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Electric appliance advertising: the role of the Good Housekeeping Institute

Erika L. Paulson (Department of Marketing, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA)
Mary E. Schramm (Department of Marketing, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 20 February 2017

1516

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how home economists, employed by the Good Housekeeping Institute, may have influenced the use of principles from the home economics movement in advertising appeals for electric appliances.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of more than 400 print advertisements from Good Housekeeping magazine, from 1916 to 1929, was conducted to determine whether manufacturers used appeals derived from the home economics movement in their advertising. Then, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s history is explored to suggest how its relationship with manufacturers may have resulted in the use of the home economics movement’s principles in advertising appeals for electric appliances.

Findings

The content analysis shows that principles of the home economics movement appeared in advertising appeals for electric appliances in advertisements placed in Good Housekeeping magazine during the period studied. Through its unique relationships with electric appliance manufacturers, the Good Housekeeping Institute seems to have taught manufacturers how to position electric appliances by incorporating the principles of the home economics movement in their advertising appeals.

Practical implications

This research demonstrates how a commercial organization successfully navigated its relationships with manufacturers and consumers for mutual benefit.

Originality/value

This work is the first to link the Good Housekeeping Institute’s work with manufacturers to its influence on advertising appeals. This work also expands understanding of the influence of women on marketing practice. Existing literature on women’s publications is also broadened by analyzing Good Housekeeping, rather than the more frequently studied Ladies’ Home Journal.

Keywords

Citation

Paulson, E.L. and Schramm, M.E. (2017), "Electric appliance advertising: the role of the Good Housekeeping Institute", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 41-65. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHRM-07-2016-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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