THE VISUAL TURN(S) IN MODERN ADVERTISING (the companies' viewpoints)
A general call for a "visual turn" in "modern" advertising as the best way to catch (illiterate) consumers' attention
- To catch female readers in the press (Crow 1937)
- To reach the masses in the street (Bacon 1929)
The multi-layered space of advertising is unequally affected by the "visual turn(s)"
Precocious and Numerous (how many) advertisements for glasses and optician products in the press - specifically addressed to readers? - relaying optician's shops and signboards in the street
- Lazarus Optician
- Other opticians advertised in both Chinese and foreign press
- NCDN Optical Institute
- Signboard of an optician shop, Shanghai, 1932. Source: Pinterest
- Echoing Arnold's predictions of a boom in the optical business
- Many Chinese however purchase and wear glasses for appearance only, even the very thinck lens, which are not of magnifying nature, when sold to those who purchase them for appearances (…). The Chinese people are bound to require larger numbers of glasses and hundreds and thousands now who should be wearing glasses will when they discover the beneficial effects of properly fitted glasses take to them. It seems when once a person wears glasses he mus continue their weir wear the rest of his life. Furthermore, as education and schools extend in China, and as the country develop modern industry with congested city conditions, the demands for glasses will increase. Weekly Report for the Week ended June 29, 1918. Source: Julean Arnold Papers, 1916-1940. Box 4 (1916-1920). 2. Despatches 1918-1920. Hoover Archives, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
Later/new derived optical products
- Cameras and photographic materials (films, etc)
- Glass windows
- "VITA" GLASS WINDOWS let in the ultra-violet health rays of daylight PERMANENTLY. All the facts about "VITA" Glass will be sent if you wirte to Pilkinson Borthers (China) Limited, 179 Pingliang Road, Shanghai. "VITA" is the registered trade mark of Pilkington Brothers, Ltd. St Helens, England. Advertisement for "VITA" Glass windows published in "Radiant Health".Vol. 1, No. 5. Spring 1935. Source: SMA (SMC, PHD), U1-4-724 (2423)
- Other products
- Appeal to health
3D visual media - Outdoor appropriations of new/modern visual techniques - especially electric/illuminated advertising
- Old Gas and Electric lamps and signboards (1907-1930) Source: SMA (SMC), U1-14-3262.
- Neon Signs
- Claude Neon Lights
- Ewo Brewery (Jardine, Matheson & Co. Ltd. (De Luxe Restaurant). July, 1938. Bubbling Well & Chengtu Roads (Cad. Lot 1265). Source: SMA(SMC), U1-14-3776 (0399)
- Belge Neon Lights
- Many other Neon lights companies
- Specialization process of the advertising business in the 1930s - perceptible in the names of the companies
- Illuminated Advertisement Company
- Lantern slides
- Ohlinger Films (Jan 1924). North Szechuen & Haining Roads (Cad. Lot 971) Source: SMA (SMC), U1-14-3266.
- Proposed Screen (Detail)
- Japanese propaganda/war movies 1942 (Battle of Burma)
- Other projected advertisements
2D visual devices - appropriated by both press and street advertising as well
- Languages as visual markers
- English in a Chinese-dominated context
- Chinese in an English-dominated reading context
- Typography/Visual potential of Chinese characters
- Multipurpose photography
- Used as a proof/evidence to strengthen testimonials and claims of truth/authenticity
- Used as mere illustration/beautification/eye-catching device
- Chromolithography - restricted to magazines and posters
- American magazines
- In Shanghai
- Shenbao huakan
- Representation/Discourses on visuality: Linguistic/Metaphoric uses of vision and the eye
The dilemmas of visuality
The dangers of using colors (chromolithography)
- The pros: Chinese "natural" taste for vivid colors (Milington, Bacon, Crow)
- The cons: risk of misusing colors / misunderstanding Chinese codes of colors (Crow)
- The limits of strategic locations (main roads, crossroads) : higher frequentation but decreased attention
The limits of height (sky/roof signs): does height increase or reduce visibility?
- Increase = a way of displaying power (BAT tower : Horse Bazaar/New World)
- Reduce = a risk of losing sight : the necessity to balance elevation by large dimensions (regulations)
- Attracting attention without collecting crowds or distracting drivers
Detracting from competitors without detracting from the background or encroaching on public roadways
- Encroaching to attract attention - Union Brewery Limited, 1936. Source: SMA, SMC U1-14-3269 (1512) ; (GHM5 : Theatres ; Tailors...) ; nombreux cas de délations de concurrents fraudeurs
- Not detracting from the background - fitting in the landscape - Carl Crow 1924 Extract from Shanghai Times
OPTICAL OR HAPTIC TURNS? RE-INSCRIBING THE VISUAL TURN WITHIN THE BROADER SENSORIAL REGIME OF MODERN SHANGHAI : A complex system of senses/feelings - both hierarchical as well as subjected to perpetual interactions and constant variation, open to changes, even reversals in sensorial hierarchies
INAUDIBLE advertising in the "naturally" NOISY streets of Shanghai?
Silent expressions of the hearing sense through "cultural" commodities or representations of sonorous spaces in Shanghai
- Auditive/Musical products
- Musical instruments (piano, harmonica SH 1941)
- Radio, phonograph (Pathé, Victor RCA)
- Representations of hearing/sounds
- Singing in advertising (Foramint - Children at school 193?)
- The so-called cacophony in Chinese streets
- Clark 1894
- Arnold 1936 - "Walking to My Office" Source: Hoover Archives
- Crow 1937?
- "Musical/Rythmical" considerations in forging trademarks?
- N. Allman (Coca-Cola Trademark): chosen for its denotative/connotative & visual/sonorous qualities as well. A perfect combination which explained the success. Source: Hoover Archives.
Was auditive advertising unsuitable for the already congested sonorous spaces of Shanghai? A tough competition for being heard in the noisy streets of Shanghai...
- Radio advertising
- Advertising parades
- W.H. Jansen. Civic Visual and Audible Education. Feb-March 1935. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-3-3820 (0375-0377)
Purging hygienic Shanghai from bad smells and promoting an either ODORLESS or FRAGRANT city
Hygienic products/production participate in the global "deodorizing" process of modern societies and the modern search for "good smells"
- Toilet Soap
- Margarine. Only the choicest of raw materials are permitted by any concern of repute. The oils and fats used are deodorised and refined in the most hygienic and efficient manner. They must also pass severe chemical and bacteriological tests. Even the air in the factories is cleansed by passing through cotton wool or other suitable filtering screens. The finished product is tested by experts and even margarines with minor defects are rejected. "Margarine". Extract from BETTER HEALTH - March 1936 - Published by the Medical Officer of Health of SOMERSET. MARGARINE. SMA (SMC), U1-4-820 (0454).
Indirect Representations of odours
- Animals, Chinese & foreign odours (Crow 1937)
- Presented as important as/even more important than apparent beauty in advertisements for hygienic products (numerous advertisements showing beautiful or more ordinary women)
The Modern Search for a TASTY LIFE
New industrial products participated to the "modern" quest for "good" taste and palatable/savorous/delicious foodstuffs
- Margarine as a "modern" solution/answer to the long-life search for a palatable butter substitute in troubled times (said to be invented by the French chemist Mege Mouries upon Napoleon III's request during the Siege of Paris - Franco-Prussian war in 1870-1871). Source: "Margarine". Extract from BETTER HEALTH - March 1936 - Published by the Medical Officer of Health of SOMERSET. MARGARINE. SMA (SMC), U1-4-820 (0452).
A one-way use of the "taste appeal"? (Used in foreign rather than Chinese advertising?)
- A natural relationships between food and taste? (Flavor/Taste seemed to be systematically associated with foodstuffs)
- Outisde Shanghai: Still-life paintings in Sun-Maid Raisin advertising in the US (JWT)
- Everywhere: Ubiquitous (how many) claims of "delicious"/"savorous"/"tasty" goods in the food industry
- Other products appealing to taste
- Chesterfield praising taste as a more reliable sense than vision. Eye = deceiving organ/ NCDN 1924. The revenge of TASTE upon VISION
- Representations of the packages invite consumers to taste the product = a tactile experience of the product mediated by the eye
- Cigarette package
- Sun Mai Raisin
- Other Food package
- A common visual device in Shanghai was to show the package open to allow consumer to inspect/examine the content - according to Carl Crow, to meet with Chinese's careful attention to details
- Visual vis-a-vis of "The Rat" cigarette & "Sun Maid Raisin" packages in 1930s Chinese presse
- Street tasting stands are attested in American cities in 1920-1930s but not evidenced in Shanghai at the time
- Peter Kohler (Nestle) Chocolate in NYC, Chicago, etc. (Source: JWT Collection)
- Why not in Shanghai?
- Forbidden for traffic reasons?
- Competition with Chinese food-sellers overwhelming the streets in Shanghai?
- Joseph de Reviers de Mauny, "Marchand de beignets", Shanghai, Février 1933. Source: Common People and the Artists.
- Baking contests = a global appeal?
- In Shanghai
- Sun-Maid Raisin baking contest organized by Carl Crow (Crow, 1937)
- In America
- Sun-Maid giant pie (JWT Collection)
- Aunt Jemina Pancakes (JWT Collection)
- Cooking Books, recipes and cooking lessons in women magazines
- Chinese Cook book by Albert C. Row Company, (June 4 1931). Source: Alonzo Bland Calder.(1911-1956) - Box 45 (Advertising). Hoover Archives. Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
The hidden/inhibited presence of TOUCH in Modern Shanghai?
Global or local inhibition? In Modern Shanghai only or in every modern society? Contradictory to "civilized" society?
- In Shanghai: a one-way inhibition? In foreign spaces only or shared by both Chinese & foreign communities?
- Mediated by the description of the materials/properties of advertised products or advertising structures in the city
- Material properties of foodstuffs, in relation with climate or weather conditions
- Concerns with margarine melting point
- A problem of great importance is that of melting point. With our variable climate the fats have to be constantly changed (p.5/5) to agree with weather conditions. Housewives have all, at some time or other, experienced the annoyance of butter or margarine being "unspreadable" in cold weather. As far as possible the margarine technologists ties to eradicate this fault. Source: "Margarine". Extract from BETTER HEALTH - March 1936 - Published by the Medical Officer of Health of SOMERSET. MARGARINE. SMA (SMC), U1-4-820 (0452).
- Visual/suggested representations rather than verbal/explicit/open expressions
- Representations of the packages invite consumer to touch the product = a tactile experience of the product mediated by the eye
- Sun Mai Raisin
- Cigarette package
- Representations of the packages invite consumer to touch the product = to give consumers a tactile experience of the product (while always visually-mediated)
- Visual vis-a-vis of "The Rat" cigarette & "Sun Maid Raisin" packages in 1930s Chinese presse
- Outside Shanghai. A quite late open discourse on touch in the US (JWT collection) - not before 1940s
- Soft-weve (softness)
- "A skin you love to touch"
Inventing a SIXTH SENSE? Invisible/Mute/internal/organic feelings
A "modern" concern for in-digestion as a case of body dis-comfort in general - digestive troubles and the digestibility of products
- Some of the natural fats used in pastry making have a higher melting point than blood heat. This makes for slower assimilation, a feeling of heaviness after heating and usually indigestion in some form or other is experienced. Source: "Margarine". Extract from BETTER HEALTH - March 1936 - Published by the Medical Officer of Health of SOMERSET. MARGARINE. SMA (SMC), U1-4-820 (0452).
- Constipation = the "universal bugbear" disease in the 1920-1940s?
- The global-local crave for yeast: global products, local brands
- Fleischmann Yeast in the US (JWT)
- Yakamoto in Shanghai
- Other brands in Shanghai
- "Conquering Constipation"- by Dennis Mooney, N.D., D.P. Published in "Radiant Health". Vol 1, No.5. Spring 1935. Source: U1-4-724 (2413-2420)
- "Advertisement for Naturalax". Published in "Radiant Health". Vol 1, No.5. Spring 1935. Source: U1-4-724 (2413-2420)
A global/local crave for "freshness"
- Products related to freshness
- NCDN Norge (fridge) - 1941, Feb 14 - p.5
- "The Advent of the First Harry L. Hussmann Freeze Display Counter in China" at Provision Department of Lane, Crawford’s, Nanking Road. Julean Arnold Papers. 1916-1940 - Photographs. Envelop A. Source: Hoover Archives.
- Julean Arnold Papers. 1916-1940 - Photographs. Envelop A. Source: Hoover Archives.
- Fruit squash and sodas (non-alcoholic beverages)
- Aquarius Co.
- Watson's Co.
- Fresh fruits
- Sunkist (Californian) Products
- Fresh/Pasteurized Milk
- Standard Milk (Newmilks, Ltd.): "Fresh, Nutritious, Safe & Cheap"). 1935. Source: U1-4-724 (2403)
- Representations of freshness ("fresh appeal") vs. hot weather/tropical climates
- Global appeal for "freshness"
- JWT Collection: Foremost Milk, etc.
- Contested/Conflicting definitions of "freshness" in Shanghai
- Public Health Department's skepticism towards commercial discourses on "fresh" milk
- I enclose for your attention a cutting from the "Shanghai Times" of May 2, containing statements which might possibly be misleading to the milk-consuming public. It should of course be clear to the consumers that fresh New Zealand milk in the usually accepted meaning of the term cannot be produced in Shanghai, notwithstanding the most modern methods of speed transport. / However the advertiser proceeds to describe in some detail the methods of reconstitution employed, so you may possibly consider the expression "Fresh New Zealand Milk" is nothing more than legitimated competitive advertisement. Commissioner of Public Health to Secretary . "ADVERTISEMENT OF RECONSTITUED MILK". May 3, 1935. Source: SMA (SMC), U1-4-724 (2426).
- Rythmanalysis of the "fresh appeal": Preferentially used in summer/hot weather or tropical climates? "Seasonality" of advertising campaigns?
- Media to freshness
- The fad of "soda fountains": circumscribed to a few American cities in the 1920s only?
- Advertisements for Fleischmann Yeast. Source: JWT Collection
THE EYE(S) OF POWER (Police/PWD's viewpoints)
Licence plates (bearing the permit number and proprietors' names) shall be fixed in a conspicuous position and maintainted visible any time
荣昌祥广告公司 1948 (Souce: Pinterest)
- Displaying the name of company: to comply with regulations or to advertise the company as well?
- 国泰广告公司 1948 (Souce: Pinterest)
- 中央广告社 1948 (Source: Pinterest)
Advertising (building/works) sites should be properly enlightened by night
- To avoid accidents (PWD's viewpoint)
- To avoid theft of materials (PWD/Police viewpoint)
- To allow for Police control/surveillance
Advertising should not obstruct visibility in public spaces
Pedestrians and driver's visibility (any user of municipal road/footways)
Restrictions of advertising in/on transportation
- Rickshaw advertising
- Motorcars/taxicabs advertising
- Colored-light advertising should not interfere with traffic lights: Prohibition of red and green lights in advertising