Tag Archives: history

The top ten female icons of advertising

We’ve got Madge the Manicurist and Rosie the Riveter – plus, the little umbrella girl from Morton’s which goes all the way back to 1914 – from Advertising Age:

This venerable ad icon was originally an afterthought, one of three substitute ideas that agency W. Ayer & Co. pitched in case the company rejected 12 others. But Morton fell in love with the girl from the beginning. The “When It Rains It Pours” campaign made its debut in 1914 became a classic.

 

source: Morton

 

Then there’s the  iconic, Rosie the Riveter:

Rosie was the star of the classic campaign to recruit women to the workforce during World War II. Her image was popularized by Norman Rockwell’s rendition on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1943.

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Happy Native American Day!

September 28 is an official holiday in the state of California – Native American Day. Established in 1998, it is celebrated in our schools and government offices, but mostly ignored everywhere else. Only a few states (South Dakota, Tennessee) have a similar holiday, and there is no Federal recognition.

That’s really sad – we should have a nationally recognized day to celebrate Native Americans.

If you live in California there are some festivities to enjoy. San Diego is hosting a series of events, here is one:

Running Grunion storytelling

Abel Silvas will combine comedy, storytelling and mime, offering an interpretation of Native American history and culture from past to present.

And just outside Los Angeles:

To experience the distinctive cultures of California Indian people firsthand, we invite you to attend a free public celebration, featuring traditional Native American bird songs, music, art, and food.

Finally, in Sacramento Valerie Taliman will receive the Native American Women in Leadership Award:

An award-winning journalist, Taliman received the Richard LaCourse Award from the Native American Journalists Association last year for her groundbreaking investigative series on missing and murdered First Nations women. She continues to highlight violence against women and the racism inherent in violence against Native families. in her articles for ICTMN.

 

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The Vice Presidents that history forgot

A well written, entertaining piece by Tony Horwitz about his visit to the museum of Vice Presidents:

It is a nonpartisan collection of stories and artifacts on all 47 vice presidents – the only museum in the land devoted to the nation’s second-highest office. This neglect might seem surprising, until you tour the museum and learn just how ignored and reviled the vice presidency has been for most of its history. John Nance Garner, for one, said the job wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

Humor is laced throughout the piece, but not because of the author – because Vice Presidents have been so ridiculed. Some deservedly so – like the drunken gambler who had congress dock his pay – and some not so, like the small-town lawyer who was nearly president during World War I, when Woodrow Wilson had a series of strokes.

Though that same lawyer quipped, “one ran away to sea, the other was elected vice president, and nothing was ever heard of either of them again.”

A fun read – The Vice Presidents That History Forgot.

 

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The accidental history of the @ symbol

 

From Smithsonian Magazine:

Called the “snail” by Italians and the “monkey tail” by the Dutch, @ is the sine qua non of electronic communication, thanks to e-mail addresses and Twitter handles…The origin of the symbol itself, one of the most graceful characters on the keyboard, is something of a mystery. One theory is that medieval monks…

 

A fun read…the once useless symbol becomes the hero of the digital generation!

 

 

// Image: a screenshot of the Wikipedia page for @

How advertisers convinced Americans they smelled bad

It was an enterprising schoolgirl and a traveling bible salesman in 1919. They couldn’t get ladies to use antiperspirants until they made them feel bad. The strategy was to encourage them to be insecure, from Smithsonian Magazine:

Perspiration as a social faux pas that nobody would directly tell you was responsible for your unpopularity, but which they were happy to gossip behind your back about.

Reading more like a lyrical public service announcement than an advert:

A woman’s arm! Poets have sung of it, great artists have painted its beauty. It should be the daintiest, sweetest thing in the world. And yet, unfortunately, it’s isn’t always.

 

It worked and sales boomed. The next step was to convince men they needed it. Can you guess how they did that?

Read Sarah Everts full article to find out.

 

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Take the Downton Abbey personality quiz! – Season 3 returns January, 2013

source: PBS

 

That’s right, our favorite British costume drama, Downton Abbey, returns on January 6, 2013, to PBS’ Masterpiece Theater. And because that is far too many months to wait, we have some Downton treats:

The show gets significant historical events right. The depiction of the 1918 “Spanish” ‘flu epidemic is accurate—it came on suddenly, people could be well in the morning and near death at night. And it was people in the prime of life, 20-40 year olds, who were most at risk.

However, the depiction of trench warfare is mixed. The show captures what scholar Paul Fussell described as the “ridiculous proximity” between the home front and the trenches. For instance, the posh department stores Fortnum and Mason and Harrods both had gift assortments specially chosen for the front—and delivery was efficient!

  • A photo slideshow, from the The Right Honourable Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham to Bates and Mr. Carson

 

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Ghosts of the Osfront – an audio-chronicle of Germany/Russia during WWII

Here is a promo from my favorite historian, Dan Carlin. He does a show called Hardcore History and the name fits. So be warned that this is real, no punches are pulled.

The topic for this show, called “Ghosts of the Osfront”, is the battle between Germany and Russia in World War II. He starts with the brutality and effectiveness of the Germans as they start the war. Then, moves into the bloody Russian counterattack that eventually leads them to invade-back Germany. Millions of lives are lost, atrocities are committed, and more you don’t even want to know about.

Or do you?

If so, then this show is for you. Listen to this promo to find out if this fits your style.

 

 

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How the hell did I end up here?

Today, I’ve been thinking about my career as a blogger, asking the question, “how the hell did I end up here?”

I never liked writing essays, stories, or pretty much anything on paper. My grades in English from high school through college were mediocre. Everything changed when I wrote that first blog.

You see I’m a talker, always have been since about age 5. I have this vivid memory of stuttering and being unable to speak my mind. Then my Dad was driving me somewhere, we passed the Delta Center (old name of the Salt Lake City Jazz NBA stadium), and my mind clicked. I was able to say whatever I wanted and instantly started gabbing.

I didn’t stop gabbing, and annoying everyone around me, until I found blogging. It was my perfect place to say whatever I wanted. I loved it.

Coincidentally, I don’t feel the need to talk anymore. It’s all left on the blog and my mind, and relationships, are free to be…well, normal.

At work, things progressed pretty smoothly. I was able to convince my bosses to let me start blogging. It was all about the mission and how to improve our work. They liked it, the community liked it, and I was on my way. The reputation I had built up carried me into my next few jobs where part of why they hired me was the blogging.

Then, finally, it was my job. I was hired to be a corporate blogger. It was a great gig and I was able to do what I loved and get paid for it. The next step occurred to me sometime during that job. Instead of blogging for somebody else, why not do it for myself?

A few months later, on July 1, 2011, I took the plunge. Full-time writing for my own site and my own business, and most especially with my own content.

Of course, this changed everything. I went from corporate sponsorship to advertising based. I had to learn how to write for the public at-large, instead of for a specific group of business people. The transition hasn’t been hard, but I can’t say I’ve found my groove. The main issue is determining how to stand out amongst the millions of websites out there.

Which is where I sit today, trying to find my voice and working on building some momentum for this blog. It feels weird to look-back on my progression like this. There is no way I would have imagined it ending up this way. I mean my job at the time I started blogging was a technical trainer for web 2.0. That’s a pretty solid 90-degree career turn.

I guess that means I don’t know how I got here. It just kinda happened. I’ve been following my obsession with blogging for seven years and have yet to stop. I wonder where it will take me next…

 

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Jason Bourne didn’t really have amnesia – it was more of a writer’s trick

It turns out Jason Bourne didn’t really have amnesia. That would require a hit on the head or something similar. He would then lose all of his past memories and kind up wake up clueless, maybe even unable to make new memories.

No, Jason Bourne had selective amnesia where he was able to forget all the bad things in his life, but remember how to speak several languages, fight 16 bad guys at once, and generally act like a superhero. This is called ‘dissociative amnesia’ which usually occurs after a traumatic event.

So, it is a form of amnesia just not one that requires you to be bonked on the head. It’s sort of the brains way of dealing with something to hard to handle. You forget that incident but remember pretty much everything else and function normally.

It is the perfect writer’s device. Start your character with nothing but an awesome set of skills and bad guys to foil…fill in the personality later.

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More on this from an engaging post on neuroscience, The Weird History of Amnesia:

The major fascination with amnesia is that it’s so specific. When an amnesiac wakes in a hospital, they may not know who they are or where they are, but they do know that they are in a hospital. They know what hospitals are and what they look like. They retain the ability to talk, to count, to recognize certain aspects of the world they live in, while blanking out personal memories entirely.

 

 

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Take my Rorschach test – and then learn it’s history, effectiveness, how it shouldn’t be used

Two inkblots below. After looking at each one tell me what you think they look like (my answers at bottom).

 

I first came across the Rorschach inkblot test when I was training to be a clinical psychologist. I was shown a series of cards containing inkblots and asked to say what they looked like to me (Tester: “What does this look like?” Me: “A bat.”) I remember thinking that it felt more like a tarot reading than a proper psychometric test.

However, when the test was scored and interpreted, it produced a scarily accurate profile of my personality. It knew things about me that even my mother didn’t know. I’ve been a fan, if a rather sceptical one, ever since.

So, what is the Rorschach inkblot test? It’s simply a set of cards containing pictures of inkblots that have been folded over on themselves to create a mirror image.

By asking the person to tell you what they see in the inkblot, they are actually telling you about themselves, and how they project meaning on to the real world.

But the inventor of the test, Hermann Rorschach, never intended it to be a test of personality.

 

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