Johnson, Mike (ed.) / Leblanc Bell : A newsletter for music retailers, educators, employees and friends of G. Leblanc Corporation
(May 6, 1996)
Ad venture, pp. 25-31
A corporate history as revealed by a dig through past advertising files by John Hauter Advertising Manager Over the millennia, civilizations have come and gone, many with no recorded history. We know of them today only through the remnants they have left behind, the stuff of archaeology. Modern-day corporations can be thought of as cultures in miniature, with compressed histories that have never spanned eons. They may thrive for decades, sometimes for centuries. During a company's successful years, it is occupied with the business of do- ing what it does-not with recording the minutiae of its day-to-day existence. So its history, like that of some myste- rious culture of the past, must be in- ferred from the tangible documents and artifacts it has produced. When we in Leblanc's advertising department sat down to brainstorm the contents of this special issue of the Bell, looking for different perspectives from which to tell the company's 50- year history, we felt stymied by the fact that none of us had direct knowledge of the decades preceding our own ten- ure. Then Mike Johnson, corporate communications director, suggested that a wealth of insightful material was waiting in our own department files. Advertising is any company's most visible and deliberate link to the cul- Advertising is any company's most visible and deliberate link to the culture at large. Through advertising, a company defines its own image and tells its own story. ture at large. Through advertising, a company defines its own image and tells its own story. Leblanc has under- stood this since its founding in America, thanks to Vito Pascucci's vi- sion and his commitment to the qual- ity of all that represents Leblanc. Our challenge was clear: Tell the story of Leblanc's 50 years in America through the record left by its advertis- ing. As advertising manager, I pre- sumed that this formidable task would fall to me. But where to start? As it turns out, The Instrumentalist magazine was founded in 1945, and Leblanc, founded the following year, has been a regular advertiser in its pages ever since. The Instrumentalist staff has kindly assisted us in research- ing and reproducing the earliest ex- amples of Leblanc's print ads. In 1955, Leblanc began maintaining its own archives. It is impossible to comment on all of the advertisements that Leblanc has produced over the years, so these com- ments will focus on a sampling of ads that seem pertinent to Leblanc's chro- nology. The early ads may look "plain" by today's standards, but they are sig- nificant- to our company's history, as continued on page 26 Then and now: At left Leblanc's most recent "corporate" ad, developed by Boller Coates &Neu to commemorate 50years in America. At right, one of the earliest ads placed by Leblanc's "American Division,' appearing in a 1947 issue of The Instrumentalist JSTRDY, TROBLEFRE clarin t l hs 1sm 4- il i Ilrcdl\ill] tIIw V d vt l a ll lcall II J FiB TH ON [m~ LY $100[ REIL L"if SE5E YOUR I TDEALERLH ELSRN/UMR19 .
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