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General files, 1807-1971

Author: E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. Advertising Department.
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The general files of DuPont's Advertising Department describe the company's advertising campaigns at the company-wide level.
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Named Person: Jack Chertok; Jack Denove; Crawford H Greenewalt; William A Hart; Frank Leahy; Alex F Osborn; David Sarnoff; Frank Stanton
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. Advertising Department.
OCLC Number: 122355330
Description: 49 linear ft.

Abstract:

The general files of DuPont's Advertising Department describe the company's advertising campaigns at the company-wide level.

The administrative files are fragmentary and consist of digests of several advertising clinics, lists of DuPont products, and general correspondence about the purpose and effectiveness of advertising, including presentations to the company by Gallup and Robinson, Inc. There are also files on General Electric's community relations campaigns (1952-1957) and on DuPont's advertising to the petroleum industry.

The records of the Control Section deal with advertising budgets for the various industrial departments. There is also a files on Dycril photopolymer printing plates, which DuPont marketed as an alternative to metal plates.

The files of the General Exhibits Division describe the later years and final closing of the permanent exhibit the DuPont maintained at Atlantic City from 1916 to 1955, along with quarterly and monthly reports.

The files of the Motion Picture Bureau include scripts for films made to promote specific products, including those of the Explosives and Fabrics & Finishes Departments. There is also correspondence relating to films shown to employees.

The files of the Radio and Television Sections are the largest and most important in the series. They describe in detail the several shows sponsored by the company, particularly "Cavalcade of America" and "The Du Pont Show of the Month." and the role of the company's ad agency, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. The files include scripts for individual shows and commercials, background reports, correspondence with producers, and a run of playbills for the radio version of "Cavalcade" (1935-1953). There are extensive research and ratings reports by BBDO, Gallup and Robinson, A.C. Nielsen, and Dr. John Dollard, a Yale psychologist, analysing the appeal of individual episodes to men and women and measuring the effectiveness of the programs in building goodwill towards DuPont and consumer interest in its products. One study measures audience reaction to Afro-American performers on TV. DuPont also sponsored comparative analysis with the advertising and television sponsorship of other major corporations, including such popular products as Marlboro cigarettes, Campbell's Soup, and Quaker Oats. The reports also show the effects of television supplanting radio as an advertising medium in the early 1950s, the impact of color TV, and the potential and threats posed by Skiatron, an early form of pay TV. Other files monitor developments in the industry, including a copy of the television code (1954).

The subject files are devoted to two topics: "brainstorming," a technique developed by Alex Osborn of BBDO, and the use of high school and college advertising to recruit potential scientists and engineers for DuPont. The former include synopses of individual brainstorming sessions held in the Advertising Department with lists of ideas and evaluations that followed the meetings.

The files also contain a large collection of DuPont advertisements and promotional kits dating back to 1807. The earliest ones are for blasing and sporting powders. Later, as the company diversified into chemicals, it concentrated on intermediate goods. However, advertising continued to emphasize the end products sold to consumers and was often aimed at store owners and dealers. The advertisements are in a variety of formates, including broadsides, tear sheets, catalogs, window streamers, blotters, labels, tags, and price sheets. There are also three scrapbooks of cellophane advertising (1913-1932) which were used as exhibits in the cellophane antitrust suit.

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