Emerging Media in 1930s

Raided the Modern Mechanix site to see what advertising media were budding in the 1930s.

1931: Someone had a great idea to put ads in the middle of  Newton color disks (like these). Notice the combination of "high school science classes" and "package of cigarettes".

1933: Sales robots!  Some guy hid phonographs behind  cut-out cardboard dummies. Guess nobody could tell the difference anyway.

1934: Wow, something like this passes for emerging media even today. Person standing in front of a mirror triggers light that illuminates an ad layer behind the mirror's surface.

1936: Advertising mirror, perfected. Now with a phonograph record triggered by a light sensor.


  1. Another good example is the 1931 film It Pays to Advertise that addressed the how to market and create hype for a fictional product. This film serves as a blueprint of how "reverse product placement" functions. In recent years, we've seen fictional products like Bubba Gump Shrimp and Booty Sweat cross over into the real world. It's amazing to see that this strategy dates back quite a few decades.

  2. 80 years later, interactive mirrors are still in the race. Amazing !

  3. So interesting to see what has and has not changed over the years.


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