Saturday, December 27, 2008

Roaring Twenties Marketing: Applause Cards

Powel Crosley, Jr. was constantly working on ways to promote his radios and WLW. One such promotion was the set of “applause cards” that were packed with each radio. These were pre-printed post cards that radio listeners could send to let a station know they had enjoyed a particular program. There were two styles, each with a small cartoon character applauding or cheering, and lines to write in the name of the program and station name. At the bottom was printed, “P.S. We Own A Crosley Radio.”

Another pair of post cards was for radio buyers to send to friends, inviting them to a radio party. Each illustrated card announced that the sender had just bought a new Crosley radio receiver, and invited the recipient to a radio party in celebration. A dozen cards in all came with each set, inserted in the envelope that contained the set’s operating instructions. (Click on the image above to see large versions of all four types of Crosley applause cards.)

It was an ideal promotion, with Crosley radio buyers helping sell Crosley radios. This went right along with data from recent marketing surveys, which showed that more buyers of new radios were influenced by their neighbor’s radio than anything else.

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