Tuesday, April 22, 2008


This is the cover of Rawleigh's "Good Health Guide", circa, 1932. It billed itself as a cookbook and yearbook. The Rawleigh company's literature prided itself in health and wholesome living.

In years past, it was enough to rely on television, print and radio for advertising. Before the computer age, marketers could reach nearly all household by these three venues.
But when computers and the internet became commonplace, when DVR's and Tivo made it easy to 'fast forward' through marketing promotions, promoters sought new, innovative means to reach their target audience.
Now, television, radio and newspapers plant 'give away gifts' as a form of advertising. Entire programming - especially for youth - target their cartoons, movies and stories in order to plug a product.
It appears revolutionary, this new way to market. But I would suggest it is simply falling back to a method of taking one's product to the people that has existed for over a hundred years - if not more.
For decades, including the thirties, the Rawleigh Company offered a magazine that coupled it's products with timely articles, how-to stories and recipes. Each literary effort was supported by a Rawleigh product. They understood the value of coupling information a reader needed with a product from their own line. And while they 'hawked their wares' they also gave the reader horoscopes, worldly news and special features, such as a column that addresses motherhood concerns.
It was a combination that masked the greater purpose. Give a reader a story that relates to their life- and then slip in a product. Ahh, marketing...today, in our computer world, we call them pop ups. Back then, they just popped up in peoples' mailboxes!! Their real mailboxes!!

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