Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Avon Goes On Record (Campaign 21 - 1968)

Before I begin this review... and the next... and the one after that... in fact, the next 30+ albums (count 'em folks, 30+!) that I will review here on my blog came from my friend Ernie's blog entitled Ernie (Not Bert).

By day, Ernie takes and posts some of the best photos you'll see anywhere on the web. You owe it to yourself to go to his blog and give your mouse clicker a workout - there are some stunners over there folks!

By night, Ernie is a Christmas vinyl junkie addict, transferring old scratchy forgotten Christmas LPs that he finds in Goodwill stores, garage sales, and the like to preserve memories of Christmas vinyl past (apologies to the King Of Jingaling for pinching his motto!).

Last year in the eyes of Santa Claus and every Christmas music enthusiast, Ernie was a good, GOOD boy. I went back and counted at his blog - this man alone posted FIFTY-EIGHT items for download between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
Let that sink in folks...
Almost 60 items in almost 30 days... When did you sleep Ernie?

This album you see here is an unusual one to say the least but not so unusual if you knew the story behind Avon. It seems the first Avon lady was a man. A sixteen year old kid named David McConnell went door-to-door back in 1886 selling books offering a free gift with purchase - perfume! 

The women forgot the books and wanted more perfume so McConnell formed the California Perfume Company, offering women in rural areas of America perfumes and cremes door to door.

The success of the Avon story relies on the hundreds of thousands of "Avon Calling!" ladies who wanted to earn extra money selling Avon products door-to-door. Many of these ladies helped potential new Avon ladies with the setup and selling techniques, passing it down from one generation to the next.

When this record was distributed to Avon sellers in September 1968, Avon couldn't see the massive shift in lifestyles thanks in large part to the sexual revolution of the era. And exactly how do you reach out to people in ghettos and hippie communes?

Upon listening to side one, "the largest and most exciting selection of Christmas products" were hitting the market in September since Avon sellers sold 25% of their Christmas products the previous September.

After sharing some marketing and campaign tips - "Get that Christmas spirit! How? Wear a Christmas corsage... or holly earrings!". Avon explains some of the new products for Christmas 1968 - "Snoopy has joined the bath toys this year!" and colognes and perfumes galore! Side two is three tracks of Christmas instrumental music - music to read your literature by!

This was a fun little gem of an album! Thanks Ernie!

Avon started to lose business deluxe throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It pulled itself out of its tailspin in the 1990s by redesigning its focus and advertising. It also upgraded its product line (do they still have Snoopy bath toys?) and trained its sales force to make presentations in workplace settings, where 50% of Avon's sales now take place.

They also went global, working their way into South America, Eastern Europe, and China. Maybe the Avon revolution will help soften Communism... who knows?

On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...



Ernie said...

I was pretty excited when I found that record (it's a 10", by the way, did I mention that?), but the contents weren't as 'out-there' as I had hoped. I'm still looking for other campaigns, so wish me luck for this year!

CaptainOT said...

Campaigns you say? Avon campaigns or campaigns in general?
Did you see my blog entry about the 1975 Christmas Seals campaign?

Lots of cool people such as Rodney Dangerfield, Victor Borge,
Dr. Joyce Brothers, Monty Hall, Janet Leigh, and Bob Newhart
all reminding you "it's a matter of life and breath!".

Click on the link entitled "eBay Today Part 3" or cut & paste:


Ernie said...

Yeah, I saw that auction, but I like to try and find stuff in dark back rooms covered in dust and smelling of death. I think there are more of those Avon LPs out there, most likely one each year for quite a few years.

Somewhere I have a sleeve for an Easter Seal record (with Lorne Greene!), but no record...

There are also a series of records put out by the Salvation Army each year for a long time, each hosted by one or more stars. But you'll hear more about that come Christmas... :)