I do not know if you do the same. When I am traveling, I love to watch the ads, brands and packaging of the countries where I am. It’s very inspiring.
When I learned that there was a Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising in London, I obviously jumped on it. Nothing better to take a step back on our job and realize the evolution of marketing. But not only.
I give you a little summary of my visit.
Museum of Brands
The Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising is located in the famous district of Notting Hill. I already see all the nostalgic remembering Hugh Grant and these beautiful pastel colored houses.
This is a true must-see area of London and it is good to hang out there.
In short, this museum was opened in 2002 and traces the evolution of brands, packaging and advertising since the Victorian era. It is thanks to the good idea of a historian, Mr. Robert Opie that this museum was born a first time in Gloucester in 1984, then in Notting Hill.
The exhibition is in the form of a tunnel, the Time Tunnel, which winds inside the building. We are surrounded by packaging, advertising, objects and children’s games. Suddenly, we are projected in another era. The trip can begin.
It is very interesting to go through these old times, because they can already find elements that will be used and developed later by marketing, such as, for example, the beginning of the slogan.
When we arrive at a more advanced stage, we are immersed in memories closer to us, than inevitably, we look with nostalgia or smiling.
That’s when you realize that marketing is very powerful. It stakes our lives, whether we like it or not. It allows us to go back to childhood, to remember our grandparents or what our parents used as products.
And it’s really great! Marketing is intimate with our lives. It is a witness. Even in the hardest moments of history.
Evolution… with the same ingredients
When we arrive at the period of the 30s-40s, appears the advertising slogan as we know it and use it today. Obviously, these small phrases well thought to sell a product have improved (although, it depends!), But we find the same ingredients used still today:
- the promise of a better life
- that of a linen whiter than white
- to be in better health
- to become more beautiful
- naked women, etc.
On the other hand, some slogans are still used today, such as that of Kit Kat and his famous: “Have a break, …” And again, we can only recognize the strength of communication. Same with the presence of some brands for so many years with almost the same logo, slightly lifted over the years.
On this last point, we can say that nothing has changed: to show a half-naked girl to sell anything is just the base. Like here when it comes to selling Schweppes. Unfortunately or not, it’s another debate …
Marketing and the evolution of technology
Marketing, through its evolution, also shows that of technology. Radio, television, mobile phone, game consoles: everything is there.
With the arrival of television, we see, for example, the start of a new type of newspaper: the TV program.
And each time, through advertising and the media, we find the same questions: is this technological novelty really a blessing? Is it good for your health? Do we know the consequences? etc.
It does not really remind you of anything?
What “politically correct”?
When visiting this museum, it is obvious that currently, rare are the inventions in marketing. Humility is essential.
On the other hand, what has struck me personally is the absence of “politically correct” advertising. We see ads with a lady playing tennis to sell cigarettes or Guiness which is perceived as a strengthening or perfect to relax. We noticed that everything was possible at the marketing level at that time.
And, if I do not endorse the ads with the benefits of smoking, I must admit that I envy a lot of feeling this taste of “everything is possible” in my job without the risk to be sued for 18 different reasons.
And second revelation, I told myself that it must be fun enough to work at that time. Be back to a little lightness and open-mindedness would not hurt us.
Marketing and the future
Yes, because it’s nice to look back, but what about the future? Until June 2019, the Museum of Brands is exhibiting the packaging of tomorrow. I mean the one who will be the most respectful of the environment while being practical and aesthetic. This small part shows the progress of research in this area and it is rather fun. We leave the museum with a smile.
Before I forget, this museum is made for the whole family, not just the pros of the trade. It is not too long so children should bear.
In short, visit this museum when you will be in Notting Hill! Besides it is right next to the Portobello Market.
How did marketing affect your life?
par Delphine Berclaz