Thursday, 24 January 2013

Sepia Saturday - Sales Promotion

The theme picture of this week shows a North Carolina shop front. It seems the proprietors, the Dughi brothers, sell a.o. fruit and vegetables including bananas. The latter surprised me a bit. Assuming they are not grown locally (wrong?), they have been imported. The picture is from the very early part of the 20th century. In those days it must have been quite an achievement to import bananas possibly from Central America and get them to destination in an edible condition. An oyster saloon seems to be part of the Dughi's enterprise. It is difficult for me to imagine what that is. It is the saloon part that intrigues me. To me that is not the most logical venue to eat oysters. Or does the word 'saloon' also have other meanings? But I digress. The fact is that we have very few shopkeepers in the family. And the number of pictures showing their enterprises corresponds with that fact. The best I can do is refer you to an earlier post about my grandfather. He was managing the accounting department of a grocery store procurement organization.
So I allowed my mind to make some overtime to see whether I could come up with an associated subject. After an hour or so, and after having rejected all thoughts about saloons, my brain produced the word 'advertising'. Because that is what the Dughi's have been doing as well. There are a couple of signboards visible and may be they did some advertising in the local newspaper. And, very important, they were also dependant on mouth to mouth advertising. Upsetting their clientele was not in their interest. So advertising it is. I'll show you a few examples from the world where I came from: air transport.
Most pictures are part of a collection of photo's saved from a KLM Copenhagen office by two of my colleagues, the late Bert Besseling and Aris Zwart.
Fleurop Interflora KLM
Say it with Flowers
The above Danish poster is a joint advertising campaign of KLM and Fleurop, also known as Interflora. Originally a German organization, Fleurop is instrumental in delivering bunches of cutflowers to individuals worldwide. They started doing this in 1908 and they still do this today!
KLM Advertising
A fine banking relationship, advantageous travelling
 The background of this ad is the situation just after WW2. In those days it was not allowed to exchange limitless amount of your own currency into foreign denominations. But KLM was claiming that things were possible thanks to the good relations they apparently had with the banking community in Denmark. In the bottom right hand corner it is suggested that foreign currency matters can be handled. My understanding of  the Danish language is no more what it used to be. So my interpretation of this ad may not be 100% correct.
KLM Cargo Worldspeed
Who gives parcels under 100 kg a service that is beyond the clouds?
KLM's Worldspeed!
KLM's Worldspeed product was a small package serve intended to compete with the so called integrators such as Fedex, DHL and UPS. Despite a worldwide advertising campaign in all kinds of trade journals, it turned out to be failure. My involvement in the development of this product apparently was not decisive...
KLM Autobusbedrijf advertising
25% reduced fares for round trips during night time
KLM had its own bus company providing scheduled service from Schiphol Airport to a.o. Amsterdam (Leidseplein) and The Hague (Varkensmarkt). And why not use these buses to display your ads. Here 'red eye specials' to a number of European destinations are being promoted.
The last picture shows that not everything displayed in a shop window is intended for sale. It is a photo I made in the city of Maastricht several years ago. The city is situated in the Dutch province of Limburg. Please also note the photobomb in this picture. For those who think this photo is in reaction to attempts by one Sepian to seduce us with erotica, you are wrong.
For more shops, their owners and their marketing efforts, please click here and you'll get to see everything you (n)ever wanted to buy and more.


  1. Old ads are always interesting it seems, no matter what the subject matter is. Much of the artwork, before CAD was intricate and painstaking.

    Now I wonder why you could't resist that shop window. You must have known it would have come in handy one day!

  2. That last picture surely is disarming.

    The first ad is my favorite, probably because those colors are my current favorite combo.

  3. Hi Peter ... you have some wonderful advertising posters there. I love that last picture ... those guys seem to be taking a break from dismembering the mannequins, which must certainly be hard work.

    I enjoyed learning more about the history of your company and about how they tried to compete with the big boys on package delivery.

    Kathy M.

  4. Great post! Old advertising has so much history attached to it.

  5. Peter this is a very interesting blog. Love that old pic of the traders.
    On the right on the board it says: Southern Insurance Company, then Teuton Insurance Company, then T.T.Hay & Brithers General Agents. In other words several businesses reside in that building on the right.
    New Orleans, being on the coast could easily have oyster fishermen. A saloon is a bar, somewhere you go and drink and indeed here, can have an oyster or two with the beer or, more to that date, a whiskey.
    I would certainly think in the Southern States banana plantations can be found and if not there, certainly in Florida, which has a subtropical to tropical climate. I can't detect the other fruit from the pic. The guy on the left is standing by a very interesting machine, I don't know what it is, do you?

  6. "billig Reise" means cheap journies. So I wonder how cheap they were in those days. Old ads can tell you a lot about the times in whcih they appeared.

  7. Peter! Your last photo reminds me (worryingly) of my own Butcher Shop photo this week!
    It's interesting how early photography became linked so quickly with commerce & promotion.I bet ,these days, the traders in your top photo would have had themselves a 'stonking' website to advertise their wares!
    Off-topic...but your post reminds me how we take travelling long distances (eg with exotic produce) for granted.I remember travelling with my family ,by car,from UK to Poland in 1965.We took the car via Harwich/Hook of Holland.In those days,no easy drive on/off option on the boat.The car had to be lifted on & off by crane !(i have the 8mm film to prove it! it looked very cumbersome and dangerous) We forget the effort it used to take from A to B!

  8. Hi Peter,
    Those are some great old ads for KLM. It's interesting that they tried to venture into the small package delivery service. Did you really have something to do with the planning? Would love to hear that story some day.
    Love the photobombs in the mannequin photo. Those window dressers look like they can't figure out what appendage goes with which girl.

  9. I would have taken a picture of that last shop window too.

    I assume that a oyster saloon is the same as an oyster bar or restaurant. There is a famous one in Grand Central Station in New York. Now, at least< oyster bars seem to serve a variety of seafood.

  10. I flew on KLM a few times, but those posters are definitely before my time.

  11. I enjoy psychology in advertising. Was always a fun subject in gradschool. I remember we touched very little on its history. So glad to read your post.

  12. Once again Peter, you have delighted my morning@ hahaha! Post wise that is, and it's not just your fine photos, but your writing and humor and stories!!! as well. Always a treat to stop by, and as your last charming photo- why it's just so almost sepia in color, that's such a turn on in itself! Although if it were a shop window here right now, I'd give them all a coat, because it's so COLD here right now! :)

  13. The first ad, fleurop brings back memories of Mimosas my mother used to have in vases, while outside snow and cold still prevailed. When I asked her where do they come from, our garden is still bare and cold, she would look at the flowers and said, think how wonderful, they come by plane! Good post about advertising when it was still in its infant shoes sort of a benign beginning. I can't stand advertising unless it is very good and witty. I really hate advertising about funeral plans!!

  14. I'm getting to know KLM better and better. Thanks for the enteresting story!

  15. Love the "say it with flowers" ad - I wonder if that is still Interflora's slogan. I worked in a florist on a Saturday when I was at school and they were an Interflora agent. Your final photo is a bit disconcerting :-) Jo

  16. Images of airplanes with props are like those of typewriters and dial telephones. We know what they are, but can't remember the last time we used one. As to oyster saloons, they probably resemble the typical outdoor oyster roast where diners slurp standing up at crude planks where the shells are tossed onto the sawdust floor. Whiskey and beer are the preferred beverages.

  17. Modern ads might be slick and hip, but classic ads make you want to explore something. Nice!

  18. Another interesting blog, and the shop window reminded me of my trip last year to Maastricht. I took many photos of shop windows and displays but none like this one.

  19. @Little Nell
    Correct, I thought it was funny to begin with and indeed, somewhere in the back of your mind...
    @Kathy M
    We even had talks with Fedex about a cooperation agreement. The great Frederick Smith came over to see us.
    @aussie K
    No idea what kind of machine that is.
    I remember in those days intra European fares were very high. All business traffic and holiday/IT charters.
    You are right about the travelling. Can't you show this Hook of Holland movie on your blog one day?
    On the package service please my reply to Kathy M.
    @Karen S
    Thanks for your kind words! And here it just stopped freezing.
    Re the funeral ads. There was a time when they added the words "there are no obligations". But for some reason they discarded that phrase :)
    I believe they still use that phrase. Here it has been promoted to a kind of saying. Nobody associates it with Fleurop any more.
    You must have seen the shop, it is in the center of town.

    Thank you all for dropping in!

  20. I love it when people take the theme image and go off on flights of fancy. This is especially so when they do it in style - and there is something very stylish about those old airline adverts. There is a certain style about that last photo too!

  21. We never know here a prompt will lead us as the writer or the reader. Enjoyed the flight!

  22. Maybe the KLM should have invested in high-speed trains instead of busses, that would have spared us the Fyra...

  23. @Alan
    Glad you enjoyed that last picture :)
    Are you pulling my leg or...
    HSA, High Speed Alliance is a joint NS/KLM company that operates the Fyra... I believe KLM has a 10% share and NS is doing all the operational things.

    It was a pleasure having you all on board!

  24. Good post. Photographs of old aircraft always fascinate me anyway.

  25. I somehow feel responsible for that last picture... Why is that?
    Having done display for a major Canadian retail store, I found it amusing how so many folks are alarmed when seeing a mannequin in pieces...

    I studied Graphism, so, advertisement is one of my interests, and you have a fine selection here.
    Glad you share this with us. Now next time you want to flirt with erotica, I don't think you'll need my help, will you?!?

  26. @Ticklebear
    As to yr 1st question, I haven't got the foggiest idea ;)
    And on the flirting, I'll let you know if I need help :)


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