Ad Women: How They Impact What We Need, Want, and Buy

Overview

Most of the workers in advertising, the media, retail, and fashion are women. Holding key marketing and advertising positions, women shape the basic promotional appeal of almost every consumer product in America.
How did the advertising business go from a handful of women in a man’s world to women working in virtually every mass consumer goods industry in America in the space of the twentieth century? Ad Women tells the story of how women have risen to the top of the advertising...
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Overview

Most of the workers in advertising, the media, retail, and fashion are women. Holding key marketing and advertising positions, women shape the basic promotional appeal of almost every consumer product in America.
How did the advertising business go from a handful of women in a man’s world to women working in virtually every mass consumer goods industry in America in the space of the twentieth century? Ad Women tells the story of how women have risen to the top of the advertising profession. Anyone who has followed the rise of Mad Men's Peggy Olson from secretary to copywriter will be interested in the story of her real-life counterparts.
Juliann Sivulka, a former marketing communications manager and now an advertising educator, describes how, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of women as primary consumers resulted in the hiring of more women to promote products aimed at the women’s market. At that time manufacturers began to emphasize color, fashion, and style, while advertising embraced a new language of persuasion aimed at women consumers. Soon agencies were recruiting an ensemble of businesswomen—copywriters, product designers, merchandisers, fashion and beauty experts, home economists, editors, and publicists. Through close collaboration with manufacturers, mass media, and retailers, they participated in developing strategies to convince women to buy goods and wove their selling messages into women’s reading, shopping, housework, and leisure activities.
Sivulka follows three key periods in the history of American advertising, which represent eras of major social change for women (1880-1920, the 1920s, and the 1970s). She discusses the effect on advertising of such controversial issues as the women’s movement, minorities, and consumer activism, and devotes an entire chapter to the contributions to advertising of African American, Hispanic, and Asian American women in the twentieth century.
Copiously illustrated with portraits of early ad women and examples of their work, this thoroughly researched and engagingly written survey of women in advertising will fascinate marketing students, women’s studies scholars, and everyday consumers.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sivulka (Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes) chronicles the rise of women in the world of advertising to demonstrate how women impact the promotional appeal of almost every consumer product in America today. Drawing upon archival sources, the book presents the stories of women who succeeded in traditional feminine occupations as well as those who challenged their limited social roles. Sivulka places these figures in the larger history of business and economic development and the entry of women into the professions. Sivulka divides the book into three key periods that are strongly linked with economics, politics and women's history in modern America (e.g. one era, 1880-1920 marked the rise of the modern consumer, the advertising industry and the suffrage movement). Of particular interest is the story of Mathilde C. Weil, the first known ad woman in America, who established her own general advertising agency in the 1880s. With numerous illustrations and photographs, this thoroughly-researched and well-written history of the evolution of women in advertising will appeal to those in the field and those interested in the women's movement.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591026723
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Juliann Sivulka (Tokyo, Japan) is the author of Stronger Than Dirt: A Cultural History of Advertising Personal Hygiene in America, 1890 to 1940 and Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising. She lives in Tokyo, Japan, where she is a professor of advertising and American studies at the School of International Liberal Studies of Waseda University.
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Table of Contents


Introduction Women, the Body and Soul of Advertising 11 Ch. 1 Customers Become Consumers: The Evolution of Marketing, Advertising, and American Consumer Culture 25 Ch. 2 The Entering Wedge: The Woman's Viewpoint and Advertising 47 Ch. 3 It Takes a Woman to Sell a Woman: Designing Mrs. Consumer 84 Ch. 4 The Business of Femininity: Selling Mrs. Consumer 118 Ch. 5 The Depression and War Years: Retail, Radio, and Yellow Writing 157 Ch. 6 The Fabulous Fifties: Redesigning Mr. and Mrs. Consumer 198 Ch. 7 The Fabulous Fifties: Selling Mr. and Mrs. Consumer 235 Ch. 8 The Second Wave of Ad Women: The Forces of Feminism 273 Ch. 9 The Womanists: Alternative Visions in the Twentieth Century 312 Ch. 10 The Third Wave of Ad Women 346 Epilogue: Ad Women on Top 383 Index 393
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