Godfrey, meet Don Draper   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.11.20 at 00:00
Current mood: impressedimpressed

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“My Man Godfrey” is not only arguably the greatest screwball comedy ever made, but it features some of the most unusual ancillary items of any Carole Lombard movie. Not long ago, we noted the existence of a booklet used in marketing called “Diary Of A Debutante” (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/636422.html), which purported to reveal the thoughts of Carole’s character, dizzy heiress Irene Bullock…

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…now, we’ve come across another promotional idea — advertising tie-ins!

You didn’t think this was something the 1936 version of “Mad Men” could pull off? Au contraire, my friend. A total of 14 stills from the movie were made available for such purposes. As the person selling these pics notes, “Today, this may be considered product placement within a film, though brand names are used here only occasionally. Using stills from the film, advertisers could promote a variety of items.”

As you’ll see, it’s rather primitive product placement by 2013 standards (was the type font used just as an example? One would think only the most unsophisticated of advertisers would use it as is), but it’s fascinating to see a “Godfrey” spin on all sorts of products. (You’ll note some spaces have been left blank to insert a particular brand name in the suggested copy.) Here they are:

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Interesting marketing angles, I think you’d agree. I frankly haven’t seen enough newspapers or magazines from the fall of 1936 (when “Godfrey” was released) to know how many of them (or if any of them) were used.

As you can see, most of the advertising plugs are generic; here’s an exception, specifically referring to General Electric products (curiously, “Godfrey” was a Universal release, and decades later GE would be a majority owner of Universal — which had merged with NBC — before selling control to Comcast a few years back):

carole lombard my man godfrey advertising 02a

And an on-the-set pic shows William Powell, Alice Brady and another cast member playing “Monopoly,” which was hugely successful in 1936, and perhaps envisioned as a promotion for a toy or department store:

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Now the particulars on the pics: All are 8″ x 10″ silver gelatin originals, in fine condition. This “extremely rare and unusual collection of special promotional merchandising stills” can only be purchased as a complete set, for $750. At that price, it’s probably only for Lombard, Powell or “Godfrey” completists…or perhaps advertising agencies that would like to decorate their offices. To purchase, or merely to check it out, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/MY-MAN-GODFREY-1936-Special-advertsing-campaign-still-set-of-14-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/321254752384?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4acc468080.

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Posted November 20, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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