounts for almost a quarter of Finland's exports, and 2% of its GDP.

Nokia is an outstanding example of re-invention of the core business of a company and how brand positioning can be used in the process of re-invention. Nokia's journey also marks a transition from a 19th-century approach to ‘vertical integration’ in a traditional industry, to the multi-sourcing and marketing approaches of the 21st century.

In 1865 the Finnish mining engineer Fredrik Idestam established a wood-pulp mill in Southern Finland and began manufacturing paper. The company, named after the River Nokia where its lumber mills were sited, started off in forestry, and later moved into making paper, rubber, and electrical cables. The Finnish Rubber Works, initially opened in 1898, established a factory on the River Nokia after its executives passed through the area and recognized the value of the hydroelectricity available there. In the 1920s, the Finnish Rubber Works started to use Nokia as their brand name. In addition to footwear and tyres, the company later went on to manufacture rubber bands, galoshes, industrial parts, raincoats, and other rubber products. The company that later became known as the Finnish Cable Works opened in 1912 in Helsinki. The increasing need for power transmission and telegraph and telephone networks meant that the company grew quickly. After World War II, the Finnish Rubber Works bought the majority of the Finnish Cable Works' shares, and gradually the ownership of these companies consolidated. Finally, in 1967 the companies were merged to form the Nokia Group. The company evolved dramatically, growing first into a conglomerate encompassing diverse industries. However, by the 1980s it was an unfocused conglomerate that made everything from galoshes to TVs. Nokia's operations had rapidly expanded into too many business sectors, countries, and products. The strategy was to expand relentlessly on all fronts. In 1988, Nokia was Europe's third-largest television manufacturer and the largest information technology company in the Nordic countries. During the deep recession in Finland at the beginning of the 1990s, the telecommunications and mobile phone divisions were the supporting pillars of the company. During the depth of the recession, Jorma Ollila was appointed to head the entire Nokia Group. He made the major strategic decision to divest its non-core operations and focus on the rapidly expanding market for mobile telecommunications devices.

The groundwork for the shift to mobile communications had been laid in the 1960s, when Nokia's electronics department was researching radio transmission. Nokia started to make mobile phones for the military, which took off after the establishment of a multinational cellular network by a consortium of Scandinavian state operators. This network gave the Scandinavians an advantage when it came to setting up Europe-wide networks, based on the digital GSM standard in the early 1990s.

Nokia took a major gamble and it paid off. Under Ollila's leadership, Nokia became focused on being a mobile phone and services company with a global brand. Nokia has led the mobile industry by emphasizing its brand and its design—mobile phones are fashion statements—with easy-to-use software. The company has also positioned itself to take advantage of the coming convergence between mobile phones, multimedia, and the Internet.


Chester Carlson, a patent attorney and part-time inventor, made the first xerographic image in his laboratory in Astoria, Queens, in New York City, on October 22, 1938. He spent years trying to sell his invention without success. Business executives could not be persuaded that there was a market for a copier; typed carbon copies, although labour intensive, were viewed to work well. The prototype for a facsimile copier was unwieldy and messy. There was no interest from the leading companies of the time, including IBM and General Electric.

In 1944, the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, contracted with Carlson to refine his new process, which Carlson called ‘electrophotography’. Three years later, the Haloid Company, a maker of photographic paper in Rochester, NY, approached Battelle and obtained a licence to develop and market a copying machine based on Carlson's technology. Haloid later obtained all rights to Carlson's invention. Carlson and Haloid agreed the word ‘electrophotography’ was too cumbersome. A professor of classical languages at Ohio State University suggested ‘xerography’, derived from the Greek words for ‘dry’ and ‘writing’.

Haloid coined the word ‘Xerox’ for the new copiers. In 1948, the word Xerox was trademarked. In 1958 it became Haloid Xerox Inc. The company became Xerox Corporation in 1961 after wide acceptance of the Xerox 914, the first automatic office copier to use ordinary paper. September 1999 marked the 40th anniversary of the Xerox 914, aptly named for the size of paper it used: 9×14 inches. More than 200,000 units were made around the world between 1959 and 1976, the year the company stopped production of the 914. Xerox adopted ‘The Document Company—Xerox’ as their corporate signature logo in 1994 to better reflect what has always been the company's core business: document management. At the same time, Xerox launched the ‘digital X’ as its marketing symbol/logo. The symbol's upper right quadrant depicts the pixels of digital imaging and the movement of documents between the paper and electronic worlds. In 2008 Xerox changed its logo again to move perception of their brand away from photocopiers and physical documents—the new logo removed ‘The Document Company’ as the descriptor in favour of a sphere sketched with lines, called ‘connectors’, that link to form an ‘X’, representing the company's connections to its customers, employees, partners, industry, and innovation.

Food and Drink

American companies have led the way in globalizing food and drink through vast commercial empires which, over time, have created a homogenous taste for certain food and drinks.


In the history of consumer brand building, Coca-Cola stands at the apex—demonstrating how dedication, discipline, investment, and creativity have resulted in global brand power which has endured across the tastes and events of three different centuries.

In May, 1886, Coca-Cola was invented by Doctor John Pemberton a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia. The name Coca-Cola was a suggestion given by John Pemberton's bookkeeper Frank Robinson—who also provided the flowing signature that remains part of the brand logo. Dr Pemberton's original formula was intended to be a nerve tonic, a stimulant, and a headache remedy. Thus Coca-Cola began its long life as the world's most famous drinks brand as a ‘valuable tonic and nerve stimulant with properties of the coca plant and cola nuts’, and also as a ‘temperance drink’—to encourage it as an alternative to alcohol. It was first sold to the public for 5 cents a glass at the soda fountain in Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta on May 8, 1886. Coca-Cola was incorporated as Coca-Cola Co. in 1888 with Coca-Cola as its trademark. Pemberton's successors realized the power of the product and began to build it up into a global icon. By the 1890s, under the ownership of Asa Candler, who gained the entire company for $2300, Coca-Cola was already America's favourite fountain drink. At the turn of the century it was being actively advertised, with ‘delicious and refreshing’ as the main advertising headline. It was also distributed by means of selling the syrup to independent bottling companies who were licensed to sell Coca-Cola. This was also complemented with promotional merchandising and incentives to retailers, such as soda fountain owners.

Patented in 1893, the recipe and formula for Coca-Cola (internally code-named Merchandise 7 X) became a famous trade secret kept in a high security bank vault in Atlanta and known only to a few employees. In 1903 the final traces of cocaine were removed from the drink formula.

In 1915 the Coca-Cola bottle with the swirling lines was created. Improvements in bottling techniques, and nationwide distribution, meant that, by the 1920s, bottled Coca-Cola was the dominant means of merchandising the drink. It was packaged in six bottle cartons, which came to be known as the six packs. In 1933 automatic drinks dispensers were invented—which gave the drink another direct distribution arm. Radio advertising of Coca-Cola started in the 1930s. During the war, Coca-Cola was provided free to the armed services. By the end of the Second World War Coca-Cola was available in 44 countries and had become one of the first global brands. In the 1950s television advertising of Coca-Cola started. In 1960 the first disposable tin can was introduced to complement the glass bottle—and in 1978 the plastic bottle was introduced.

In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company created Diet Coke but also made a controversial change to the original formula. The decision to change the original formula and withdraw the original drink from the market came about because taste tests with consumers showed a distinct preference for the new formula. Also Coca-Cola's share of the market had been reducing as a result of Pepsi's ‘Taste Challenge’ campaign—which indicated that in blind tests, consumers preferred Pepsi Cola. Faced with mass protest by consumers against the new formulation of the original, Coca-Cola conducted a masterful recovery campaign and reintroduced the original drink to popular acclaim, but rebranded as ‘Classic Coke’ and it was a commercial triumph which reversed its losses of market share.

Coca-Cola is sold in 145 countries, marketed in 80 different languages and advertised in 500 TV channels across the world and on the Internet and a billion people drink a Coke each day. It is perhaps the most heavily and most successfully advertised product in history. Its first recorded advertising budget in 1890 was $11,000. It has had many legendary campaigns, including the invention of the modern Santa Claus, with his Falstaffian appearance and red and white (the colours of Coca-Cola) robes for a Macy's store campaign in the 1930s.

Some major historic campaigns were:

Thirst knows no Season 1922

The pause that refreshes 1929–40s




Things go better with Coke 1963



The Real Thing 1970

(Being the ‘Real Thing’ has been a constant message in Coca-Cola advertising since the 1940s.)


I'd like to buy the world a Coke 1971


Coke Adds Life 1976


Coca-Cola in China


Coca-Cola in Russia




As with Coca-Cola, Pepsi began with a pharmacy in the American south in the I9th century. In 1893, Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist from New Bern, North Carolina, created a drink called ‘Brad's drink’ in 1893. This was later renamed Pepsi Cola after the pepsin and cola nuts used in the recipe.

The name Pepsi Cola was trademarked on June 16th, 1903. Bradham's neighbour, an artist, designed the first Pepsi logo. The Pepsi Cola company was created in 1902 and its first newspaper ads were created. Its first advertising strapline was: ‘Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion.’

In 1906, Pepsi changed its logo for the third time. The modified script logo was created with the slogan, ‘The Original Pure Food Drink’.

In 1909 Pepsi used celebrity endorsement for the first time: Automobile race pioneer Barney Oldfield endorsed Pepsi Cola in newspaper ads as ‘A bully drink…refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race’.

In 1920, Pepsi changed its slogan again to ‘Drink Pepsi Cola, it will satisfy you’. Despite the rise of Pepsi Cola, Caleb Bradham went bankrupt, a victim of speculation during the First World War. In the 1920s Roy C Megargel, a Wall Street broker, bought the Pepsi trademark and business from Craven Holding Corporation for $35,000, and formed the Pepsi Cola Corporation. By 1931 the company was again bankrupt. It was bought by the Lofty Candy Company who reformulated the drink. Pepsi was offered for sale to Coca-Cola, who refused it.

Only in the mid-30s did sales of Pepsi start to pick up—based on its 12 ounce drink for 5 cents. Walter S. Mack, Jr, became CEO Pepsi Cola Company. Mack, who considered advertising the keystone of the soft drink business, turned Pepsi into a modern marketing company. In 1939 came the famous ‘Twice as much for a nickel’ theme. The jingle that accompanied this, and was played an estimated 6 million times on radio, was ‘Nickel Nickel’, an advertisement for Pepsi Cola that referred to the price of Pepsi and the quantity for that price. ‘Nickel Nickel’ became a hit record and was recorded into fifty-five languages.

During the Second World War, in a gesture of patriotism, Pepsi changed their corporate colours to red, white, and blue. In wartime, Pepsi again changed its slogan to: ‘Bigger Drink, Better Taste.’ And then changed its logo again.

In the late 1950s Pepsi was introduced to the USSR and eventually opened there in the 1970s. In the 1980s it entered China.

In the early ‘50s Pepsi made yet another logo change and began the ‘Pepsi Generation’ ad campaign. In 1964 Diet Pepsi was introduced and in 1965 the can of Pepsi made a commercial debut (having been previously used by the military). In 1970 Pepsi introduced the 2-litre plastic bottle and then 12 pack cans. In the 1990s it introduced 24 can packs.

In the 1980s Pepsi started its ‘Pepsi Challenge’ campaign against Coca-Cola, which caused Coke to change its flavour. Pepsi's new advertising slogan became ‘the choice of a New Generation’. Then in the 1990s Pepsi became ‘A Generation Ahead’, and used leading singers in its advertising. In 1996 Pepsi launched itself upon the World Wide Web. Pepsi World eventually surpassed all expectations, and became one of the most landed, and copied, sites in this new media,

Key campaigns:

Twice as much for a nickel…1930s–40s

You've got a lot to live, Pepsi's got a lot to give 1960s

This had clear implications for the generation of Americans living through the trauma of the Vietnam War.

Come alive…the Pepsi Generation 1964

This slogan had problems in Germany and China where it had connotations of bringing back the dead.

Pepsi ‘Evolution’ commercial


Over all Pepsi, Coca-Cola's great rival, is drunk in as many countries as Coca-Cola, but without the huge advertising budgets. Pepsi also relies heavily on celebrity endorsements and frequently uses comparative advertising under the guise of consumer tests (‘The Pepsi Challenge’: Taste the Difference). The latter led Coke to change the flavour, prompting massive protest, which Coca-Cola turned brilliantly to its advantage.


The McDonald's story is one of globalization of a brand, then the gradual decline of its brand in the face of public criticism and attack, then its overall reinvention in order to adapt to new tastes, lifestyles, and values.

Established in California during the 1940s by two brothers, the McDonald's restaurant became a popular with teenagers. In 1955, entrepreneur Ray Kroc bought the right to franchise the McDonald's System. The company became the McDonald's Corporation in 1960.

From the inception, Kroc focused the McDonald's brand on the family and children, spending heavily on television advertising and using the clown character ‘Ronald McDonald’. The McDonald's franchise was extended to 30,000 well-located restaurants globally and a clientele of over 50 million people in more than 100 countries,

Between 1969 and 2002 McDonald's brand and marketing strategy were celebrated. It was a quintessentially global brand, epitomized by its instantly recognizable golden arches logo, with its clear and simple values and its well-understood food products. It had conquered the world by using a repeatable formula of selecting good locations and franchising them with strict marketing controls.

In the new century, the strengths that had made McDonald's a successful global brand, began to be weaknesses. Repeated public criticism and attacks combined with changing consumer lifestyle and attitudes contributed to a decline of McDonald's reputation and franchise. For a while McDonald's seemed caught in a time warp at best, and innately dangerous at worst. It was criticized for its quality and treatment of staff, for the despoliation of the environment (land purchase for grazing cattle in the Amazonian rainforests, use of Styrofoam packing contributing to CFCs), for cruelty to animals, for contributing to a burgeoning problem of obesity, and for its insidious manipulation of children from an early age. Less tangibly, it was seen as a flag bearer of globalization, of American values and lifestyle, which themselves were becoming increasingly attacked in the new century. The phrase ‘McJobs’, clearly focused on McDonald's workers, came to mean low-paid, low-prospect, menial work.

Between 1998 and 2002, McDonald's, whose growth had been hitherto inexorable, started to experience decline: its actual share of the fast-food market fell more than three per cent. Sales were stagnant since 2000 and plummeted 2.8% in 2002, representing the first ever decline in the corporation's history. In Europe too, competition from other fast food chains and anti-McDonald's sentiments began to affect the company profitability. McDonald's stock lost about 70% of its value. The World Health Organization's (WHO) made public warnings about an impending obesity crisis; this led to attacks on fast food outlets in general and on McDonald's in particular.

For example, in 2001, investigative journalist Eric Schlosser made a sustained attack on the fast food industry with his book Fast Food Nation. In this book, Schlosser attacked McDonald's for supplying unhealthy food and for its contribution to making America the most obese nation on earth. He also decried the globalization of a homogenized culture to the entire world. He highlighted the conditions under which unskilled immigrants worked in McDonald's restaurants and the anti-union practices of McDonald's. A few years after Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, McDonald's reputation suffered another blow with Super Size Me, a documentary by Morgan Spurlock meant to highlight the dangerous health effects of eating an excess of McDonald's food. Spurlock used himself as a guinea pig as he set out on a 30-day experiment in which he ate nothing but McDonald's food. The audience watched as he gained weight and doctors observed his health decline.

In the face of its relative decline, McDonald's set about revitalizing its brand for a changing world, and in responding directly to the public criticisms it faced. The brand revitalization had to be more than cosmetic (although there was a new tag line and modified logo). The changes had to go deeply into its core supply, in store operations, staff operations, food production, and its corporate social responsibility.

McDonald's first of all set about correcting the environmental charges (its packaging contributed to CFC emissions) by establishing a $16 m national recycling programme for its packaging and became a major purchaser of recycled materials. In 1990, McDonald's outlined a 40-point plan to reduce its waste by 80%. Foam packaging (the main contributor to CFCs) was eliminated from its 8,500 US outlets and paper wrappings were brought back.

The company contributed heavily to charitable causes—particularly those involving children and families. It began a programme of animal welfare. For example, McDonald's meat suppliers must ensure humane methods for handling livestock—such as phasing out the previous practice of removing chickens' beaks. It also forbids suppliers from using growth hormones on livestock. In 2007, McDonald's announced that it would buy coffee only from growers who are certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

McDonald's restaurants were given a facelift—staff were given new uniforms and there was a modernization of décor. Menus were updated to include healthier foods, such as salads. Modifications were made to accommodate local tastes (for example in India which does not eat beef). The new target market was teenagers rather than children. Their first ad in their teenage magazine featured pop star Justin Timberlake singing its new ‘I'm Lovin’ It' strapline.

The Great Recession of 2007–09 also helped McDonald's as many hard-strapped people returned to the fast food world and its original core value proposition—low cost food—became a necessity rather than a lifestyle choice.

In recent brand valuation surveys, McDonald's brand is once again back in the top 20.


Kellogg changed the eating habits of the western world at breakfast time. Although there are a huge variety of breakfast cereals around the world, Kellogg's, the ‘original’ creator of the cereal, remains the most well-known brand. Their brand proposition is the concept of ‘healthy eating’—their marketing mix is mainly continuous product development and innovative product packaging and promotions.

Will Keith (WK) Kellogg (1860–1951), along with his brother, Dr John Harvey Kellogg, was the co-inventor of flaked corn based cereal. In 1906, WK Kellogg had entered the cereal business, using only the corn grit as the basis of the food. To help consumers distinguish Kellogg's Corn Flakes® cereal from other cereal companies, WK put his signature on each package, saying that his Corn Flakes were ‘The Original’. The ready-to-eat cereal market grew with the advent of pasteurized milk.

In 1914, Kellogg Company created Waxtite® wrappers, a new concept in packaging technology. They distributed free samples of Corn Flakes, and then followed up with advertising in magazines and on billboards. Kellogg's® Bran Flakes and All Bran® cereals were introduced in 1915 and 1916. Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® were introduced in 1927. After having success in the US market, Kellogg expanded internationally—with Corn Flakes reaching the UK and Australia in the 1920s. Also in the 1920s Kellogg started to use the cereal box for marketing promotions, particularly focusing on children, who were encouraged to fill in and return coupons from the boxes in order to win competitions and various gifts—which was an incentive to continuous purchase. Kellogg also sponsored radio shows for children. During the Second World War Kellogg's provided Corn Flakes as rations to US service personnel. In 1942 it extended its product line into whole-wheat cereal such as Raisin Bran®.

Throughout the 1950s the company extended its cereals product line and started to create more powerful and enduring brands such as: Kellogg's® Corn Pops®, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®, Kellogg's® Honey Smacks™, Kellogg's® Cocoa Krispies™ and Kellogg's® Special K®, (which was the first high-protein breakfast cereal ever offered to consumers). Sales of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes were boosted by the introduction of its ‘spokesperson’ Tony the Tiger® who made his first appearance in the 1950s. In the 1960s Kelloggs strengthened its position with the introduction of even more new consumer products: Froot Loops®, Kellogg's Apple Jacks®, Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats®, Kellogg's Bran Buds®, Kellogg's Product 19®, Kellogg's Pop-Tarts®, and Kellogg's® Croutettes™ croutons.

Kellogg became a global brand, expanding in South America, Canada, Scandinavia, Europe, and Asia. The apex of their product placement in the 1960s was when the crew of Apollo 11 had Kellogg cereal for breakfast during their lunar landing mission in 1969.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Kellogg continued to develop new cereal products, particularly in response to the rising demand for healthy eating in the western world. Various scientific reports affirmed the importance of fibre and grain in the regular diet, which was a major fillip to Kellogg's product marketing efforts.

In the 1990s Kellogg satisfied a generation needing fast convenience foods with snack bars such as Kellogg's® Rice Krispies Treats® squares, and Kellogg's® Nutri-Grain® bars. By the turn of the century, cereal, the company's original product, was only half its product line: following acquisition, it also produced convenience snacks and grain based foods.

Notable Advertising Campaign

Snap! Crackle! Pop! 1940s


Coined in the US in the late 1920s, this simple and enduring slogan was accompanied by a hummable ditty. The advent of commercial television in the late 1940 and 1950s gave this slogan and campaign a vast audience and enduring brand recognition for this Kellogg's cereal over the years. While the look and appearance of the characters has changed over the years, the slogan is etched in the mass memory of consumers. It is a fine example of ‘humanizing’ an otherwise humdrum foodstuff.

Maxwell House


Maxwell House Coffee is actually named after a hotel, the Maxwell House, in Nashville, Tennessee. Completed after the US Civil War, the Maxwell House became one of the best-known hotels in the United States for 100 years. Presidents who stayed there included Rutherford B Hayes, William Henry Harrison, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.

While staying at the Maxwell House Hotel, President Theodore Roosevelt enjoyed the ‘house blend’ of coffee so much that he raved about it being ‘good to the last drop’. The Check-Neal Company, which supplied the hotel's coffee, wisely saw a good marketing opportunity. They began packaging and selling the hotel's house blend as Maxwell House Coffee, using President Roosevelt's remark in its advertising. Both the coffee and the slogan caught on with the American public.

The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1961, but its name lives on in the Regal Maxwell House Hotel at a different location in Nashville. And, of course, the name lives on in Maxwell House Coffee, which is still advertised as ‘Good to the Last Drop’.

Schlitz Beer

Milwaukee is actually famous for brewing and is known in America as the ‘beer capital of the world’. Cheap, abundant ice from Lake Michigan favoured brewing before the advent of artificial refrigeration. Ice also stimulated long-distance shipping of beer, since rail cars needed to be packed with enormous quantities of ice to prevent spoilage of the beer en route. Compared to other major brewing cities, such as Chicago, Milwaukee's population (and that of its outlying regions) was relatively small. Milwaukee brewers were forced to turn to outside markets to expand sales. This unique problem ultimately transformed Milwaukee's breweries into export-minded organizations. The strategy of long-distance distribution did not cease for Milwaukee's brewers until they had covered the American market.

The large beer-consuming population of Chicago and the easy and inexpensive lake transportation acted as an early stimulant to Milwaukee's brewing industry. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 boosted sales of Milwaukee breweries enormously. Schlitz's frequent shipments of beer to the devastated city earned it the slogan, ‘The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous’. And Schlitz enjoyed a 100% jump in sales.

Grateful Chicago was instantly bonded with Schlitz and before local breweries could rebuild, Schlitz captured the city's beer market. Within a year the company adopted the slogan, ‘The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous’ for all aspects of its enduring brand marketing.

Notable Iconic Advertising Campaign

The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous 1895 onwards



The Guinness stout is a distinctive black drink with its equally distinctive Irish harp logo, which first appeared on Guinness in 1862. The innate distinctiveness of the drink itself has been raised to new levels by a century of outstanding quality advertising campaigns around some memorable straplines. Since its first advert in 1928, Guinness has been handled by five agencies—SH Benson, J Walter Thompson, Allen Brady, Marsh, Ogilvy & Mather, and currently Abbott Mead Vickers.

Guinness's advertising agency (SH Benson) did some market research during the 1920s to find our what people liked about Guinness. People responded that they felt good when they had their pint and the slogan ‘Guinness Is Good For You’ was born. The slogan is still used in some countries (Africa) that do not regulate advertising claims. Some advertising even features athletes implying that their athleticism can be attributed to Guinness. In the UK, post-operative patients used to be given Guinness, as were blood donors. In Ireland, Guinness is still made available to blood donors and stomach and intestinal post-operative patients. Guinness is known to be high in iron content.

Guinness used the talented artist John Gilroy to craft a memorable and enduring set of images to develop the idea that Guinness was good for you. Gilroy's first known Guinness poster was produced in 1930. Working with copywriters like Ronald Barton and Robert Bevan, Gilroy produced more than 100 press advertisements and nearly 50 poster designs for Guinness over 35 years. He is perhaps best remembered for his posters featuring the girder carrier and the wood cutter from the Guinness for Strength campaigns of the early 1930s and for the Guinness animals. The animals, including a lion, toucan, gnu, and kangaroo, appeared, with their long-suffering zookeeper, on posters, press advertisements, show cards, and waiter trays from the 1930s to the 1960s. Gilroy continued to produce Guinness advertisements well into the 1960s even though he left Benson's employment as an in-house artist in the 1940s to pursue freelance work.

Guinness today is more focused on the psychological than upon the physical, particularly in relation to men.

Iconic Advertising Campaigns

Guinness Is Good for You 1929–63



‘Good things come to those who wait’ 1998–





‘Tipping Point’




HJ Heinz

Henry John Heinze, son of Lorenz Heinze of Bavaria who emigrated to the US, was born in 1844. He began the company selling horseradish from the family vegetable patch to his neighbours. Later, they started putting ground horseradish into bottles.

In 1869 he took a partner and founded the firm of Heinz (dropping the ‘e’) and Noble that sold bricks and horseradish. The company flourished and two years later Heinz opened a food-processing factory where bottled horseradish and bottled pickles were made. After a promising start, the firm was bankrupted in the depression that marked the post-Civil War period and the early 1870s. Heinz borrowed $3,000 from his brother John and his cousin Frederick to relaunch as F & J Heinz. The new firm introduced tomato ketchup, pepper sauce, vinegar, apple butter, fruit jellies, and mincemeat to the US market. In 1886 he visited London and persuaded the famous firm of Fortnum & Mason to sell his goods in the UK, still at that stage the world's richest market.

In 1888 Henry bought out his brother's interests, re-named the firm HJ Heinz & Company and then bought a new site and started planning to build a new factory.

It was in 1896 that he originated the famous ‘57 Varieties’ slogan which became one of the more famous brand signatures in the world of fast-moving consumer goods. Corporate folklore at Heinz has it that, in 1896, Henry John Heinz noticed an advertisement for ‘21 styles of shoes’. He decided that his own products were not styles, but varieties. Although there were many more than 57 foods in production at the time, because the numbers 5 and 7 held a special significance for him and his wife, he adopted the slogan ‘57 Varieties’. So, in fact the number 57 isn't related to the number of products offered by Heinz.

In 1928, it was decided to produce a canned food that became the flagship of the Heinz company, baked beans in tomato sauce. The introduction of baked beans was so successful that it was followed by spaghetti and a variety of soups. During the Second World War the Heinz factory produced food for the armed forces. Heinz became a listed public company in 1946 and continued its global expansion.

HJ Heinz & Company today is an enterprise involving more than 45,800 people in over 200 major locations worldwide, with leading brands on three continents, offering a lot more than 57 varieties—actually more like 5,700 different products in total. It is the world's largest tomato producer.

Iconic Campaign

57 Varieties 1896–


Luxury Goods

De Beers

The marketing of diamonds is one of the more instructive cases of the 20th century: the power of a sustained marketing campaign and how it shaped the public perception of diamonds as a desirable gift is most revealing.

The market for diamonds has never been characterized by free, dynamic, and open competition. Everything about the diamond industry is manipulated: supply, pricing, processing, marketing, and retailing. The leader of the diamond industry is De Beers, a company that produces half of the world's high-quality diamonds.

De Beer's ‘A Diamond is Forever’ advertising campaign, which started in the 1940s, was to become one of the most effective and far reaching of the 20th century. It enabled De Beers to manipulate demand as well as supply of diamonds. With the help of their advertising agency, they created a mindset, which later swept the world, in which diamonds came to be perceived, not simply as precious gems that could be traded according to volatile market prices, but as an inseparable part of our emotional life. Most specifically, diamonds became a significant love token, marking the engagement that could lead to married life. It is now difficult for courting couples to contemplate engagement without, at some stage, discussing the purchase of a diamond solitaire ring. Anything less would appear to devalue the courtship, and be a less than permanent token. The size of the diamond, or its number of carats, was somehow perceived to signify the grandeur of the affection. It was a potent place to occupy in the mass consciousness.

Although the first record of a diamond engagement ring dates back to 1477, before the 1940s, diamonds were generally not held in such high esteem and did not hold such a cherished place in the minds of women. The idea of a long historical tradition of giving a diamond ring for an engagement was a post-war invention. The giving of diamonds to mark an engagement had been around since the 19th century, but it was a low key, optional activity. In Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain, the notion of giving diamond rings to commemorate an engagement was not even entertained. On the eve of the Second World War, Germany saw diamonds as important for industrial and military purposes, given that it is the world's hardest substance. In the UK and France, before the war, diamonds were perceived as a jewel for the upper classes. In America, the gift was usually confined to a lower quality, inexpensive diamond. Diamond sales had actually been declining in America since the early 1920s, both in quantity and value.

The man who decided to change the pattern of demand for diamonds was Harry Oppenheimer of De Beers. Oppenheimer was at the time concerned by the post-depression collapse of diamond prices, despite the best efforts of the DeBeers cartel to manipulate prices by control of supply. He selected the NW Ayer advertising agency in New York to achieve this extraordinary piece of marketing manipulation.

NW Ayer, following extensive research came up with a plan to change the attitude of the American public towards diamonds. It was a long-term strategy—to change a mind set and behaviour pattern—rather than an attempt to drive short-term sales of diamonds. Therefore, marketing of diamonds was essentially an appeal to emotions, rather than a focus on the gemstone itself. Through multiple messages and images the world would begin to perceive diamonds as the jewel of romance, esteem, and enduring love.

As a result of the sustained marketing campaign, the diamond market started to develop a curious pattern: although the diamond is for female decoration, the market is mainly composed of men as buyers—90% of all diamonds are bought by men for women. The wearers are almost always women; women rarely buy diamonds either for themselves or for others. Moreover, women are rarely involved in the selection or purchase of the diamond. The reaction of the woman, rather than the object itself, is the primary driver in the male purchasing decision. The element of surprise following the presentation of the diamond ring to the woman, and the gushing delight as it is received is an abiding mental image, portrayed in many films and television shows.

The result of the first 40 years of marketing was that Ayer helped De Beers expand its sales of diamonds in the United States from $23 m in 1939 to over $2 bn by 1980. In the same period, expenditure on diamond advertising for De Beers in North America increased from $200,000 a year to $10 m.

How did they do it? Celebrity endorsements, primarily. Ayer sought out the glamorous role models who were able to influence the purchasing habits of Middle America. In the 1940s, movie stars had a huge bearing on American society. The agency began negotiations with Hollywood to use diamonds in the titles of their movies. Movie scripts started to include the leading men using diamonds to make marriage proposals. News stories and society photographs were planted that emphasized the link between diamonds and romance. In 1946, the agency began a weekly service called Hollywood Personalities, which published stories in 125 leading newspapers with descriptions of the diamonds worn by major movie stars. In 1947, the agency produced portraits of socialites showing off their diamond rings for recent engagements. Nationwide lecture tours were organized to introduce high school girls to different ranges of diamonds and to start to plant the idea in the minds of the young. Fashion designers were encouraged to use diamonds in their new creations. The British royal family was even used to enhance the status of diamonds: for example, Oppenheimer presented Queen Elizabeth II with prize diamonds during her trip to South Africa.

The De Beers advertising campaign continued unabated during the Second World War: Ayers promoted the message that diamonds were contributing to the war effort and, consequently, buying diamonds was equated with patriotism. By 1941, the campaign was starting to show results: the sale of diamonds had increased by 55% in the United States. After the war, the Ayer agency focused upon the millions of American servicemen returning from the war.

The American market for diamonds was around 70 million people in the immediate post-war period. The agency, on behalf of De Beers, sought to influence men to buy more, and bigger, diamonds in the name of an invented ‘tradition’ that was linked emotionally to romance. In 1948 an Ayer copywriter came up with the legendary and enduring slogan: ‘A Diamond Is Forever.’ Within a year, it became the official signature of De Beers. In the 1950s, the era of conspicuous consumption in America, NW Ayer used the new medium of television to influence American public opinion. Famous actresses and other celebrities displayed diamonds to the television audience. A diamond not only became a way of legitimising a romance, of finding and keeping a man, it also became a status symbol in a status-hungry culture. The more the carats, the deeper the love, the more enduring the relationship, the greater the prestige. A famous song of the time stated, ‘diamonds are a girl's best friend’.

During all this time the agency also promoted the idea that De Beers diamonds were authentic and that they were made from the rarest stones. This enabled them to fend off the challenge of synthetic diamonds (such as the process developed by GE in the 1950s). In the 1960s the agency proposed the global expansion of the idea that they had so successfully nurtured over a 20-year period in the United States. They proposed the invention of the same ‘tradition’ in other countries where it did not previously exist. Japan, Germany, and Brazil were targeted. Within ten years, De Beers succeeded even beyond its most optimistic expectations in creating a billion-dollar-a-year diamond tradition in Japan. Many Japanese believe that giving diamonds as a love token is part of an ancient Japanese tradition. Once the international market had provided expanded sales, the agency promoted the idea of buying a second diamond ring as a symbol of ‘renewal’ of marriage and of long-term love. These became known as ‘later in life’ diamonds. This came at a time as diamond production expanded and there was a risk of flooding the market.

With the production of diamonds of smaller caratage in the Soviet Union (which De Beers distributed), the company now had to make small diamonds respectable. The average size of a diamond, which was one carat in 1939, fell to one-quarter carat by the late 1970s. The consequence of this was to diminish the market for large diamonds, which came to be seen by the American consumers, who had become gradually accustomed to the idea of buying smaller diamonds, as gaudy and brash. Conversely, the demand for smaller diamonds started to outstrip supply.

Today, the diamond market is a low growth market, and in recent times the diamond mining industry has come under greater scrutiny for its abuse of diamond mine workers, its unethical political practices, and its manipulation of supply. De Beers has taken the decision to re-invent itself as a luxury goods company.

Iconic Campaign

A Diamond Is Forever NW Ayer, 1940s







The campaign that effectively invented the diamond solitaire as the engagement ring of choice and established it as a symbol of eternal love. Prior to this campaign, love had been symbolized by all different manner of tokens and gemstones, few of which were as expensive as a diamond.

Steinway Pianos

Ray Rubican developed the famous slogan under contract to NW Ayer & Son. He noticed that almost all the greatest pianists and most of the great composers since Wagner had used Steinway pianos. Steinway had not exploited these excellent references: in fact most of Steinway's ads up to 1919 consisted of photographs of ladies sitting at pianos in lovely drawing rooms. The phrase ‘The Instrument of Immortals’ was developed. Steinway were initially sceptical. However, they agreed to run it once. The ad brought an immediate response. Although Steinway initially considered commercial slogans to be vulgar, they reconsidered and Steinway sales went up almost 70%. ‘The Instrument of Immortals’ remained the Steinway hallmark for decades.

Steinway has since this time been regarded by practitioners and the public as the world's greatest piano maker.

Notable Campaign

The Instrument of the Immortals 1919



One of the best examples of high-quality, branded, luxury-goods companies is Montblanc.

Founded by the stationer Claus-Johannes Voss, the banker Alfred Nehemias, and the engineer August Eberstein in 1906, the company began as the Simplo Filler Pen company producing upmarket pens in the Schanzen district of Hamburg.

Their first model was the Rouge et Noir in 1909 followed in 1910 by the pen that was later to give the company its new name, the Mont Blanc. The fountain pen known today as the Meisterstück or Masterpiece was produced in 1925. Today the Montblanc brand is on other goods besides pens: watches, leather goods, and personal accessories.

The company was acquired by Dunhill in 1977, following which lower price pens were dropped and the brand was used on a wide range of luxury goods other than pens. Today Montblanc forms part of the Richemont group. Its sister companies include luxury brands Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chloé, and Baume et Mercier. Since 2000, Montblanc has manufactured all the components for Montegrappa and Cartier branded pens.

A trademark identified with Montblanc is the white stylized six-pointed star with rounded edges, representative of the Mont Blanc snowcap from above, the symbol being adopted in 1913. The number ‘4810’, the mountain's height in metres, is also a commonly recurring theme.

Recently, it has been suggested that the logo be updated—by removing the name and using the star only. The star is also referred to as an edelweiss, an indigenous perennial that grows in the alpine forests and mountains of Europe.

Political and National Government Campaigns

Arguably, marketing has always been part of the political process in both the East and the West; whether through the use of state-controlled propaganda, party-funded advertising or, more recently, political-message management; marketing techniques are now an integral part of politics and political power.

Here is a range of important political campaigns that used the major media of their day to advance their party and candidates:

Republican Party Presidential campaign for Dwight Eisenhower

I Like Ike 1952

Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander during the latter stages of World War II, captured the White House at a time when the USA had become the undisputed richest and most powerful nation on earth and had become hysterical about the threat of the USSR and was rabidly anti-communist.

This slogan appeared on millions of election campaign buttons and posters and in songs. With its alliteration, it was simplistic, but devastatingly effective.

British Conservative Party campaign poster

Labour Isn't Working Saatchi and Saatchi, 1978

A campaign that introduced the power of advertising into the world of British politics, seen to have been a decisive contributor to the downfall of the Labour government and the beginning of 18 years in power for the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher, who became Britain's first woman prime minister. The campaign actually began before the general election of 1979, and was given greater poignancy when Labour called the election during the chaos of the infamous ‘winter of discontent’.

The irony is that the supposed dole queue featured in the ad was, in fact, a group of Young Conservatives from Hendon, who were asked to participate in the shoot. Only about 20 of them turned up, and Saatchi & Saatchi, which became the ad agency of choice for the Conservatives for the next 9 years, had to reproduce images of the same people to create the impression of a snaking queue.

The campaign cost only around £100,000, but gained huge media attention, particularly amplified by the reaction of outraged Labour cabinet ministers.

After the election of 1979, Lord Thorneycroft, Tory party treasurer at the time, claimed that the poster had ‘won the election for the Conservatives’.

Barack Obama Presidential campaign2008

Just as John F Kennedy had used the emerging power of television to defeat the untelegenic Richard Nixon in the 1960 US presidential campaign, Barack Obama and his election team used the new power of the Internet as a political medium to triumph against John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

The Obama campaign built a groundswell of political support and donations using the Web and social media. He continued to use ‘old media’ such as campaign rallies, broadcasts, and television advertising—but these were subordinated to the main Internet campaign, which became a national movement of volunteers, supporters, and donors.

Text messages were used over mobile phones to provide regular messages and to make requests. Facebook (Obama's Facebook page had 2.6 million ‘friends’ and 161,000 active users), YouTube (14.5 million hours spent watching official Barack Obama campaign videos), Twitter (123,00 ‘followers’), and the official website (3.2 million made donations via the campaign website) were the main web instruments used in the campaign—usage and engagement of which could be measured directly by the Obama team, unlike more traditional advertising. Obama was mentioned in 500 million blog postings (compared to McCain's 150 million) for the duration of the electoral campaign. It was also far less costly than the traditional ‘pay for TV advertising’ which had become the mainstay of American political campaigns since Kennedy–Nixon. Unlike Kennedy, Obama controlled the medium and therefore the message; unlike Kennedy in 1960, Obama achieved a landslide win.

National Government War campaigns

UK Army recruitment poster WWI

Your Country Needs You 1914


The resolute face of Kitchener pointing at potential recruits had a massive effect on the British psyche, sending thousands of young volunteers to the slaughter of the trenches. Kitchener drowned, and conscription was introduced in 1916, the volunteer force having been largely wiped out since the beginning of hostilities. The poster campaign remains one of the enduring icons of the 20th century.

US War Department poster WWII

Loose Lips Sink Ships 1941–45


With German and Japanese submarines patrolling American waters after 1942, there was huge concern over security and the need for secrecy to protect shipping. German U-boats had made a devastating raid on American fleets in the Atlantic and, of course, there was also Pearl Harbour.

This poster was part of a campaign to discourage loose or careless talk about all military matters, both in the public and in the private domain.

UK recruitment poster WWI

Daddy, what did you do in the Great War? Savile Lumey 1916


A poster commissioned by the British Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in 1915. By 1915 the mood had changed from naïve patriotism to a sense of duty and dark resolution. This ad focused on creating a guilty conscience in those who shirked the call to arms. The little girl has apparently put her father on the spot: was he a ‘shirker’ during the war, or did he enlist and ‘do his bit’? The look on his face suggests he was one of the men who may have elected not to serve his king and country.

A contemporary response quoted by Eric Partridge in his Catch Phrases was ‘Shut up, you little bastard. Get the Bluebell and go and clean my medals’.

UK Ministry of Agriculture poster WWII

Dig For Victory 1940–45


An outstanding example of a public information campaign resulting in positive action. At a time of endangered food supply, the UK started the war with 850,000 allotments and ended with 1.4 million and became almost self-sustaining in food.


One of the dominant forms of marketing has become the marketing of specific places—cities, regions, countries. Initially the main reason was to attract tourists and foreign currency; additionally the new target is the international, or ‘inward’, investor to bring direct investment and, potentially, employment to the area.

New York State Department of Commerce

I Love New York 1977

The most famous campaign in repositioning a city started when New York was in severe decline in the 1970s, facing bankruptcy, and bedevilled by high crime rates. New York, from the 1980s onwards, rebuilt its reputation as one of the world's most dynamic cities.

Host Cities and the Olympic Games

One of the principal marketing instruments in the 21st century for an individual city is to win the right to host the summer Olympic Games. As well as being seen to embrace the ideals of the Olympic movement, a city, usually backed by the national government, uses the Olympics to stimulate awareness of their city in the world, to encourage investment in local facilities and infrastructure, to create jobs, and to stimulate economic growth, either through tourism or inward investment. Increasingly, the Olympic games are awarded to host cities in recognition of their rising economic power.

The bidding process run by the Olympic Committee for the award of the Olympic Games is itself a major marketing activity involving the world's media and thousands of local, state, regional, and national government officials and huge expenses. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former IOC president, and the architect behind making the Olympic Games more open to commercial marketing opportunities, suggested in 1993, ‘Marketing has become an increasingly important issue for all of us in the Olympic Movement. The revenue derived from television sponsorship and fundraising help to provide the movement with its financial independence.’

The spiralling costs of hosting an Olympics have led to an economic case that the Olympics have to result in more than a short-term injection of media attention, the patriotic gratification of having staged a successful games, and tourism, and the emphasis is now placed on the ‘Olympic legacy’—the benefit derived once the visitors have departed and the benefits to the city of the new sports facilities, the infrastructure, and the long-range impact on tourism and inward investment.

The most successfully hosted Olympics of modern times—the Beijing Olympics of 2008—announced the dramatic re-entrance of China on to the world stage as a major power. It clearly helped in ‘marketing’ China, and Beijing in particular, to a world largely unfamiliar with it.

Given the Olympics is the most heavily viewed sporting event on earth, the awareness of the host city is always significantly increased, but awareness (a quantitative measure) must be distinguished from image enhancement (a qualitative measure) because image can be both positive and negative. Some cities do not always enhance their image as a result of hosting the Summer and Winter Olympics: examples include heavy financial loss (Montreal, 1976); building delays (Athens, 2004); terrorism or bomb detonations (Munich, 1972; Atlanta 1996); country or government boycotts (Montreal, 1976; Moscow, 1980; Los Angeles, 1984; Seoul, 1988); ambush marketing (Atlanta, 1996); weather problems (Calgary, 1988; Nagano, 1998); and suggestions of financial or bidding process impropriety (Sydney, 2000; Salt Lake City, 2002). The LA Olympics of 1984—and the Winter Olympics of Salt Lake City and Lillehammer—are so far the only games known to have made a profit, as opposed to losses, or simply to break even (Sydney).

Professional Services

Services are an increasingly large portion of the GDP of advanced economies and rising each year. Professional services are among the most profitable of these services. The marketing of professional services presents a paradox: professional services are among the oldest forms of organized business activity in history, and marketing is among one of the least established business disciplines—yet the marketing of professional services is one of the most under-developed and elusive business activities to which marketing discipline is applied.

Professional services firms, with a heavy emphasis on individual relationships, small-scale client entertainment, and discrete sponsorship have not recorded many iconic campaigns as have existed in mass consumer product and services organizations. However, the marketing ethos is starting slowly to take hold in even the most old-fashioned professional services firms.


Accenture, a brand that was born on the first day of 2001, has already established global recognition in a relatively short time period. Accenture is the pioneer in professional services brand and image building, having adapted the techniques of consumer marketing in the 1990s to differentiate it from its accounting parent Arthur Andersen.

The antecedents of Accenture's brand building were unique: it was formerly the consulting practice of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen and was separated to form an independent business unit. In a bold and unprecedented step the firm began, in 1989, to market itself as an organization that helped companies apply technology to create business advantage. It became a top quality consultancy brand by the end of the 1990s. In a decade it had achieved the extremely difficult task of positioning itself in the information technology professional services market space. It had, simultaneously, created a separate identity from its accounting roots with Arthur Andersen.

In order to build this new identity, the firm had taken the pioneering step of using consumer marketing techniques to develop and build a professional services brand. It was the professional services industry's first large-scale advertising campaign used to promote name, market positioning, and brand image. Before this, the professional services category had formal rules that prevented advertising, and was known for its outmoded and archaic approaches. Most professional services firms chose not to advertise, feeling it was inappropriate, or even unprofessional.

Between 1990 and 2000, as the market for technology, systems integration, and management consultancy boomed, so the firm grew from an accounting firm's offshoot into the world's largest management and technology consulting organization.

On August 7, 2000, Accenture was notified of the successful outcome of arbitration against Andersen Worldwide and Arthur Andersen. As part of the final award that released Accenture from all further obligations to Arthur Andersen and Andersen Worldwide, Accenture was required to cease using the Andersen Consulting name by December 31, 2000.

This confronted the 11-year-old firm with a branding challenge on a gargantuan scale. After spending an estimated $7 bn building their brand over a decade, the company now had to find, implement, and introduce to the world a new name in a matter of months. Never before had a rebranding of such scope been implemented over so short a timeframe.

The rebranding as Accenture—the largest rebranding initiative ever undertaken by a professional services firm—was successfully implemented across 47 countries in just 147 days. Accenture launched worldwide on January 1, 2001. The name Accenture was invented by an employee following an internal competition, and is a fusion of ‘accent’ and ‘future’. Accenture planned a two-phased marketing strategy for introducing itself to its global audience. The aim of both phases was to surround the company's target audience—including its 40,000 clients and prospects, 70,000 employees, 1.5 million potential recruits, as well as worldwide press and media—with messages informing them about the new name and new positioning. As well as rebranding, the objectives included a desire to reposition the company in its target markets, focusing on its ability to deliver innovative solutions to its clients across its breadth of services in Consulting, Technology, and Outsourcing. Another objective was to transfer brand equity to Accenture (which was important because the company became a public corporation later in 2001) and to eliminate residual confusion with Arthur Andersen. Ironically, in the same period, its former parent, Andersen, which had opposed the separation, collapsed in a welter of financial scandals triggered by that of Enron. The Accenture rebranding was not only highly successful; in retrospect, it was an act of extraordinary business prescience.

Personal Care Products

Mouthwash (Listerine)

Notable Campaign

‘Often a bridesmaid, never a bride’ Milton Feasley, of Lambert and Feasley, 1925


This famous ad campaign appeared in magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal.

The now famous slogan, ‘Often a bridesmaid but never a bride’, quickly became an adage, still in use today. Many people believe that it is an old saying.

‘Edna's case was really a pathetic one. Like every woman, her primary ambition was to marry. Most of the girls of her set were married—or about to be. Yet not one possessed more grace or charm or loveliness than she. And as her birthdays crept gradually toward that tragic thirty-mark, marriage seemed farther from her life than ever.

She was often a bridesmaid but never a bride.

That's the insidious thing about halitosis (bad breath). You, yourself, rarely know when you have it …'

(Ad caption from the 1925 ad for Listerine that introduced the American public to halitosis.)

Hair colourant (Clairol)

Notable Campaign

Does she…or doesn't she? Shirley Polykoff, 1956

A tantalizing question during the early days of the sexual revolution. Sex became a major part of advertising after this campaign.

The first Miss Clairol ads were originally written, ‘Does she…or doesn't she? Hair colour so natural only her mother knows for sure!’ However, Clairol was concerned about alienating the older generation that the word was changed to ‘hairdresser’. The final ad read, ‘Does she…or doesn't she? Hair colour so natural only her hairdresser knows for sure!’ Polykoff insisted the models in the Miss Clairol ads resemble the ‘girl next door’ rather than the high-glamour women typically portrayed in 1950s ads. The idea was to make hair colouring respectable and mainstream. The print ads typically included a child to undercut the sexual undertones, making it clear that respectable women coloured their hair, not just women of easy virtue as was believed at the time. Also, showing the mother's hair next to the child's hair emphasized the precise colour match by comparison.

Clairol's sales increased by an amazing 413% in just six years. More than 50% of adult US women began using hair colour, up from 7% prior to Polykoff's Miss Clairol campaign. Through her ads, Shirley Polykoff helped transform Clairol from a small business (a tiny division of Bristol-Myers) to a huge international brand by assisting in the creation of a hair-colouring industry.

Pears Soap

‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ 1880


This was the brainchild of Thomas Barratt, the son-in-law of Andrew Pears, inventor of the famous soap. Barratt was an early advertising genius. He persuaded prominent skin specialists, doctors, and chemists to give glowing testimonials to Pears Soap. Such endorsements were boldly displayed in magazines and newspapers, handbills, and on posters. Lillie Langtry, a highly popular actress of the day, cheerfully gave Barratt a commendation for Pears Soap. Barratt entered the lucrative American market by persuading the enormously influential religious leader Henry Ward Beecher to equate cleanliness, and Pears Soap in particular, with Godliness. Barratt promptly bought up the whole of the front page of the New York Herald to display the glowing testimonial.



Founded in Sweden by Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA, a home furnishing retailer, has grown from the most unlikely local circumstances to become both a global brand and a retailing phenomenon. IKEA is headquartered in Amhult (known locally as IKEA town) in a forest in southern Sweden. Kamprad started his first furniture catalogue in 1951 and was an early user of flat packing, which was devised in the 1950s. Since it opened its first store outside Sweden in 1963, IKEA has grown to have 170 stores in 22 countries, employs 70,000 people, and uses 2000 different suppliers around the world. Their famous catalogue, which has 7000 photographs in each edition, runs to 110 million copies annually, making it one of the world's most widely circulated publications. It consumes around 50% of IKEA's total marketing budget. It does not target any particular market segment and is distributed randomly. Such a lack of classic segmentation has not impeded IKEA: their worldwide customer base is estimated at 260 million.

IKEA has capitalized on the post-war market trends of demand for home living design, wide range of choice, and customer self-service and self-help. Its global brand is built around a combination of their design skill, their products, their stores and the marketing of all of these via their catalogue. The IKEA success formula is based on simplicity in the design of its furniture and then packing the furniture into flat packs (first done in 1956) for its retail outlets that enable the consumers to transport it and assemble it themselves. (Also since the 1950s onwards the majority of consumers have cars that can carry IKEA flat packs back to their homes.) Flat packing also enables IKEA to make major cost savings, both in terms of storage and delivery, which are passed on to customers in terms of lower prices. IKEA's giant stores are usually based near large urban centres where there is a high demand for home furnishings. This gives IKEA huge cost advantages and appeals to the consumers' home design needs. Also, IKEA's retail stores are very innovative: they give consumers ideas for home design and decoration; they display entire room concepts rather than just the individual furniture components. IKEA also provides wide choice with an average of 10,000 lines available in each store, of which 20% are changed each year. However, IKEA only employs around 15 permanent designers supplemented by 80 freelance designers around the world. The designers are constantly employed in thinking through innovative ideas—from furniture design to new ways of flat packing that are based on what customers need for convenience and quality.

Sports Equipment and Apparel Brands


The Adidas brand logo

-->The ‘Trefoil’ was adopted as the corporate logo in 1972. In 1996, it was decided that the Trefoil would only be used on heritage products such as the classic running shoes. The Adidas Equipment line was launched in 1991. In January 1996, the Three-Stripes brand mark became the worldwide Adidas corporate logo. This logo is used in all advertising, printed collateral and corporate signage.

Beginning as a cobbler in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Adidas founder Adolph Dassler, built one of the world's most popular and well-known brands of sports shoes and apparel. Growing up in poverty-stricken post-World War I Germany, Adolph (nicknamed Adi) joined his family in making and selling homemade house slippers. Dassler began producing training shoes in 1920 when he was only 20 years old. He later began to manufacture soccer, tennis, and running shoes. To ensure that each shoe would be both safe and performance-enhancing, Dassler used his own athletic experience and the input of doctors, trainers, coaches, and other athletes to guide the design of his shoes. Dassler's athletic shoes were first worn in Olympic competition in 1928. Henceforth, Adidas shoes and equipment were used by Olympic athletes and national soccer teams. Jesse Owens wore Adidas track shoes during his spectacular Olympic performance in Berlin in 1936, where he earned four gold medals. Armin Hary was the first athlete to run the 100m sprint in 10 seconds, also wearing Adidas shoes. In 1949, Dassler created the first soccer shoe with moulded rubber studs and, for the first time, adopted the trademark three stripes. The German National team won in the 1954 World Cup final wearing Adidas soccer boots with screw-in studs, which enabled the game to be played under vastly different conditions without slipping.

One of Dassler's goals in producing athletic shoes was to design them according to each sport's specific demands, a goal that resulted in more than 700 patents among which were nylon soles and running spikes. Today Dassler is known as the founder of the modern sporting goods industry.


Nike revolutionized sports marketing in the 20th century, although its underlying business is sports apparel, footwear, and equipment.

The name Nike derives from a goddess of Greek mythology who sat beside Zeus and who was a winged emissary who represented him to commemorate victory in battles. The famous ‘swoosh’ logo was created by a student Caroline Davidson in 1971 and it represents the wing of the Goddess Nike. She was paid $35 for her work by Phil Knight who had commissioned her to design it. The logo first appeared on a sports shoe in 1972.

Phil Knight had been an athlete himself, and, together with Bill Bowerman, an athletics coach at the University of Oregon who needed lighter, better quality running shoes for his runners, they started the business (originally called Blue Ribbon Sports), as a small-scale operation in Oregon, selling imported running shoes from the back of cars. The running shoes were manufactured in Japan (ironically called ‘Tigers’) and only branded with the Nike ‘swoosh’ after 1972 for US distribution.

Knight benefited from the changing attitudes to sport and exercise. Mass participation in gyms, jogging, and sports generally, which began in the 1970s and which flourished in the 1980s and 1990s created worldwide demand for low cost, high quality sportswear. By the mid-90s Nike had revenues of nearly $7 bn and was regarded as an iconic global brand.

Part of the success of Nike was their advertising campaigns as well their sponsorship of individual sportspeople (for example Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Venus Williams) and teams (the Brazil football team).

Example Campaign

Just do it 1988


One of the more successful advertising campaigns of the later 20th century. It appealed to the mood of the times for action, particularly sporting action, to achieve some purpose in life without hesitation and deliberation. The slogan, combined with the Nike ‘swoosh’ logo, became a global icon.


Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic was born in the 1980s. Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur, had already created a successful brand with the Virgin Group, particularly in the music business. He had founded the group when he was 20 as a mail-order record company and shortly after opened a music shop in London's main shopping thoroughfare, Oxford Street. The original brand slogan of these stores was ‘Cheap and nasty’. A music studio was built in Oxfordshire in 1972, where one Mike Oldfield recorded his massively successful album Tubular Bells for the Virgin Records label. This album sold 5 million copies and was the catalyst for Virgin Records, which signed a range of successful artists, including The Rolling Stones, Culture Club, Janet Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds, and The Human League.

Virgin was to become one of the six biggest record companies in the world. By the early ’80s the Virgin Group was well established. Branson developed the idea of operating a Jumbo Jet passenger service between London and New York in 1984. Freddie Laker had already tried to create a low-cost transatlantic airline to rival the incumbents, but this ultimately failed.

An aircraft was found, staff were recruited, licences obtained and, thanks in a great part to Richard's infectious enthusiasm, the airline took off on deadline. On the 22 June 1984 a plane packed with friends, celebrities, and the media set off for Newark, New York. Since then, Virgin Atlantic has become the second largest British long-haul international airline, operating services out of London's Heathrow and Gatwick to 18 different destinations all over the world, from Shanghai to the Caribbean. Virgin Atlantic has won numerous awards for its customer service.

In 1992, Branson consolidated and, selling Virgin Music for $1 bn to Thorn EMI, he invested the profits back into Virgin Atlantic. In December 1999 Branson signed an agreement to sell a 49% stake of Virgin Atlantic to Singapore Airlines to form a unique global partnership. The deal valued Virgin Atlantic at a minimum of £1.225 bn. In 1999, the combined sales of the different Virgin holding companies were around £3 billion.


When you're only No. 2 you try harder. Or Else. 1963



The first campaign to promote the No. 2 market position (against Hertz's No. 1 position). This was a new technique at the time and gave Avis a platform to advance their customer service.

The Rise of Online Brands

The rise of the Web in the late 20th century ushered in a new era in direct marketing, advertising, and brand building. The Web enabled new commercial business models to be created, both for traditional as well as new products and services. A direct consequence of the web revolution was a new model for marketing. The Web enabled several new approaches to marketing: micro-segmentation of buyers and consumers, niche product and service providers were given the opportunity to expand their operations without the usual high marketing and sales costs; consumers became stronger—they had been given access to information that they could use ahead of the purchase of products, which had the effect of increasing competition and driving down prices; whole industries, which had traditionally relied on a physical intermediary, media agencies, such as bookselling, music distribution and retailing, insurance selling, travel agency, and stockbroking—moved online and were transformed forever. Traditional media, particularly print media, declined, and with it the ability to charge high prices for media placement and advertisements followed. Marketers had to learn to have continuous conversations with their customers, interacting with them, being sensitive to the shift in power to their much better informed and opinionated consumers; content was generated as much by the end user as by the producer; the ability of consumers to publish themselves on the Web and to discuss products with other users, meant that marketers began to lose their century-long ability to remain in control of the marketing message that they had created for mass audiences whom they had hitherto sought to influence and manipulate. Familiar forms of advertising and media placement declined as the use of the Web and its various applications started to displace and overtake old norms.

After the bursting of the ‘dot.com’ speculative bubble in the early part of the 21st century, leading web-enabled company brands, with good business models, emerged to rival the world's leading commercial brands.

Many of the early pioneering sites on the Web, initially founded in garages and student rooms, which had robust business models and focused on an unmet market need, have become major international corporations and brands, and have brought enormous wealth to their founders. Some have succeeded by transferring traditional commercial models (bookselling, auctions, printed student yearbooks) onto the Web and revolutionizing them; others have made businesses out of the technological possibilities that only existed because of the Web (online communities, search engines). Many, in classic corporate practice, have become acquirers of other online companies with less robust business models than themselves.

Here are five of the leading web company brands who have played a transformational role in changing and creating commercial business models and the conduct of marketing.


Amazon.com is among the major successes of those Internet businesses founded in the 1990s. Its principal innovation was to bring the power of the Web to traditional business models (initially bookselling and later the marketing and distribution of a wide range of goods and services). Although now seen as a veteran of web-enabled businesses, in its relatively short life Amazon.com has mastered traditional marketing technique as well as modern ones: combining customer centricity, a vast range of choice, lower prices, self service, and convenient ease of use, Amazon is a classic combination of ‘old world’ skills with ‘new world’ techniques.

Amazon.com was launched in 1995, typically from a garage, by Jeff Bezos and was mainly focused on selling books. Bezos saw the World Wide Web could offer customers the convenience of browsing a selection of millions of book titles in a single view. Amazon.com was successful early, and came through the dot.com disaster at the turn of the century intact because it had a robust business model.

Since its inception Amazon.com has consistently enlarged the choice of goods and services offered to customers and expanded its ability to deliver from a worldwide set of warehouses. It has also used technological innovation to get closer to its customers. For example, Amazon.com offers a personalized shopping experience for each customer by allowing them to simulate a real-life visit to a bookstore in which they can browse books before buying (‘Search Inside The Book’); they have made it very easy for customers to part with their money with their very convenient ‘shopping basket’ and checkout using one-click shopping; they also have intelligence software systems that analyse individual customer's preferences and buying patterns and offer them related goods (‘Listmania’ and ‘Wish List’).

Amazon.com has also opened itself up to other businesses and developers. Amazon.com is primarily an e-commerce platform, and for the past decade has made this available to other vendors. Thousands of world-class retail brands and individual sellers use the Amazon.com e-commerce platform as a sales and distribution channel (‘Marketplace’, ‘Advantage’, ‘Amazon Services’). Independent software developers also work on Amazon.com's applications (‘Amazon Web Services’). Launched in July 2002, the AWS platform exposes Amazon technology and product data that enables developers to build applications on their own.


Google.com has become the dominant information search engine organization of the Internet. In the process of establishing its dominance in the information age, Google has also become one of the world's leading brands. With each year its search engine becomes increasingly sophisticated; its applications are able to track the intentions of users and to organize information around these intentions. Google also has a robust business model, and derives its revenues from a unique form of self service, results-based advertising, which it pioneered and which now threatens traditional media advertising models.

Google began life as a federally funded research programme (Digital Library Project) at Stanford University in 1996 led by PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Focused on the mathematics of web-page linking, Page and Brin developed the PageRank algorithm, which is at the heart of the Google search system. This algorithm transformed the way in which online searches are done.

Originally the search engine used the Stanford website. The domain google.com was registered on September 15, 1997. Google Inc. was incorporated on September 4, 1998 in a garage in California. The name ‘Google’ originated from a misspelling of ‘googol’ which refers to the number represented by a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros. The verb ‘to Google’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006, meaning ‘to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet’.

Usage of the Google search engine grew exponentially from its time of launch. With its growing URL index and database, the company was able to extend its services, which in turn helped to feed its own intelligence on searchers' intentions and investigations. The first Google index in 1998 had 26 million pages; by 2000 it reached the one billion mark; by 2004, 8 billion. By 2009, Google was indexing more than a trillion URLs.

By 2001 Google was available in 26 languages and in that same year started to offer image searching. 2005 was a breakthrough year for Google's extended services: for example, Google Reader, its feed reader, and Google Earth, a satellite imagery-based mapping service which combined 3D buildings and terrain with mapping capabilities for the entire planet were launched. In 2006 Google acquired the popular YouTube, which vastly extended its multimedia library assets. With various technical upgrades to its technology in 2007, Google enabled multimedia indexing (such as maps, books, and videos) to be displayed on a search results page. Google Analytics gave users the ability to measure the quality and impact of websites as well as their marketing campaigns. AdSense for mobile provided sites optimized for mobile browsers with the ability to host the same ads as standard websites. A content-targeted advertising service, enabling publishers to access Google's network of advertisers was then followed by Site Targeting, an Adwords feature giving advertisers the ability more accurately to target their ads to specific content sites. Google's Website Optimizer is a free website-testing tool with which site owners can continually test different combinations of website content (such as images and text), to see which ones yield the most sales, sign-ups, leads, or visitors. In 2009 Google started to test interest-based advertising on partner sites and on YouTube. This kind of tailored advertising allows ads more closely related to what people are searching for, and it gives advertisers an efficient way to reach those who are most interested in their products or services. Further developments in mobile advertising are also planned.

Google's meteoric rise and its funding model also challenged the traditional advertising model. Page and Brin had always been opposed to the dominant Internet advertising model of the 1990s, which was the pop-up banner advert on a website. The banner ad market started to decline rapidly after the ‘dot.com’ disaster in 2001–02. Having initially tried this method of advertising, Google replaced it and started selling ads associated with search keywords which were kept separate from the search terms (i.e. down the right-hand side of the search results page). Keywords came to be sold on a self service basis, with a combination of price bid and click-through. Adwords launched in 2000, with 350 customers. By 2002 it became a pay-per-click option, which Google adapted from other providers of pay-per-click at the time. Adwords uses keywords to precisely target ad delivery to web users seeking information about a particular product or service. With pay-per-click pricing, advertisers only pay when an ad is clicked on. However, Google's version of the click-through rate differed from that of other services at the time (such as Overture) who gave highest listing to the highest bidder: but this meant that an advertiser could bid their way to the top of the ranking with an irrelevant ad, and if no one clicked on it, then nobody could make any money from the advertising.

Google did not invent either search- or auction-based pay-per-click advertising—their innovation was in taking it to a new level and approaching these existing methods in a different way. Google did something different—introducing mathematics and measurable relevance into advertising—which in turn affected how marketers think about the return on advertising. Google measured the ad's relevance by the click-through rate it received and turned this into a ranking algorithm. So if an ad with a lower bid per click got clicked more often, it would rank higher. Also, the model was a flexible cost (unlike traditional media buy): advertisers can specify a maximum daily budget for their ads. Once the budgeted amount is spent, an ad is dropped for the rest of the day. This methodology was to have a major impact on both the method of advertising and also on Google's profitability as a company.


The prime purpose of Wikipedia.com is to be a free online encyclopaedia, with the content being provided by volunteers.

Wikipedia, a name suggested by Larry Sanger, was launched on its own domain, wikipedia.com, on 15 January 2001. Wikipedia was initially conceived as a feeder project for Nupedia, a concept developed by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, to produce a free online encyclopaedia. Nupedia was, however, too slow in production. So the concept of creating a faster process was advanced by Sanger as a counterpart to Nupedia, based upon the use of volunteer contributors, without expert editorial review, and using only a peer review process. Wikipedia.com was born from these discussions. The new model quickly eclipsed its parent. The project passed 1,000 articles around 12 February 2001 and by 2002, there were 40,000 articles. Wikipedia reached a million articles in 18 languages by 2006.

It saw the democratization of knowledge and the use of the Web not only to widen access but also to enlarge the number of producers to the non experts.

Major encyclopaedias, such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, were still in printed hard copy; Microsoft's Encarta, published in 1993, was available on CD-ROM, and hyperlinked. Richard Stallman described the usefulness of a ‘Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource’ in 1999.

Open collaboration and communal governance based in ‘wiki’ software is an article of faith.


eBay.com was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb in San Jose, California, by Pierre Omidyar, at the beginning of the ‘commercial’ phase of the Internet. eBay is not only successful in moving a classic commercial form online, but it is also a successful business model. Initially an online auction site, eBay expanded from its original format to include standard shopping, online classified advertisements, online event ticket trading, and online money transfers and other services.

By 1997, the site had hosted 2,000,000 auctions, compared with 250,000 during the first year of its existence. The company officially changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997. Originally, the site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar's consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it already taken so he shortened it to his second choice, eBay.com. Meg Whitman was hired as eBay President and CEO in March 1998. eBay went public on September 21, 1998, making Omidyar a billionaire.

As the company expanded product categories beyond collectibles into almost any saleable item, business grew quickly. In February 2002, the company purchased iBazar, a similar European auction website founded in 1995 and then bought PayPal on October 14, 2002. In late 2009, eBay completed the sale of Skype for $2.75 bn, but retained 30% equity in the company.

eBay is now a global company. Meg Whitman decided to step down to pursue a political career.


By 2010 Facebook.com's list of participants was greater than the population of the USA, having only been launched as a social networking website in February 2004. In March 2010 more people visited Facebook than Google. It has become the world's leading social network site.

It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, a psychology student with skills in computer programming, with his college roommates at Harvard, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. The website's membership was initially limited to Harvard students (Harvard at the time did not have an online photographic record of its own). Zuckerberg had hacked into Harvard's computers to retrieve ID photos of various dormitories on the campus and was subsequently charged by the Harvard authorities with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy, and faced expulsion. However, the charges against him were dropped. It was immediately successful: within 24 hours of its campus launch, 1,200 Harvard students had signed up, and after one month, over half of the undergraduate population had a profile.

It was originally launched as Thefacebook.com, but Zuckerberg dropped the definite article from its name after purchasing the domain name facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000. The name Facebook derives from the photo sheets given to students at the start of the academic year by American school and university administrations with the intention of helping students to get to know each other and the staff.

Facebook expanded beyond Harvard to other colleges in the Boston area, then to all Ivy League universities in the US. It later included any university student, then any high school students, and, finally, membership was extended to anyone aged 13 and over. In 2005 it reached UK universities. In 2006, the network was extended beyond educational institutions to anyone with a registered e-mail address. It remained free to join and makes money through advertising. By 2010 it had spread worldwide and had 400 million active members.

From A Dictionary of Marketing in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Marketing.

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