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Cynthia B. Meyers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823253708

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823253708.001.0001

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The 1930s’ Turn to the Hard Sell

The 1930s’ Turn to the Hard Sell

Blackett-Sample-Hummert’s Soap Opera Factory

Chapter:
(p.103) 5 The 1930s’ Turn to the Hard Sell
Source:
A Word from Our Sponsor
Author(s):

Cynthia B. Meyers

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823253708.003.0005

This chapter examines how the economic crisis of the Great Depression stimulated advertisers' interest in “hard sell” advertising. The massive contraction in production and consumption in the 1930s led to a drop in advertising revenues. To combat the decrease in consumption, many advertisers turned to hard sell. Top hard sell proponents, such as Frank Hummert, became well-known as advertisers hoped that the repetitive, reason-why, rational appeals of the hard sell would stimulate sales. The hard sell strategy became particularly prominent on radio where Hummert's agency—Blackett-Sample-Hummert (B-S-H)—dominated daytime programming, especially serial dramas aimed at housewives.

Keywords:   Great Depression, hard sell advertising, advertising industry, Frank Hummert, radio, Blackett-Sample-Hummert, daytime programming

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