Look back: PR in 1930’s

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”  Michael Crichton

I strongly believe, that public relations is a really outstanding tree and we all need to be aware of it.

Public relations have been around as a profession for over 100 years, 114 to be exact. In addition, academics have found proof of early forms of public relations in ancient civilizations. Although, a lot of significant milestones happened in the period of 100 years I would like to take a better look at specific time – 1930’s.


In early 20 century no one could get their heads around the idea of proposing to a woman with a diamond ring. Why would one want to spend their two month’s salary on a little sparkly ring? It doesn’t make sense, does it? But nowadays it does, because of the link between diamonds and love that Harry Oppenheimer created back in the 1930’s.

It all began in 1888 when De Beers Consolidated Mines company was founded, which later on became the most successful cartel of the twentieth century. The son of the founder Harry Oppenheimer took action to position their company high in the market and in the whole world and contacted one of the most successful advertising companies. He asked to launch an advertising campaign, which would create an association between love and diamonds’ size. His idea was very successful and 1938 became the year of a  new meaning of diamonds.

Let’s take a look at one of their latest ads:

De Beer company is still using the link between diamonds and love in their ads even though decades have passed since the first launch of the campaign.

Taking everything into account, it could be said that De Beer jewelry went a long way to change public’s perception of their products.They’ve brilliantly handled one of the biggest challenges for PR practitioners.


One of the brightest PR campaigns which happened in 1936. Oscar Mayer (founder of American meat company) has decided that it was time to do something extraordinary for his sausage brand. His nephew Carl Mayer with the help of engineers invented the World’s first Wienermobile – car, shaped like a hot dog.

The main purpose of this meaty vehicle was to tour all around United States and advertise Oscar’s wieners. Wienermobile would visit stores, schools, children’s hospitals and other places to meet their potential customers. During their visits Oscar Mayer’s brand representatives would promote their products to the crowd as well as give out souvenirs (such as Wienerwhistles and stickers). This campaign has been going strong for over 70 years, thus you could still see Wienermobile visiting local stores and schools and spot it on the streets.

Finally, from PR point of view this type of campaign is newsworthy and very effective, because you can meet your target audience, influence it and create a positive and friendly brand’s image. In addition, the fact that Oscar’s campaign is so long lasting could have an impact on attract favorable media coverage.

Here is a short video of how Oscar Mayer’s Wiener looks right now:


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