“Ask the Man Who Owns One” An Illustrated History of Packard Advertising
Arthur W. Einstein, Jr.
Foreword by Steven Rossi
A major force in the American automobile scene through the 1950s, Packard made a mark on American advertising as well. The cars themselves seemed built for promotion—the red hexagon in the hubcap, the yoke grille, and the half-arrow belt-line molding acted as a logo of sorts, setting a new standard in visual continuity and branding. The company’s image became so firmly established, in fact, that Packard eventually ran advertisements which pictured the cars but purposely omitted the name, instead asking readers to “guess what name it bears.”
This book traces Packard’s advertising history from 1900 through 1958, based on original research that includes several first-hand interviews with the people who made it happen. Filled with reproductions of Packard ads (some in color), the book looks beyond the surface to examine how the advertisements reflect and interpret the company’s management and business convictions, how they were influenced by business conditions and competitive pressure, and how they changed with the times.