Historic advertising

Tire advertising has always had its challenges. Take a look at campaigns over the decades, and how they reflected social change and society's preoccupations of the moment

 

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The first tire advertisement found, is from The Graphic of December 1897, just nine years after John Boyd Dunlop pioneered the first practical pneumatic tire. The advertisement shows that we were perhaps slightly confused in those very early days as to what media titles should be used to launch the young tire onto the market place. We see it surrounded by pans, prams, and even in a Dunlop advert being second in importance to a cycle show.

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Tire From deference we move to another equally less prevalent national trait today, patriotism, here shown through the use of the Royal Crest.

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Advertising was searching for some originality in the liberated times of the roaring 20s. Patriotism needed some support and advertisers turned to integrity

 

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In Christmas 1916 we see Mr Dunlop himself in a rare full-color print

 

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A direct commercial approach with a call to arms

 

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Tire A direct commercial approach with a call to arms

 

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By 1924 advertising was searching for some originality in the liberated times of the roaring 20s. Patriotism needed some support and advertisers turned to integrity. The chairman of the then advertising agency employed by Dunlop, Charles F. Higham rose valiantly to the challenge with this piece of self-congratulatory testimonial

 

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Social contrasts are almost seen to be celebrated in the 1930s advertising, particularly in contrasting the city and country life. For example observe the man with the Lagonda overlooking the workman on a narrow boat

 

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Tire Perhaps the style and lifespan themes hit their peak in pre-World War 2 advertising with this advert. This is in your face, art deco high style at its pinnacle, almost dripping with shades of Noel Coward and Agatha Christie’s Poiriot.

 

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Throughout the 1930s and before there was, and still is, a desire to impress. It is intriguing to see what was thought impressive in the late 1930s. This advert shows the Ensign aeroplane, for which Dunlop produced tires. This was an impressive and evocative piece of high technology in 1938

 

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Tire The Comet was also leading-edge technology in the early 1950s and Dunlop made much of its diversification into a wide range of aeronautical technologies

 

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Tire Land speed record breaking was also seen as impressive and played an important part in advertising. Somehow, despite the extreme nature of the pursuit, land speed record success remained relatable to all motorists, after all the cars at the time all ran on wheels fitted with pneumatic tires

 

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The drivers were national heroes and unlike today it was possible to stretch the credibility of their drivers to everyday car tires. Seagrave, the Campbells, and many others featured in Dunlop advising through to the mid 1960s

 

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Tire The 1960’s saw a growth of television and cinema advertising using the entertainment characters and films of the time, James Bond, The Saint, the Italian Job and from television. The age of the celebrity was beginning.

 

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Historic advertising

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