When we visited Portland in the late 1990’s, my husband and I have fond memories of going to The American Advertising Museum that was located in Old Town. Don’t know if it was because I thought Darren’s job as an ad designer on the television show Bewitched was fascinating (LOL), but I’ve always loved good advertising.
Opened in 1986, this museum was the brain child of Mick Scott and Leonard W. Lanfranco. We had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Lanfranco because of his terrific daughter and family lived across the street from us. For 14 years the AAM was the only one of its kind in the world. It was even featured in a 1999 episode of PBS’s Antiques Roadshow. It is also interesting to note that Homer P. Groening, Matt Groening’s father, was one of the founding directors of the museum. Unfortunately this unique local resource closed its doors in 2004. However, their impressive collection of advertising exhibits from the 18th century to the present was acquired by the Eisner Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
On the international advertising scene, some creative minds have in recent years given birth to some outlandish chocolate ads in the forms of bulletin boards and videos.
Several years ago brought what appears to be the first edible chocolate billboard. It was unveiled in London and created for Britain’s Thornton’s Chocolates. It took 3 months to plan and 300 hours for a team of 10 to build. 860 pounds of chocolate was used and the sign measured 14/5 x 9.5 feet in size. They thought it would last a week. Apparently all of the edible portions were gobbled up by the public in only 3 hours! What the gamble- luckily it wasn’t presented during a warm spell.
A video released just last month, featuring Cadbury’s Flake chocolate bar, is a bit more dramatic. Before you view this video, it may helpful to know that the manufacturing technique to create its folds of delicately, texture is secretly guarded. The ad took three weeks to create and used 600 yards of fabric to mimic the folds of the chocolate bar.
In February of 2009, Cadbury also designed an interactive billboard built to respond to the Toronto’s local weather conditions. Called Release the Goo, it included a long teeter-tooter that had a giant (almost 5 foot tall) Cadbry Crème Egg on one end with a container on the other to collect Toronto’s rain, snow and hail. As this catch basin was lowered the egg went up and with a plan of encountering a fan that would break the egg open and de-goo it, so to speak. Not sure if the egg was ever actually de-gooed before the Easter deadline. They had a live webcam available so the Canadians could keep tabs on the progress.
This last ad campaign got me thinking. Toronto gets about 31 inches of precipitation a year and we here in the Portland, Oregon area gets over 37 inches. Maybe our famous, yet ill-fated Weather Machine (it was rammed by a city garbage truck a few years ago) in Pioneer Courthouse Square just needs a touch of… chocolate pr : )
It will be fun to see what the advertising minds of the world come up with in the years ahead! Happy Chocolating!