Before Global Warming

Dateline 1937: Before the myth of global warming became to real to ignore, selling anti-freeze to the public was no less challenging. “Seasonal products,” wrote Kerwin H. Fulton, President of Outdoor Advertising Incorporated, “usually call for advertising of a high quality — advertising that will produce sales, and produce them quickly.” Words to live by.

 

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And so the words were taken to heart, especially by Leslie S. Gillette, advertising manager of the U.S. Industrial Alcohol Company, makers of Super Pyro, a premium quality popular-priced anti-freeze, who wrote an essay for the booklet above on the efficacy of outdoor ads. Gillette didn’t have to worry about today’s incongruities, like fall in the summer or winter in spring. The climate was fairly stable.

And so were the American motorists who were appealed to through a series of distinctive billboards featuring a cute, though slightly menacing, “old man winter” snowman mascot. Billboards were the medium of choice because motorists were the consumers and the signs “provides a broadside of advertising everyday during the buying season.”

The ads below were started in 1934 to depict “Super Pyro getting the best of the old bug-a-boo” — cold and ice.

 

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