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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Advertising Hershey Chocolate

One of the great myths in the advertising industry is that Hershey Chocolate did not begin  advertising until 1970.  Although the Corporation generally did not use consumer media advertising such as newspaper and magazine ads, or radio and television commercials, it did employ a variety of techniques to publicize itself. 

Hershey Chocolate Corporation offered store window displays to its customers to help them promote Hershey products.  ca. 1936

Hershey Chocolate Corporation offered store window displays to its customers to help them promote Hershey products. ca. 1936

Hershey Chocolate used its advertising dollars to promote its products to the stores and outlets that would sell Hershey’s products.  Hershey also believed in advertising its products where consumers could purchase them and created elaborate and often whimsical store window sets and in-store product displays that featured product in bountiful arrangements.  

Hershey Chocolate Corporation distributed charts such as this to schools to help them teach students about making chocolate.  1944

Hershey Chocolate Corporation distributed charts such as this to schools to help them teach students about making chocolate. 1944

In addition to store and window displays, it published a variety of educational pamphlets  and other materials that described the process of making milk chocolate and promoted the company.  The very first pamphlets appeared a few years after the factory began operations.  These pamphlets promoted the town and linked the success of the company with the model industrial town. 

 

Recipe pamphlets offered cooks new recipes using Hershey products.  Hershey's Syrup recipe pamphlet, ca.1936-1945

Recipe pamphlets offered cooks new recipes using Hershey products. Hershey's Syrup recipe pamphlet, ca.1936-1945

Hershey Chocolate Company published cooking pamphlets beginning about 1915 as a way to promote the use of its products and introduced its first cookbook about 1922.  One of the most far reaching advertising techniques Hershey employed was creating and inserting specially sized postcards, in standard-sized milk chocolate bars to promote the company and the town.  The postcards showed scenes of factory operations, diary farms that illustrated milk chocolate wholesome ingredients, and attractive view of Milton Hershey’s model town. These postcards were distributed nationally and found their way around the world.  In the Archives collections you can find postcards with postmarks from China, Alaska, Mexico and France. 

 

Hershey Chocolate Corporation promotional films featured the town of Hershey as well as the chocolate factory and Hershey products.  1932

Hershey Chocolate Corporation promotional films featured the town of Hershey as well as the chocolate factory and Hershey products. 1932

The desire to promote the company and the town eventually led to Hershey Chocolate Corporation to underwrite the production of a series of movies that promoted the products and the town.  In 1932 the company produced a 48-minute educational film that described chocolate production and the model town made possible by the success of Hershey’s milk chocolate. This film was shown primarily in schools.  The following year two films were produced: “Seeing Wonders,” a movie short promoted Hershey as a travel destination and the “Chocolatetown Review,” another short film that featured Hershey Chocolate products as marionettes in a vaudeville style show.  Both of these films would have been seen as “shorts” shown in movie theaters before the feature film.  World War II and the death of Milton Hershey in 1945 ended the company’s exploration of new advertising techniques.

Ringing in the Holidays: Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates

In 1989 John Dunn was Hershey Chocolate brands manager for Kisses.  Hershey was working on a new marketing campaign for Kisses , sometimes referred to as the Kisses “whimsy” campaign.  Working with Ogilvy Mather, a series of animated Kisses commercials were planned utilizing tabletop stop-motion animation and CG product photography.

 

Ogilvy Mather was the agency of record for the Hershey’s Kisses brand and David Apicella, was the Creative Director who discovered and contracted the production company, Colossal Pictures in San Francisco to produce the commercials.  Carl Willat served as Director for the commercials, and he and Gordon Clark creatively performed the animation that brought this campaign to life.

 

John Dunn traveled to San Francisco to oversee the development of the commercials.  John remembered that there was still time left when the planned Kisses commercials were completed and he asked Carl Willat and Gordon Clark to develop a holiday commercial for Kisses.  Even though he didn’t have authorization to create this commercial, John felt confident that he could sell it to his boss.

 

The creative idea of Kisses performing as hand bells in a bell-choir fashion was developed to play “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.  To reinforce the whimsy and innocence of the brand identity, John suggested the idea of having one of the Kisses franticly ringing at the end of the commercial where the Kiss expresses great relief by wiping its brow with the plume when the song concluded.

 

The commercial  quickly became an iconic success.  It has aired each holiday season since 1989, “ringing” in the holiday season of good cheer.  It has become the longest running Hershey’s product commercial.

“That’s a good bar.”

 
In-store advertisement, ca. 1930

In-store advertisement, ca. 1930

 

 

 

 

 

In the 1920s Hershey Chocolate Company wanted to expand its product line and began experimenting with formulas for another nut bar. Samuel Hinkle, who began his career as a plant chemist in November 1924, spearheaded the company’s efforts. He shared vivid memories of developing the formula for Mr. Goodbar in 1925 in his 1975 oral history interview:

“We’d been experimenting with a peanut bar, peanuts being a popular product with the American people,” said Hinkle. “We decided we’d better use Spanish peanuts rather than Virginia peanuts. We came up with this Spanish peanut, a small round peanut, and we left the little red shell on the outside. We called it roasted, but we really were frying the peanuts in fat and combining them with our milk chocolate. We began to think about a name. Actually, it was Mr. Hershey who really came up with the name. Someone said, ‘That’s a good bar.’ And his (Mr. Hershey’s) hearing being a little bad, he thought they said, Mr. Goodbar. So he named it Mr. Goodbar.”

Mr. Goodbar is one of the Chocolate Company’s most enduring products. During the 1930s Depression Era, it was marketed as a “Tasty Lunch” because the peanuts gave it added nutritional value. During these years the bars sold 2 for a 5 cents. In the 1950s and 1960s the bars carried the slogan, “Quick Energy in Every Bar!”

Wish You Were Here. . .

 

 

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Postcards such as this one were used to promote Milton Hershey's model industrial town.

The early 1900s saw a surge of popularity for postcards. The hobby of collecting picture postcards became the greatest collectible hobby that the World had ever known. The official figures from the U.S. Post Office for their fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, cite 677,777,798 postcards mailed. At that time the total population of the United States was only 88,700,000.

 

Hershey Chocolate Company included specially sized postcards with their 5 cent milk chocolate bars from 1909-1918.

Hershey Chocolate Company included specially sized postcards with their 5 cent milk chocolate bars from 1909-1918.

 

Hershey Chocolate Company took advantage of the popularity of postcards by designing and printing a series of specially sized cards. These cards were included with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate 5 cent bars. The postcards were first included beginning about 1909 and continued until 1918. At first the cards featured images of the Chocolate Factory and dairy farms.

 

Early "Bar cards" featured scenes of chocolate making departments such as the Longitude or Conche department where chocolate was mixed for up to 96 hours before being moulded into bars.

Early "Bar cards" featured scenes of chocolate making departments such as the Longitude or Conche department where chocolate was mixed for up to 96 hours before being moulded into bars.

Later town attractions such as Hershey Park, Swatara Creek, The Homestead and Chocolate Avenue were featured. The cards enabled Milton Hershey to advertise the quality of his milk chocolate and promote the town as a destination. They also became a popular bonus for consumers of his best-selling product. Over 88 different designs were developed over the years. Hershey’s sophisticated printing equipment made it cost effective to print the cards.  Large quantities were printed.  The local paper, the Hershey Press, (also printed in house), reported that one year 75 milion cards had been printed for inclusion with Hershey’s milk chocolate bars.  Originally the cards were printed in black and white. Later a green tint was added and finally the cards were printed in 4 colors. All of the cards included the phrase “Home of the Hershey Chocolate Company.”  To see more Hershey Chocolate Company “bar cards”  visit the Archives page at www.Flickr.com

 

Over the years of production, 3 styles of printing were used:  black and white, green and black and 4-color.  Postcard featured scene from Hershey Park, ca1916-1918.

Over the years of production, 3 styles of printing were used: black and white, green and black and 4-color. Postcard features scene from Hershey Park, ca1916-1918.