Hershey’s Kisses

Some of the first Hershey’s Kiss advertisements were made in the Confectioners Journal. Hershey’s Kisses were created in 1907 and throughout the first fifteen years of production of Hershey’s Kisses, the Confectioners Journal released many interesting advertisements beginning in 1909.

In the first advertisement, made in 1909, “Hershey’s Milk Made”, there are very few words. The viewer is not prompted to read or look at the advertisement in any specific way because of the lack of directionality in the ad. However, the viewer’s eyes are first drawn to the picture in the middle, showing are Hershey’s Kisses in a box, because of its magnitude. Surrounding the transparent part of the box, which allows the viewer to see the kisses inside, the box says “Hershey’s Milk Made Chocolate Kisses.” This shows that The Hershey Company is very dedicated to showing what goes into their products creating a good reputation for the company. This advertisement also shows the genuine nature of Hershey’s Chocolate on the front of the box, which says “The genuine bears this signature” followed by Milton Hershey’s signature. This shows that there was a competing product at the time that looked similar to Hershey’s Kisses but this allows the viewer to recognize the difference in products and ensures that they buy the “correct” product that has Milton Hershey’s signature on the side. One of the next things that the viewer may notice is the left side of the box, which says “10 Cents”. In today’s dollars that is about $2.52 but the advertisement does not say how many kisses are included in the box. This is ambiguous for the customer looking to buy this product because they do not know how many Hershey’s Kisses or the weight of the bag that they would get for 10 cents. This may point to the fact that the advertisers assume that the consumers have enough money to pay for the Hershey’s Kisses no matter how many they are getting in the package that they buy. This advertisement is most likely for a younger audience because of its whimsical font and use of shiny foil on the kisses. The shiny foil wrapping on the Hershey’s Kisses and whimsical writing on the box may draw children in to look at the advertisement. This would cause the children to ask their parents to buy it for them, thus making them aware of the product as well.

The second advertisement for Hershey’s Kisses made in July 1921 is called “Hershey’s Liberty Bells.” The viewer’s eyes are first drawn to the title “Hershey’s Liberty Bells” because of its size in comparison to the rest of the text on the advertisement. From there the advertisement prompts you to read down in order to get the rest of the information about the product. Additionally, there are two pictures of the liberty bells showing them in pails at different angles. This allows the viewer to see about how many Hershey’s Kisses are contained within the package. Also if the viewer continues to read down the page there is a description of the size of the pails available for purchase (25, 5, or 2.5 pounds). However, there is no mention of the price for any of the three pails. Since this publication could not be in color the advertisement describes Hershey’s Liberty Bells as being “wrapped in Red, White and Blue Tin Foil.” This shows that the company cares about representing their product in the most descriptive way as possible in order to inform the customer of what they may be buying. It can be assumed from this advertisement that the Liberty Bells were a special occasion purchase because of the fact that this advertisement was released in July of 1921 and they are wrapped in the aforementioned color tin foils. Hershey released this product for Independence Day. This becomes even clearer with the statement at the bottom of the advertisement: “They Ring True to Reputation.” This play on words shows the good reputation of The Hershey Company and its Hershey’s Kisses. This advertisement was most likely directed toward young Americans who have some disposable income. This can be assumed because of the idea of Independence Day represented throughout with pictures and because of the lack of pricing information available for the pails mentioned in the advertisement.

The third advertisement, “Genuine”, is different from the two previous advertisements because of the lack of pictures. This shows that this advertisement, made in May 1922, is most likely directed toward adults. However, the lack of pictures is still strange because there is not much to catch the eye of the reader of the journal. Instead of including pictures or whimsical fonts, this advertisement focuses on the genuineness of Hershey’s Kisses. The most prominent word in this advertisement is ‘“GENUINE”’. The Hershey Company continues to establish themselves as a reputable company, which can be trusted by customers. This idea continues throughout this advertisement where it states “Be Sure They Contain the Identification Tag ‘HERSHEY’S”’. This may also show that within the customers of Hershey’s Kisses there was some confusion about which product is a Hershey’s product and which product is not. The Hershey Company was obviously concerned that they were losing sales because of this confusion, which may have prompted this advertisement.

All of the advertisements serve similar purposes but they differ in small ways of conveying their respective messages. The first two advertisements use pictures and words to convey their messages while the third advertisement uses only words to get its point across to the consumer. The first advertisement looks to be directed the most toward children however, the front of the box suggests that the parents should be looking at it to in order to make sure that the children buy that they saw in the advertisement, instead of a competing product. The second advertisement uses pictures and a longitudinally descending text to include both of these groups of people. Lastly, the third advertisement is mostly directed at adults because of its lack of pictures and abundance of text. Together the advertisements show that The Hershey Company is trying to target many different types of people, not limiting their market by race, age, gender or religion.

All three advertisements strangely do not explain the pricing of the products very well to the viewer. The first advertisement sets the price of the box shown as 10 cents but does not explain how big the box actually is or how many Hershey Kisses the box contains. Conversely, the second advertisement describes the size of the pails but makes no mention of the price of any of them. The third advertisement makes no mention of the price or the amount of Hershey Kisses. This contributes to the idea that The Hershey Company may be targeting people who have some disposable income and can plan on buying Hershey’s Kisses without knowing exactly what they cost.

Lastly all of the advertisements focus on the genuine representation of Hershey Kisses and/or the reputation of The Hershey Company. The first advertisement uses the word genuine on the front of the box to show that in order to get genuine Hershey Kisses the consumer should be looking for Milton Hershey’s signature on the box, which shows that they are looking to build a reputation for the company. The second advertisement takes this further and focuses on the true reputation of The Hershey Company. The play on words used as the last line of the advertisement shows that The Hershey Company has already established a good reputation and this new product will continue that reputation into the future. The third advertisement, like the first advertisement, makes sure that the consumer is buying the correct product. This shows that The Hershey Company really cares about the reputation they built for themselves with the Hershey’s Kisses and wants to continue to build upon that reputation into the future by ensuring that the consumer buys the correct product.

Works Cited:

The Hershey Company. “Genuine”. Advertisement. Confectioners Journal May 1922: 18. University of Chicago. Web. 21. Nov. 2014.

The Hershey Company. “Hershey’s Liberty Bells”. Advertisement. Confectioners Journal July 1921: 30. University of Chicago. Web. 21. Nov. 2014.

The Hershey Company. “Hershey’s Milk Made”. Advertisement. Confectioners Journal 1909: University of Chicago. Web. 21. Nov. 2014.

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