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Title: Advertising by motion pictures
Author: Dench, Ernest Alfred
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Advertising by motion pictures" ***

  Advertising by Motion


  _Author of “Playwriting for the Cinema,” “Making
  the Monies,” Former Vice-president Photoplay
  Authors’ League, and Editor of the Late
  “Photoplay Writer”_



  Copyright, 1916

  The Standard Publishing Company



      I Telling Your Advertising Story by Motion
        Pictures                                                    11

     II Movie Advertising from the Viewpoint of
        a Fan                                                       18

    III The Dollars and Cents of Advertising by
        Motion Pictures                                             23

     IV Some Film Advertising Methods for the
        Manufacturer                                                30

      V Slide and Film Advertising Contrasted                       33

     VI Using the Film to Secure Foreign Business                   41

    VII Approaching the Working Classes with a
        Motion-picture Play                                         46

   VIII Reaching the Public by Motion Pictures                      52

     IX Introducing Advertising into Motion-picture
        Newspapers                                                  59

      X Employing Motion Pictures to Appeal to
        the Children                                                64

     XI Salesmanship Demonstrations by the Film                     71

    XII Equipping a Private Motion-picture Theater
        for Business Purposes                                       74

   XIII Introducing Competitions in Ad. Motion
        Pictures                                                    79

    XIV Bringing Out the Individuality of Dry
        Goods by Motion Pictures                                    85

     XV Boosting Cities and Pleasure Resorts
        by Motion Pictures                                          92

    XVI Advertising Railroads by the Movies                         98

   XVII Getting Over the Pureness of Your
        Food Products by the Film                                  105

  XVIII Selling Automobiles and Accessories
        by Motion Pictures                                         113

    XIX Clinching Agricultural Machinery Sales
        by Motion Pictures                                         120

     XX How Publishers Can Capture Business
        from the Ever-encroaching Film
        Producer                                                   126

    XXI Advertising Your Newspaper with a
        Motion Picture                                             131

   XXII Selling Shoes by Motion Pictures                           136

  XXIII Film Advertising from the Photoplayer’s
        Viewpoint                                                  140

   XXIV Advertising Film Circulation                               146

    XXV Covering the Motion-picture Field by
        Magazines                                                  152

   XXVI Future Developments of Advertising
        by Motion Pictures                                         156

  XXVII Boosting Your Trade with a Popular
        Player                                                     163

 XXVIII Boosting Your Business with an Advertising
        Motion Picture                                             169

   XXIX Pulling Movie-slide Advertising Out
       of the Rut                                                  173

    XXX Maintaining the Interest in Slide Advertising              178

   XXXI Individuality in Slide Advertising                         183

  XXXII The Personal Element in Slide Advertising                  188

 XXXIII Are Your Slides Truthful?                                  191

  XXXIV Obtaining the Best Results From
        Slide Advertising                                          194

   XXXV Selecting the Theater for Your Ad.
        Slide                                                      199

  XXXVI Handling the Anti-ad. Slide Exhibitor                      203

 XXXVII Having Your Movie Ad. Slides Shown
        to the Best Advantage                                      207

XXXVIII The Ideal Slide Follow-up Medium                           211

  XXXIX Attracting Farmers to Town                                 215

     XL Capitalizing Popular Screen Players
        in Slide Advertising                                       217

    XLI Attracting Trade with Photoplay
        Stars                                                      221

   XLII Taking Advantage of Errors in Photoplays                   226

  XLIII How the Book Dealer Can Take Advantage
        of the Movie Adaptation
        Mania                                                      230

   XLIV Selling Real Estate by the Film                            233

    XLV Advertising Your Department Store by
        Motion Pictures                                            238

   XLVI Hitching Motion Pictures to Musical
        Advertising                                                243

  XLVII Developing “Have a Garden” Movement
        with Photoplay Theater Help                                248

 XLVIII Naming Soda-fountain Concoctions
        After Movies                                               252


I am, in the first place, one of the few journalists to specialize on
Motion Pictures. This enables me to concentrate on one subject instead
of running the risk of making a regular hash of everything under the
sun. I would not, naturally, have chosen to follow this path were not
the theme the very versatile one it is. So you can imagine that I am
always on the alert for new-idea germs for articles.

While searching for these I ran up against the advertising field. I
was well aware that the motion picture had broken into the publicity
game with success, but a good deal of investigating convinced me
that the reason this new publicity medium had failed to gain a wide
following was because there was so little definite information about it

No advertiser, I fully knew, would consider a pig in the poke
proposition, so it occurred to me that here was my chance to remedy
the defect. What information there was to be had on the subject was
scattered between the pages of various business publications in
occasional articles, which fact set me to work to write a concise
handbook, embodying everything worth knowing about Motion Picture

It will probably seem rather strange to you that an invention like
the cinematograph, which has achieved widespread fame as a form of
entertainment, can perform the functions of advertising, but it is none
the less a fact. Wonders have not yet ceased in this every-day world,
believe me.

It also is not, I am glad to say, a medium confined to any one
business or profession. It is, in fact, equally adaptable to the large
manufacturer as it is to the smallest dealer in any trade.

Some advertisers may view a new form of publicity in the light that
it necessitates a greater outlay without accomplishing more than the
old established ad mediums. This, however, is not true of the motion
picture, for it possesses business-pulling properties distinctly its
own. The extra expense is more than recovered by the increased trade it

It is, furthermore, an advertising medium no modern business man can
afford to gloss over, so this little book is entitled to his most
careful consideration.

                                              ERNEST A. DENCH.



In spite of the versatility of the intrepid motion picture as an
advertising medium, it has its limitations. This, after all, is but
natural, for all forms of publicity are supposed to be links in the
chain, and not one is strong enough to take the place of the whole.

It is clearly obvious, of course, that when adopting motion-picture
advertising, everything has to be visualized by means of animated
photographs, so, therefore, the appeal is presented through the eye. As
for the printed work, this takes a back seat.

Since everything is intended to be absorbed by the eye, a whole mass
of explanatory matter tagged on to the film would rather hinder the
ad. instead of adding further enlightenment as intended. And the short
time a sentence remains on the screen does not allow lengthy statements
to sink in. Subtitles are weak devices to help a photoplay story over
stumbling-blocks, and the less and shorter they are, the better the
picture will be. There are plenty of other mediums in which to display
how well you can weave words, so why drag them into a place where they
do not fit?

Besides, it is what the spectator sees, not reads, that leaves the
lasting impression, which is the paramount point to be reached in
advertising by motion pictures.

And there is another important matter to be weighed and considered.
If you overload your film with titles, you will befog a good number
of foreigners who have not been long enough in our country to master
the English language, so that their probable patronage is lost just
because the international language of the film has been abused.

There has already arisen a select few writers who have made a specialty
of combining advertising with motion pictures and laying out campaigns
for their clients to the best possible advantage.

Motion-picture advertising, as a direct-appeal proposition, is
ineffective. You may, for instance, have to get out a catalogue in
order to list the goods you make, and you may also plan to get this
over on the screen by filming each article as you would if you had a
still photograph taken and precede each with an insert, giving prices
and other particulars of same. Apart from the fact that the film
would be voted deadly dull by audiences, it would also fall flat as a
business bringer. You simply can’t do without advertising literature,
for the motion picture ends at getting interested, and the old
stand-bys must clinch the deal at the right time.

Where the film excels is that your ad. comes on the screen without
competing with any others for attention, and although the spectator
may not respond easily to press advertising, he feels he has to view
the picture because he can not “turn over a page,” or, in other words,
there is nothing else interesting for him to turn his attention to.
He will, if approached, admit that the motion picture is the most
entertaining publicity channel yet. You also reach him at his leisure,
and, therefore, approach him in the right mood.

Get it out of your head right now that anything in the nature of an ad.
film will produce the results you strive for; believe me, the movie fan
(there are twenty million of them in this country) is a most fastidious
individual, for which the improvements reached in photoplays may be
held responsible. You would not expect a formal business notice to
do any good nowadays, would you? Then, the same holds good of film

You can’t merely state on a film that Bondin, the famous actor,
derives great enjoyment out of your preparation--it’s too crude. But
you can film an interview with your worthy customer and introduce
some home-life scenes, not to forget his testimonial of your goods
visualized. This would produce an exquisite blend of entertainment and

All in all, it is action by which you have to tell your story. You
have, as a matter of fact, to regard your proposition from the angle
of the man from Missouri. You can take the public behind the scenes
of your works and convince them that the goods are produced under the
best of conditions. The picture is likewise given an educational touch
because an industry is being unfolded at the same time. Then, if you
want to bring out the important selling points, you engage a writer to
incorporate them into a comedy or dramatic photoplay. And so I could go
on giving examples of introducing life into the ad. story. Action is
the life and soul of the film industry.

Bear in mind, too, that it is the quality that tells, not quantity.
I have seen efforts along these lines that contained material for a
half-reel subject, yet they were unduly extended to two reels, boring
an audience for forty minutes instead of entertaining them for ten
minutes. Picture-goers are quick to resent padding, and your film may
defeat its purpose. A good way to detect this beforehand is to arrange
for its projection and try to place yourself in the position of the
average movie fan.

This padding is often done by the smaller fry so as to make as much as
possible over the deal. But if the advertiser places himself in the
hands of a reliable industrial film concern, he may rest assured of
them not taking undue advantage by charging for a lot of superfluous



You may hardly credit it when I assert that motion-picture audiences
are the most critical in the world. They do not outwardly show their
disapproval of things, but after they resolved that the photoplay was
here to stay, anything as a motion picture would no longer satisfy
them. So the film producers had to humor the folks who had made their
wealth, and to-day the fans have been educated up to such a pitch that
nothing but the best will satisfy them. Here, then, is the class of
readers represented by moving-picture publicity.

The obvious conclusion is that advertisers will have to follow in the
path of the ordinary producer in order to obtain the greatest value
out of this new advertising medium.

A talk with an intelligent motion-picture fan, as I found, is very
interesting. “I would like your views on ad. films,” I asked.

“With pleasure,” she replied, and forthwith got down to business.

“I must say that they are considerably more interesting than the
advertisements that meet your eye in the newspapers. How nice it
is to watch an industry on the screen and be taken through a big
manufacturing plant. It is an education in itself, and it never strikes
you as though it was intended as a boost, although the particular
thing--the point the advertiser wishes to bring home, I believe you
call it--leaves an indelible impression on you.

“I also enjoy the films in which there is a story. One such film, I
remember, told of a poor family who took in washing. Disease abounded,
and the folks who had their laundry done learned their lesson. Then the
sanitary methods of the steam laundry were contrasted. It impressed me
very much.

“The comic films are frequently laughable, but I remember being
offended once at seeing a man like somebody’s beer so much that he
drank it until he was dead drunk. I noticed that I was not the only
spectator to leave the hall. I like, at all times, my photoplay fare to
be in good taste.

“At some of the movie theaters I attend they make a practice of running
a number of slides after the reels. They relate to neighboring stores,
but are so dry and shown for so many weeks without being changed that I
always skip them.”

“Would you prefer,” I chimed in, “that the advertising film portion be

“I would not so long as the ordinary pictures did not suffer in quality
and quantity. A show I regularly visit out in New Jersey always runs
the ad. films after the program has finished. As the pictures are
invariably good ones, I always stay to see them through, and most
others in the audience seem to do likewise. And another thing, the
subjects are frequently changed, for naturally one grows tired of
seeing the same things over and over again.”

“Have you,” I broached, “any suggestions for improvements?”

“Sure; I would like to see some of my favorite photoplayers take the
leading parts in the ad. stories. It would be just crazy to watch
Mary Fuller and Francis X. Bushman as a pair of newly weds who try to
overcome housekeeping difficulties with various modern articles to be
bought at stores.

“I also think that there is considerable room for improving the film
plots. They should be as good as the ordinary photoplays. What they
seem to lack is strength. There is seldom any of the strong, exciting
situations which I am accustomed to see, and the punch is often
conspicuous by its absence at the end.”



So far as I am aware, the cost aspects of advertising by motion
pictures have not been dealt with in print before. This may explain why
so many advertisers, national or otherwise, have neglected to avail
themselves of the many opportunities offered by the new publicity
medium. As in all things, the cost is the deciding point, and although
the average advertiser will not quibble over a few dollars where there
is the prospect of increased business, he, nevertheless, likes to know
beforehand just what the campaign is going to cost.

Every business man thinks of the facts before anything else, and this
chapter is intended to furnish them so that he need grope in the dark
no longer.

I will suppose you follow the vade mecum of most advertisers and
arrange to have a single-reel motion picture produced showing
conditions at your plant. Even though it is only an industrial subject,
it calls for much careful thinking and painstaking effort. A scenario
will have to be prepared, and in this the various details you wish
emphasized are introduced in logical order. You can, of course,
withhold the trade secrets that are not desirable for the public to
see. There is also a knack in inserting and wording the subtitles, for
one is frequently employed to explain the obvious. This results in
film wastage, while all the difficult points should be explained as
explicitly as possible, as each word used consumes one foot of film.

A very bad habit which readily becomes apparent and detracts the
attention of spectators from the object of the film is the employees
at the plant staring hard at the camera while working. This defect
has marred a good many industrials, and it gives the impression that
the workers are aware of what is happening, whereas everything should
appear perfectly natural.

The movie camera man next films the picture according to the scenario,
allowing, however, a certain amount of feet for each incident, which
depends on the importance of same. Providing sufficient daylight is
available, the usual inclusive fee charged for the producing and
developing of such a film is fifty cents per foot--or $500 for the
entire reel, which is exactly a thousand feet. This is only for the
negative, ten cents per foot being charged for each positive copy. You
will, naturally, require more than one print, so you can figure on a
cost of $100 for each copy. I will come back to this point later.

Maybe in parts of your manufacturing plant daylight is at a premium, in
which event you will be obliged to pay fifty cents more per foot for
the negative copy for installing the necessary artificial lighting.
These charges include an allowance for padding, which is promptly
eliminated, thus improving the whole picture.

One does not have to seek far why the comedy and dramatic photoplay is
not popular with most motion-picture advertisers down to date. Yet,
if they only knew the truth, they would find that movie audiences
enjoy an entertaining story better than an advertisement contained
in a film which merely strives to educate. The former, as one might
expect, is more involved and expensive. In the first place, a good
story is essential, and this may only be expected from an experienced
photoplaywright who has an appreciation of advertising values.
Personally speaking, I have received as much as $100 for conceiving and
putting a one-reel photoplay in scenario form. Then you will need a
capable cast of actors and a talented director to produce the picture
in order to give it a distinctly expert professional touch. Probably
interior scenes are called for outside of your works. These have to be
erected in the studio at an additional expense.

The cost, of course, depends on the nature of the play, but all these
things should be provided from $1.25 to $3 per foot. This works out at
a cost of from $1,250 to $3,000 for producing the negative.

It is well to remember that, once the film has been produced, it is
always available, the only extra charge being for extra positive copies
you may require to replace the ones in use when worn out. If you want
to save expense in the matter, and do not object to delay in operating
your campaign, you can arrange for a given number of your dealers over
a certain territory to retain the film for a day, then loan it to the
local motion-picture theater for its evening show. If, however, you
want to cover all the territory at one time, then you will need more
prints in circulation.

Do not permit a print to be constantly in use for more than six months
without replacing it with a new copy, for you have to make a due
allowance for wear and tear. It would not do to let your film graduate
to the “rainy” stage, since your pictorial advertisement, to leave a
good impression on movie audiences, must be in perfect condition.

Unfortunately, no general advertising circulation plan has been put in
execution, but it is best either to have the producing concern help
you out, or else rely upon your dealers to aid you in their respective
localities. Being on the spot and knowing the co-operation is to the
advantage of all concerned, he can, no doubt, arrange matters with
the best local exhibitor. The fee for showing is merely a matter of
arrangement, but in many cases you will incur no expense.




I will first endeavor to show the proprietor of an advertised article
the best uses to which the motion picture can be put, for some
“copy” screens better than others, and the advertiser should use

Now, one of the greatest assets a manufacturer can have is a trademark.
This he uses as fuel when trying to point out to the public, by
means of press announcements, posters and literature, not to accept
substitutes. Be the trademark a good one for pictorial purposes,
and a specialist is called in to give the branded article a lasting
impression on the public desired to reach, and the results will
please. I am a photoplay writer who specializes in writing such plays
to order, so I know what I am talking about.


Catch phrases are also good plot germs, and are capable of being worked
in the same manner as trademarks.

Not a few of our leading manufacturers have familiar persons in
connection with their standard articles. The other year Messrs. Siemen
Brothers, an English firm, brought their well-known “Wotan” maid and
“Tantalum” man to life in a film. It was a comedy, and the plot’s
mission, besides introducing these figures, was to bring home how 75
per cent. of the electric-light bill could be saved by the “Wotan”
and “Tantalum” lamps. This play was first shown at one of the local
theaters and was well received.


Behind many commercial undertakings there is romance. It may be
forgotten in the press of business, but human interest is too valuable
as a publicity stunt to be overlooked. It is quite possible that
these romantic stories are not appreciated at their full value until
a motion-picture publicity expert comes along and squeezes all the
“juice” out of them.

The motion-picture industry has made its marvelous progress through
the lifelike stories that predominate in the picture theaters. It,
therefore, only stands to reason that a real life story would have a
better appealing power.



When using the press, you either advertise in the newspapers
or magazines, or both. So is there more than one medium at the
motion-picture theater. You can employ a slide or a film to present
your advertisement, according to which of the two devices you may
favor. I have no axe to grind in contrasting the two mediums, so will
do so in a fair manner.

As the direct results of my investigations in numerous motion-picture
theaters of all types in and around New York and Brooklyn, which set
the average for the rest of the country, I have made the discovery that
there is a far greater percentage of the manufacturers adopting slides
than films. Why is this so, then? Personally speaking, I think that it
is due to the fact that the one thing most in vogue is considerably
cheaper than the other. I say this without any thought of giving
offense to advertisers, for I know that the wise ones regard results
as of paramount importance rather than haggling over the question of
price. Maybe, however, they haven’t been acquainted with the screen
long enough as a publicity outlet to become sufficiently conversant
with the two channels.

One big drawback is that few of the slides are attractive enough to
become business producers. It is one thing to gain attention and
another thing to retain it. It only stands to reason that you can not
expect an audience to be interested in a dull and commonplace business
any more than you can hope a hackneyed newspaper ad. to return an
investment. It might have done when advertising was in its infancy, but
to-day, never.

Even greater pains should be taken in preparing the matter for a slide,
for the folks that you will shortly show it to have been educated up to
seeing things excellent in pictorial form. Neither is just one slide
sufficient in order to get home. You must take into consideration, too,
that yours is only one of a dozen or more thrown on the screen. The
whole batch are usually projected after the reels have been shown, in
rapid succession. Since you are competing with a bunch of advertisers,
no matter whether they be competitors or not, you can not expect an
audience to indulge in a game of mental gymnastics so as to remember
them all. They are, to use a slangy expression, tempted to bite off
more than they can chew.

Besides, place yourself in the position of motion-picture playgoers.
They don’t attend merely to witness a magic-lantern show or to read
books. The former is out of date, while the latter they can do at their
leisure at home. You can’t be surprised at them taking offense when
they are forced (that is the strongest word for it) to wade through a
tiresome number of slides before the next reel is shown. The practice
merely helps to blackball the advertiser, and that surely is the last
thing to be desired.

If you are still in favor of slides, then take my tip and get out of
the rut; only, first of all, bear in mind that you are not preparing
something for people to read, but see. Your ad. will then stand out
above the rest. Introduce pictures, preferably something to make them
laugh. You can make them move, too! Who does not remember the Old
Dutch Cleanser lady chasing Dirt, all within the limited compass of a
single slide? You can also picturize comic stories on similar lines
to those contained in the comic sections of the metropolitan Sunday
newspapers. Run the series as a serial, and so maintain the interest
from day to day. It is going to cost you more, ’tis true, but you will
be recompensed amply. Another grave mistake is to allow a slide to be
shown at the same theater several weeks in succession, for movie fans
are accustomed to a varied daily change of program and hate seeing the
same thing over again.

My main reason for favoring a film is because it is the right vehicle
in the right place. The twenty million Americans go to see pictures in
motion, and it has been proved from experience that the average movie
patron does not object to a film which combines either instruction
or entertainment. A motion picture taking an audience through your
manufacturing plant and bringing out all the selling points you wish
would come under the former heading, while a comedy or dramatic
photoplay incorporating your ad. would be applicable to the second
designation. By one or the other of these ways your campaign would get
over more convincingly, and you could conduct it on an extensive scale.
There would be no possibility about it not sinking into the audience,
inasmuch as good pictures always do have this effect.

It is also pleasing to know that you would have no competition to
contend with, for the simple reason that no exhibitor with brains
would think of including more than one picture of this nature on his
regular program. As the semi-ad. film is extra, why should spectators
be offended in the least? Or, come to that, you could stipulate in the
contract to this effect. You would thus enjoy a monopoly of the screen
and not be in fear of the attention of the audience being divided. Your
film is on the screen for eighteen minutes or more, whereas a slide
barely occupies a minute.

It must not be thought that I am wishing to denounce slide advertising;
far from it, let me assure you. It has its uses.

Naturally, to secure the desired results, you have to work in
co-operation with the dealers throughout the country. Now, with a film
alone you can accomplish this much satisfactorily, but an attractive
slide shown on the screen after the film has been run over fills the
gap O. K. It also acts as a follow-up and direct-appeal stunt, for
it is no earthly use familiarizing people with your goods without
acquainting them where they may be obtained locally. Put forward some
attractive proposition and get the people to action. The slide has
always been a device more eminently suited for retailers on account
of it being inexpensive, and the manufacturer should therefore only
employ it as an ally to his movie publicity campaign. Then both will
work to mutual advantage.



At this time, when every live manufacturer is hastening to place his
“made in America” goods on a large scale in foreign countries cut off
by the European war, he will, naturally, be responsive to all publicity
mediums which offer value.

Creating a demand for your wares in new lands is, as one is well aware,
a far harder task than is capturing fresh business at home, so, if the
desired volume of trade is to be obtained, there must be no stinting on
the advertising campaign expenditure. It is doubtful whether there is
any publicity outlets that can outshine the versatile motion picture in
the all-important capacity of a results bringer. If you are inclined
to doubt the pulling powers of this medium, allow me to draw your
attention to some convincing facts in its favor.

In Serbia, most of the photoplays shown in the theaters there hail from
the United States. On the authority of Deputy Consul R. J. Nevakavitch,
of Belgrade, I am able to state that, two years ago, American fashions
became suddenly popular in Serbia. It is of frequent occurrence to run
up against men--and it is not confined to the younger fraternity--in
Belgrade with their hair cut a la American, while their clothes show
that the native tailors are endeavoring to approach Uncle Sam’s style.
In addition, American types of hats, shoes and boots are largely in

If films of the fiction variety have such an effect on foreigners as
this, there can be no possible room for doubt that advertising pictures
pure and simple can produce even better results individually.

The main setback to the opening of business relations in new countries
is the strict conservatism of the dealers, who have a great dislike to
entering into negotiations with foreign manufacturers, just because
the language, money, weights and measures are different to what they
are accustomed to. The Belgrade consul furthermore suggested that
this might be overcome by tackling the prospective consumers first at
the movie shows. The preference that would ultimately spring up for
American products would practically compel the local dealer to respond
by stocking the same.

Before the present war was in the air, a commercial body named British
Industries, Limited, comprising the leading manufacturers, prepared
an eight-reel film. The principal industries were dealt with, each
merchant being allotted eight hundred feet in which to tell his
“story.” The complete picture was exhibited, not only in John Bull’s
colonies, but in foreign countries as well.

Germany, too, recently boosted its industries in foreign markets. The
Association for the Promotion of Foreign Trade arranged for the taking
of a series of films. These were shown abroad, and the lecturers, who
discoursed on the pictures, worded their speeches so general in appeal
that the public was unaware of the true purpose of such demonstrations.

Now, of course, these things have been knocked on the head, which is
all the more reason why our biggest manufacturers should get together.

It is obvious, however, that an undertaking on these extensive lines
only appeals to the recognized leaders in each line of business, so
smaller commercial concerns will find it advantageous to carry out a
movie campaign entirely of their own.

A good proportion of the motion-picture theaters abroad are always
glad to snap up such pictures free and to include them on the ordinary
entertainment. To monopolize the advertising in the theater program,
and defray the printing of same, is a reliable follow-up campaign.



It was the Bard of Stratford who said that “the play was the thing.”
Although it then referred to the legitimate stage, as it does now, it
can to-day apply aptly to the motion-picture theater. A good story is,
also, the ideal vehicle for film advertising.

The twenty million movie fans in this country frequent their favorite
form of amusement to be entertained, and some greatly resent the pure
advertising or semi-educationals which they often have to sit out.

It must be borne in mind that it is the one kind of relaxation by
which the working classes are able to get away from the monotony and
hardness of their every-day existence. They, therefore, want their
fare served up in an appetizing manner. Anything else is apt to prove a
bore, and you can thus see what kind of a receptive mood by which you
have to approach the average motion-picture audience. That is why it is
advisable to have your advertising points ingeniously incorporated in
either a comedy or drama, the former preferably.

The most common type of ad. film is the industrialog, portraying the
processes by which certain goods are manufactured. Several of these
subjects I have seen at the picture shows lately were so unnecessarily
padded that they were enough to send spectators to sleep. No wise
advertiser would attempt to cram in all the matter he could into the
smallest possible space in his press announcements, neither should he
try it on the film.

Industrialogs undoubtedly appeal more to a better-class audience, but
it must be remembered that a good proportion of the movie theaters
are still nickel shows, which attract the working classes. These folks
see enough of factory and business life in the daytime, so they do
not want to be inflicted with it when endeavoring to get away from
the atmosphere. Here you have a large audience which is extremely
difficult to address via the press, for the majority go in for hardly
any reading at all. Maybe they haven’t got the inclination or money to
do it. Their custom is certainly worth while cultivating, and no doubt
they can understand pictures better than books, as, when the world was
young, pictures were drawn on slabs of stone to indicate what otherwise
could not be explained. Compelled to go out to work at an early age is
responsible for a good proportion of the masses being poor readers and
writers. By the motion pictures, however, you can approach a public
previously beyond your reach.

I recently was commissioned to write a short comedy scenario for a
well-known tobacco manufacturer, and here follows the synopsis of the

Bill, a workingman, is enjoying his pipe of ---- Tobacco in the parlor
of his home, when a passerby notices smoke issuing from the window.
Thinking the house on fire, he brings the fire department on the
scene. They turn the hose on the house, and, after a severe drenching,
Bill escapes. He is indignant at being duped by the passerby, and the
firemen also resent being made fools of. They then turn the hose on
the culprit, who pleads for mercy. Bill offers to release him if he
buys four packages of ---- Tobacco all round. The passerby agrees, and
hurries off to the shop to buy the same, pacifying his victims, who are
left enjoying the tobacco.

For some things drama is better for hammering points home, but stick
to comedy as much as you can--it is more popular with movie audiences.

The French branch of the Remington Typewriter Company recently had a
photoplay story produced which concerned a working girl, who, on her
father’s death, was the only support of the family. Through the firm
cutting down expenses she is dismissed, and vainly endeavors to obtain
another position as a stenographer. At the end of her resources, she
obtains a Remington typewriter on the installment plan and obtains
sufficient clients to provide her with work.

It is seldom advisable to go beyond a reel, which occupies about
eighteen minutes on the screen, for that is the ideal length. Audiences
will stand this without a murmur of protest, since they appreciate one
good extra reel on the program. It matters little whether they realize
that it is advertising disguised. Quick action is one of the things
that have been responsible for the great present vogue of the motion
picture, so have your producer compress all he can into every foot of
film. It should then bring you more than the desired results.



After an advertising film has been produced, and the owner wants to
get his investment back with a fair amount of interest, the question
naturally arises as to the means of distribution. A convincing motion
picture is half the battle won, but it is obviously practically
worthless unless the prospective purchaser be reached. Like the
placing of ordinary publicity matter with the press, the marketing of
a commercial photoplay is a science. No ironclad rules can be laid
down, for the simple reason that everything depends on the proposition
itself. I shall, therefore, confine myself to methods that have been
employed in general campaigns.


Once upon a time--and it was not so far back, either--it was a
comparatively easy matter to coax a motion-picture exhibitor to take
an advertising picture for one or more days’ showing, but nowadays it
is hard work to do so, for there are now ten manufacturers to every
one that adopted film advertising as part and parcel of its publicity
campaign in the past. For another thing, the movie showman has begun
to realize that it is advertising pure and simple, although an attempt
may be made to disguise this significant fact. Being a business man,
he naturally considers it only fair that he should be appropriately
remunerated. His attitude has prevented the screen medium getting into
a rut, since it has allowed enterprise to enter into the intricate
problem of reaching the public, a condition that was formerly confined
to the actual film. One without the other only tends to spoil the

Here in New York the American Druggists Syndicate recently brought out
a motion-picture theater accommodating six hundred, for $150 per day
during the first three days of the week. The ordinary dramatic and
comedy photoplays were used to entertain audiences, and the program
only differed in that ten minutes was set apart for a trained lecturer,
discoursing on a series of slides setting forth the merits of his
firm’s goods.

All the box-office receipts went to the _pro tem._ exhibitor. Every
patron, on paying for admission, was handed a coupon which was good for
twenty-five cents at any A. D. S. store in the locality. The house was
filled to overflowing on every occasion as the result of this dandy
scheme, thus proving the value of a good premium to which the sporting
element is not attached. It is safe to say that their products were
introduced to many for the first time, and innumerable new permanent
consumers were added to their already long list.


In the case of a proprietary line, the dealer has to be “roped in”
before a successful appeal can be made to the public. He would be first
advised of the forthcoming motion-picture campaign through the medium
of his favorite trade journal. And, unless it is localized, he will
probably regard it as of no consequence to him.

When the Jewell stoves and ranges were, a short time ago, boosted by
motion pictures in numerous towns, the two-reel film, occupying about
thirty minutes on the screen, which depicted the various processes in
the making of the goods, was exhibited after the ordinary program was
over, a small fee being paid for the privilege. The film was advertised
in the local newspapers, and an arrangement was effected with the local
dealer whereby his advertising copy linked up with the film, resulting
in people being sent to his store.


Another excellent plan is to equip a commercial automobile with
cinematographic apparatus and films, and, under charge of a trained
lecturer, despatch it to rural communities that may be desired to
reach. There are a good many places too small to support a movie show
even to-day, and such a one given nightly in the main street would
attract all the surrounding population. In a way, it would be a novelty
to them, and more especially so as the exhibition is free.

This was done by Acetylene Publicity, Limited, of London, who toured
the small villages in Britain to demonstrate the advantages of
acetylene lighting and cooking apparatus by means of a film lecture.
When the weather was not fit for outdoor shows, a tent was erected, or
else a local hall hired for the purpose. The route was made to extend
to one year, a stop being made at all villages and towns passed on the
trip, the duration of which depended on the size and importance of the
place. It was usually, however, for one night.

Although, as far as I know, this is a new idea to America, there is
no reason why it can not be adopted successfully over here. It can be
applied to practically all lines of business appealing to the consumer.

Mr. C. M. Lemperly, advertising manager of the Sherwin-Williams
Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, who attribute a fourteen per cent.
increase in actual sales during the last business year to
motion-picture publicity, declares that, as a medium of small-town
circulation, it is doubtful if there is any better advertising
proposition on the market than the motion picture. Further to this
significant statement, it is satisfactory to note that the firms to
take up this new medium continue to increase, and they stick in for

Greatly exaggerated circulations are held out by inexperienced
industrial film producers, so the advertiser should take his
proposition to the recognized specialists along this particular line.
Their statements, he will find, will stand being tested and proved.
He will also be assured that his film will be satisfactory from a
technical point of view.




It is as well to know, if you were not already aware of it, that
motion-picture advertising is a passing fad no more. Instead, it is a
tested ad. medium and is worthy of as much attention as are the old
established publicity outlets, so, if you are one of its devotees, it
is up to you to impart some originality to your next movie campaign,
for there is danger of permitting this excellent medium to drop into a

Since newspaper advertising is so highly valued, why, therefore,
neglect the splendid chances offered by the motion-picture equivalent?
I refer to the several animated weeklies published by the leading
film factions. I have approached the producers on the subject, but
they all seem to be averse to selling their “space,” because they have
their fears that they will incur the displeasure of the exhibitors who
hire their pictures. This is a very narrow-minded way of sizing up the
situation, for, if the producers added additional films to allow for
the advertisements carried, it could be settled in an amicable manner
to both sides, while a new source of revenue would be opened to the
movie publisher. It would be a comparatively easy matter to sandwich in
a small ad. film, devised to fit the purpose, between the news items.
As in the case of advertising that is placed between the text-matter in
the press, it would possess greater publicity values.

The possibilities of the medium may be judged by the fact that these
animated newspapers reach something like twenty million people of all
classes weekly, from Maine to California.

All film ads., irrespective of the position they may be placed, would
command concentrated attention and call no effort on the part of an
audience, if the appeal is presented through the eye and there is
nothing to distract attention or allow any member to deliberately not
give your ad. at least the once over. In these all-important points,
the motion picture has a considerable advantage over the press.

Who would think of inflicting the press agency stuff on film producers?
Yet the English branch of Spratts, the well-known dog-food specialists,
did so on a recent occasion. They were favored with a contract to
house the special breed of dogs that were to be employed for transport
work in the Antarctic expedition and to supply their biscuits. This
news item was given out to one of the animated newspapers, which
was invited to send an operator. The film concern snapped up the
chance like a starving man does a slice of bread, for great interest
was centered in the expedition at the time. Before the camera man’s
arrival at the kennels the chance was not neglected to display posters
and other advertising matter in the yard. Not only did they figure
prominently on the film, but the explanatory matter told all about the
firm’s accomplishment. Anything that possesses genuine news value, and
can be got over by motion pictures, is good for capitalizing.

It is now extremely difficult to persuade an exhibitor to put on an
ad. film after his ordinary program for nothing, so ingenious ruses
have to be resorted to. One firm hit on the brilliant idea of getting
out an animated news weekly of their own. Half of the reel each week
comprised topical events covered by their own cinematographer, while
the remaining portion was a booster for the firm’s goods. The reel was
offered free to movie showmen, who found the something-for-nothing bait
too good to be resisted.

Indeed, by looking across the horizon, there are going to be some
surprising developments in this particular direction very soon, if I am
anything of a prophet, and those who strike the iron while it is hot,
which is right now, will reap the advantages.



In these days of strenuous competition and enlightenment, the aid
of the children is a factor not to be lightly reckoned with. If
advertisers have discovered it worth while to appeal to them through
such publicity channels as the press and special literature, then so
must it be productive of advantageous results if you pay particular
attention to this element in your next motion-picture advertising

The other afternoon, while partaking of lunch at home, a sample-man
came to the front door and handed the maid a liberal trial of Shredded
Wheat. This was brought in by her, and my friend and I myself being
both keenly interested in advertising problems, our conversation
naturally drifted to this topic. Much to our mingled surprise, my
friend’s little girl of twelve chimed in:

“The factory in which Shredded Wheat is made represents the last word
in cleanliness, and is sanitary in every respect.” She didn’t say these
words, but they were to this effect.

“How do you know, dearie?” we asked, dubiously.

“Well, at one of our Sunday-school entertainments a film came on,
showing the Shredded Wheat plant at Niagara Falls, and I remember all
the details of the picture.”

What better proof can you have than that? A child absorbs everything
eagerly, and there is no likelihood of its attention being diverted
elsewhere in the darkened hall. He can also understand things better
from pictures than from words, because the eye is the magnet and
attracts everything that appears on the magic white screen.

Nor is this the only example which has come to my notice lately. I
used to conduct the young folks’ department in the _Motion Picture
Magazine_, and in this capacity I recently had the opportunity of
judging the numerous entries received in the “What I Have Learned
from Motion Pictures” competition. One of the competitors--a girl of
fourteen--stated that she has seen how the Ford automobile is put
together, the number turned out in a day, and the roads it can be made
to go over. Take good note of this fact, too--the film demonstration
was produced in Detroit, Michigan, and she saw the picture in Coronado,

An effort submitted by a boy of thirteen contained a statement that
he knows how many things are manufactured, although he neglected to
specify whose ad. films he had witnessed at the theater.

At the present time the schools in various parts of the country are,
more or less, adopting the motion picture as part and parcel of their
educational course. They are, for the most part, only too glad to
receive the free hire of a film depicting how your goods are made,
inasmuch as it costs them at least $5 for the day’s rental for a
single-reel, anti-ad. industrial picture. Films along these lines blend
well, in that they possess educational qualities for school use and
general theater consumption besides containing advertising for your

In some cases the mothers are invited to these demonstrations, and,
even when they are not, you may rest assured that their offspring will
not overlook enthusiastically reciting all they have seen.

The largest publishing organization in England, to boost their morning
paper, the London _Daily Mail_, had a motion picture produced covering
all the stages in paper manufacture, from the time the tree was felled
until the finished product lay on the breakfast table of the reader.

The direct advertising incidents presented were those of the making
of the paper in their own mills in Newfoundland, its arrival at
their London wharf, and the spectator was then transferred to the
printing-plant, where the complete editions are turned out rapidly by
the latest machines. The publishing to catch early trains to all parts
of England was, unfortunately, omitted. This is done outside in the wee
hours, when it is too dark for filming purposes, so it had, instead,
to be done at their Manchester branch, where they print a big northern
edition at daylight.

Prizes of $15, $10 and $5, respectively, were offered for essays on
the picture written by schoolchildren under sixteen. There was also a
similar competition for adults. All this was announced in their daily,
and schoolteachers in and around London were circularized, advising
them when and where the picture would be shown in their vicinity. They
were asked to kindly bring it before the notice of their pupils, which
they did.

Motion-picture exhibitors availed themselves of the opportunity to run
the film for three days and Saturday matinee free, owing to the advance
advertising accorded the picture and its attractive qualities. At the
Saturday matinees the children attended in full force.

I understand, on very good authority, that the fifteen hundred feet
(one and a half reels) cost $750 to produce, while the six positive
copies used for circulation purposes were furnished for the inclusive
sum of $600. The campaign was such an advertisement and circulation
stimulant that its evening companion, the _News_, followed it up by
inaugurating a series of weekly children’s matinees, admission being
in return for a coupon cut from the paper. Theaters were bought out for
each separate occasion, the amount varying according to capacity and
location. The program comprised six reels of educational and comedy
films, a house in a different locality being bought out each week, and
a new variety of pictures shown. The publication in question did not
employ a film of its own, but relied upon the advertising received in
connection with the shows as being sufficient.

With a little adjustment, to suit the particular line of business,
there is nothing to prevent the London _Evening News’_ plan from
proving equally as effective on this side of the Atlantic.



Motion-picture publicity is so pliable that arranging with movie
theaters to put on a film of your product in the making and equipping
salesmen with a reel and apparatus to demonstrate before prospective
customers does not exhaust its uses.

I have unearthed a New York manufacturing concern in a large way of
business who have fathomed the all-important matter of deriving the
fullest value from their movie-advertising investment. They utilize
their film to teach salesmanship to the employees. A large room
has been rigged up as a miniature picture theater, and every week
half-hourly pictorial demonstrations are given to the staff. The film
depicts most thoroughly the manufacture of goods sold by the firm.

It requires no great stretch of the imagination to realize that
to attempt this knowledge in the ordinary way is oftentimes a too
lengthy and intricate task, but the motion picture is so competent in
simplifying the essential details that, after seeing the movie several
times, even the veriest novice can talk intelligently to the likely
buyer on every little point in connection with the making of the goods.
Such clinching arguments make it easier to effect sales, and should the
prospect imagine that the salesman is attempting to convince him with
a lot of hot-air talk, there remains the actual film to back up his

An engineering firm I have come across in my travels make use of
their private theater to take their out-of-town customers through the
manufacturing processes of their wares. They being middlemen, the
information thus obtained is passed on to the dubious consumer, with
invariably satisfactory results.

Practically every manufacturing firm that has adopted--or intends
so doing--the film as a branch of their advertising campaign may
profit by applying the plans herewith outlined to their own special



The manufacturer who intends adopting the motion picture as his
advertising offspring for all time will find it necessary to install
a private theater in his office building or manufacturing plant,
according to what he may decide suits him best. This miniature theater
can be made to serve three useful purposes. One is to try out each
new advertising film before putting it into circulation and to be
on guard for defects calling for improvement. The second is to give
regular demonstrations before the employees, so as to keep them up to
efficiency pitch. Thirdly, it is always available for giving shows for
the edification of prospective customers.

The authorities throughout the country are getting exceedingly strict
anent the showing and storing of films, so the room selected for the
purpose should be made as fireproof as possible, for films are mighty

Although no actual case has come before my notice, it might be
interesting to compare the example presented by the wealthy homes in
Cincinnati. There are private motion-picture theaters there owned
by the well-to-do. Both architects and fire insurance men view the
innovation in the light that no ordinary fire insurance policy holds
good under such circumstances. Were there a fire to result, the fire
insurance company having a claim on the same would fight the case out
in the courts to be immune from compensation.

The danger from fire, however, is considerably lessened if the proper
precautions are taken. But, after you have equipped your private
theater, it is best to call in your fire insurance agent to investigate
and discover what his company’s action will be in the matter.

A miniature projecting machine will suit you just as well as one of
the standard machines, which cost three times as much and consume more
current. The only difference is that the standard machines are larger
and have a longer throw on a bigger screen. But your theater will
necessarily be a miniature one, and this makes it ideal for a small
projector focused on a medium-sized screen at a close distance. The
cost of the average miniature projector--there are several makes on
the market--is $100. Apart from lessening the danger from fire, such
a machine can be easily connected with the electric-light current at
present available.

There is a dandy film booth listed in the catalog of a large
motion-picture accessory concern for $50. It is portable and made of
steel, the size being four feet wide, five feet long and seven feet
high. Only twenty minutes is occupied in erecting it or pulling down.
This, of course, need only be done when the floor space is required for
some other purpose when the theater is not required. Inside the booth
the operator can manipulate the machine with perfect safety, for if the
film was to catch fire, the blaze would be confined to the booth and
the operator could quench the flames quickly with a fire-extinguisher.

The screen that gives the best results and is used in the majority of
motion-picture theaters is that known as the “Mirroroide.” There are
several grades, but the best is a medium silver white. These screens
are guaranteed for five years against deterioration, peeling or

The size of your screen will depend upon how your room is situated. I
should not advise a too small one, for it is desirable to display all
the selling points in as advantageous a way as you can. I therefore
advocate a screen of not less than four feet by three feet. The
material for same costs $3.25 per square yard.

You will, of course, have to make provision for seating accommodation,
and it is optional whether you purchase some special theater chairs or
use those you have already in use.

A competent operator will expect from $20 to $25 per week salary, but
as you will only need the services of one for part time, I suggest that
you have one of your mechanical staff act in that capacity when his
services are needed.

The steel vault or safe is the best storing-place for films when not in



The one element in motion-picture advertising films I have found
lacking is enterprise. I do not mean to say that this is the case of
the pictures themselves, but in the principle of the whole proposition.
Compare the printed matter gotten out by the big advertisers. What do
you discover? Why, numerous devices to attract readers. A photographic
firm offers several hundred dollars in prizes for the best photographs
taken with their camera. A food manufacturer wants to know of new
receipts for his standard line, so he pays liberally for such
suggestions. Another food concern will give an attractive present for a
certain number of labels taken from the packages of their goods. These
are but a few examples of what, in my mind, constitute enterprise.

All this attracts the interest of the public and acts as a direct
booster for the goods thus brought into prominence, but just because
you can obtain the attention of motion-picture audiences with little
effort, that is no reason why you should let ENTERPRISE go by the
board. Your constant aim should be to go one better than your
competitors and, at the same time, arouse the most sluggard to action.
There is a certain glamor about an article being offered free and money
to be had for a little effort, and the opportunity to strike out along
new lines at the movie theater is awaiting your prompt attention. No
advertiser has attempted what I am going to propose. Neither would you
attempt what you have done before through the press and dealers for
the simple fact that this new publicity medium possesses a technique
of its own. This, you can see, necessitates a different proposition

One way of gauging the precise lines you should pursue is by keeping
track of what the ordinary motion-picture producing concerns are doing.
This is why I advise frequent visits to the theaters, in which you can
combine pleasure with business. If these producers have experienced the
fact that enterprise pays, after long and diligent study of what the
fickle public wants, it only goes to bear out my assertion that users
of motion-picture advertising should emulate their example.

It also carries much weight in establishing friendly relations with the
exhibitor, for the average one is no great lover of advertising films
unless offered a fee, and even then his enthusiasm is of the watery
kind. But, however, if offered a photoplay of the nature which forms
the basis of this article, gratis, he knows that the joint boosting of
him and the advertiser is a sure tonic for a full house. He, therefore,
may be relied upon not to let the chance go begging and have it snapped
up by his rival a few blocks away.

The $10,000 offered for the solving of “The Million Dollar Mystery”
film serial caused a furore throughout the country. Briefly, the plan
was this: Through the installments, each getting more complicated than
its predecessor, a million dollars disappears, and the thief and his
hiding-place can not be located, although spectators are led to suspect
certain characters and places. The mystery is only known to those
higher up, the correct solution capturing the big money prize. The
extra installment, which was put out after the judging was finished,
informed competitors whether they were successful or not. Now, can not
you detect the possibilities of the idea? Supposing somebody hides
something in your advertised goods and you have all the action revolve
around that situation.

The Universal Company recently experienced great difficulty in
selecting an appropriate name for a certain feature film drama, so they
released it devoid of a title and launched an advertising campaign
announcing their intention of paying $50 for the one accepted.

A no small amount of enthusiasm was created by the Cines Company in
their plan to remunerate the best scenario with a thousand dollars,
with several smaller prizes for the ones next best in merit. Almost
everybody is writing photoplays nowadays, and it would be a dandy
idea if you were to launch an extensive advertising campaign linking
press, dealer, film and exhibitor. You could then offer a substantial
cash prize for the best photoplays written around your products. The
interest can be sustained when the films are put out, by inviting
criticisms with the bait of additional prizes. The latter was done with
excellent results in the Cines contest.



The motion picture is the ideal channel for enterprising dry-goods
manufacturers who want to bring out the individuality of their goods.

Printed matter, no matter how attractively gotten up, leaves a lot
to be satisfied, both in appeal and the results. First of all, you
have got to get your stuff read by discriminating buyers, and that
is no easy matter in these days, when the mails are swamped with it.
You have got to humor those skeptical folks who want to be shown that
your statements are correct. They have been deceived so many times
by unscrupulous advertisers that even the honest ones come under
suspicion. To sum it up briefly, motion-picture advertising is a
vehicle for pictorial treatment. Your reader sees the thing in actual
reality, instead of pen paintings or still photographs.

Movie audiences have come to regard films as next to life itself, and
no fraudulent advertising has crept in on the screen to shatter their

You interest your readers with little effort. At home he or she can
toss your costly literature in the waste-basket without even giving it
the once over. Or, come to that, if it is a magazine or newspaper ad.,
there is a whole mass of matter claiming attention at the same time.
Your ad., therefore, stands precious small chance of gaining attention.
But at the motion-picture theater the situation is entirely different,
for your audience is already waiting to be tackled. Their attention
is literally glued to the screen. No matter what species of film you
adopt to get over your arguments, then the spectators will give it the
self-same attention. They can not do otherwise, since only one thing
appears on the screen at the same time, and the hall is too dark for
them to do anything else. It is hardly likely that they will vacate
their seats if they have not seen the whole program. So the results
depend mainly on how your appeal is presented.

Becker, Mayor & Company, of Chicago, preferred to do theirs with the
aid of a film carrying the interesting title of “The Sheep Industry.”
It opened with scenes of sheep grazing on Montana plains, and then
dealt with the whole operation of making clothes--in their way, of
course--from the time the sheep were sheared until the clothes were
on the back of the customer. It was a rather intricate subject, but
it was put over in a clear and entertaining manner. The selling talk
that came to the surface out of the mass of material was this: The
sanitary conditions under which the “Graduate” coats were turned out,
and the several hand operations which ensure perfect-hanging sleeves,
smooth shoulders and the coat keeping its shape; hanging the clothes
in the stockroom as a precaution against wrinkles. Then followed a
typical retail store stocking the well-known “Graduate” and “Woolly
Boy” brands. Their arguments that their clothes were made of all wool
and hand-made assumed a deeper meaning, adding the desired convincing

Perhaps you would prefer to have your statements woven into a comedy or
dramatic photoplay, and so avoid the direct advertising element. Well,
the Printzess concern had one produced in three reels, taking about an
hour to show, but incorporated industrial stuff like that mentioned.

Personally speaking, I should advise the advertiser to get out a short
film at regular intervals, about a reel in length. You can then take
each thing separately and release a film at intervals, and so maintain
the interest. You wouldn’t think of having one big splash at press
advertising and then do no more, would you? The same principle holds
good in filmland. There is nothing that gets the goat of a picture-goer
quicker than having to see the same film more than once, and it should
have the run the ordinary films are given--one day.

Harken back to the Printzess campaign, their story possessed a very
weak plot, and it was the many interesting incidents that made the
picture entertaining. Reduced to the bare outlines, here is the story:
A society leader accepts an invitation to attend an informal ladies’
costume pageant. She promptly gets her dressmaker busy on new gowns,
for her wardrobe did not fulfill her exacting demands. When they are
completed, however, they turn out misfits, and there is no time for
alterations. In her dilemma, she conceives the idea, suggested by a
magazine ad., of buying a ready-made gown at the nearest department
store. To her delight, she obtains a stunning dress that fits
perfectly, and creates a sensation at the pageant. She is declared the
best gowned woman, a gold mesh-bag being the prize, and gains the title
of “Her Royal Highness Miss Printzess.”

When the Printzess people heard of the honor paid them, they invited
her to inspect their plant in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a sister in the
town, which gives her a good motive for making the trip. After being
shown over the works, she is full of admiration for the workmanship of
Printzess dresses. Back at home, she muses over fashions, which are
visualized by beautiful living models, attired in gowns shortly to be

Like with publications, one must, of course, discriminate between the
good and the bad. What Becker, Mayor & Company did was to arrange
matters with their string of retailers and loan each the film. They
naturally knew the best theater suited for their purpose, and got the
exhibitor to show the film for a small fee at the evening show. When
each was through with it, the film was despatched to the retailer in
the next town, until the whole territory was covered.

If you want to do this everywhere at the same time, it means a little
more expense in having copies of the film struck off. Pictures of
ladies’ underclothing can hardly be shown in the ordinary way. The
Gossart corset concern surmounted this difficulty by showing it only
at matinees, to which ladies only were admitted. The film showed the
corsets being fitted on living models.



The first aim of the city boosters and Chambers of Commerce is to
get the public to visit their communities. How, then, can this be
accomplished? The usual way is by distributing attractive literature
setting forth everything calculated to “lure” the visitor, but, in
the majority of cases, the efforts of the publicity man fail to have
the desired effect. “It is all very well of you to inform me of the
advantages of your city or pleasure resort,” the man in the street
might say, “but how on earth am I to know whether it was not written by
somebody with a tendency to exaggerate? Again, I have to picture things
before my eyes from cold print. Why not, therefore, have this done for

It is for this precise purpose that the motion picture has made itself
conspicuous as an advertising medium--one differing from all others.

An exemplification of what can be done came to the limelight when
the Western Michigan Development Bureau had a series of films,
comprising three reels altogether, taken to boost western and northern
Michigan. The principal features of the pictures were the scenes of
such prosperous towns as Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Petoskey, Cadillac,
Manistee, Frankfort and Charlevoix. These show the industrial
buildings, shipping industry by lake and rail, public parks, commercial
and residential portions and recreation resorts. Additionally, the
rapid development of western and northern Michigan was covered, as also
were the excellent roads, fertile agricultural lands recommended to
prospective homesteaders, fruit orchards, and the various industries.

Among other towns to employ motion pictures in a similar way may be
mentioned Pittsburgh and Santa Barbara. The latter distinguished itself
at the San Francisco Exposition by arranging a forty-minute show at
intervals during the day. A lecturer heightened the interest in the
films. The exhibit covered a floor space of four thousand feet.

The St. Louis municipal authorities made use of a motion picture
several months ago to educate ignorant foreigners and their offspring
to know the main features of their city in particular, and America in
general. These American citizens in the making are now able to say a
good word for their home town when called upon. The film was exhibited
free in suitable places, like a Catholic church, police station, Jewish
synagogue and a public school. On the first evening over two thousand
children, of Italian, German, Greek, Irish and Russian parents, were
present, along with their guardians. The picture depicted scenes of St.
Louis, New York Zoo and American industries.

Because America can learn from England is my reason for citing the
case of Blackpool, which is the Coney Island of Europe. In this case
a photoplay was employed, a comedy of fifteen hundred feet, to be
exact. A glance at the synopsis below will reveal its mirth-provoking
possibilities. I was not able to see the film, so present the version
gotten out by the advertising manager.

The plot is laid by August and September, the famous clowns of the
Blackpool Tower Circus, inviting their old uncle and aunt to see the
sights of Blackpool.

The scene opens at Talbot Road Station, where the elderly relatives
are cordially welcomed and escorted to the Promenade and Sands.
Donkey-riding, paddling and sea-bathing are indulged in, and the party
then visits the Central Pier, where the delights of roller-skating and
open-air dancing are enjoyed, to the accompaniment of many ludicrous
and side-splitting situations.

Then follows the tour of the Pleasure Beach. Here we see aunt and uncle
the victims of many thrilling, exciting and amusing adventures--joy
rides on the Velvet Coaster and Scenic Railway, a trip on the Witching
Waves, the descent of the Water Chute, and many other similar episodes,
lead up to the ascent of the famous Blackpool Tower, which may be
described as the outstanding feature of the film.

Other incidents follow, and the picture finally winds up with a
screamingly funny Golf Tournament, in which the whole of the characters
take part.

It is the custom to offer exhibitors a fee for showing an advertising
film, but in this instance the picture was meritable enough as a comedy
to offer a theater in each town the exclusive rights for a special
price. The example of “Fun on the Sands at Blackpool”--for that was the
attractive title--may be followed when you wish to boost some rural or
seaside retreat.

Another point in favor of motion-picture advertising is that, if done
on the right lines, a film does not appear to be an ad. Motion-picture
fans--and there are twenty million of them in this country--have become
so accustomed to seeing scenics and educationals that they would not
realize the true object of city boosters and Chambers of Commerce.
This is a considerable advantage, for folks are likely to evince more
interest in a picture.



For railroad companies, the ideal advertising medium is the motion
picture. It has something to offer which can not be done justice to
by any other publicity vehicle. How true this is was brought home
to me the other day while traveling on one of the elevated lines in
Brooklyn. Sitting next to me in the car were two young men engaged in
conversation, and I could not help but overhear what they said to each

“I have been trying to decide on a place for a vacation this summer,
but I have simply grown tired of poring over advertising literature.”

“Yes,” assented his companion, “it leaves so much to the imagination.”

Here, then, is the crux of the situation--printed matter of all
descriptions appeals to the brain, whereas the nature of your business
demands that the mental strain be non-existent. Folks are more than
likely to throw your expensive literature away unused when you expect
them to use their brains to imagine things. With motion pictures you
don’t have to--everything is taken in by the eyes.

You have got to show them. And how? Well, do not motion pictures fill
the breach admirably? Be honest with yourself. Is there any other
medium in existence by which you can bring the actual things before
the gaze of a skeptical public? I will admit, though, that there are
still photographs and lantern slides, but these only permit snaps here
and there. On the film, however, you can cover the whole place at one
sweep, so to speak. This is no idle boast. It has been accomplished.
Let us, to begin with, take the prospect of boosting your line for
vacations. The Northern Pacific Railway Company did theirs by having a
film made depicting the beauties of their line and Yellowstone Park,
recommending the latter as the ultimate destination of the tourist.

The results, I am glad to say, were highly satisfactory.

Although it is unusual, much more has been done in this particular
direction in Britain than at home.

The Great Western Railway Company established its individuality by
proving that it is “The Holiday Line,” for their picture showing the
beauties of the west of England, Wales and Ireland leaves a hankering
to travel by the route covered by them, if only to pass by the most
charming portions of the British Isles. The film was hired out free to
numerous movie theaters throughout Britain, and the atmosphere of the
picture was further enhanced by the orchestra playing old English airs.

The Great Northern Railway Company conceived a different idea in
circularizing their three-reel travel film of the Scottish Highlands.
A descriptive lecture was prepared in connection with this, and any
lecturer, educational institution or theater requiring the use of both
could hire them free.

The best way to lessen the expense and at the same time work to the
mutual advantage is by arranging with chambers of commerce, etc.,
who wish their pleasure resorts to develop. Considerable success has
attended the efforts along these lines in England.

Southport, a northern seaside resort, is a case in point. Previous
to putting out a motion picture showing its advantages as a winter
resort, there were very few visitors in the dull winter months. The
nine copies of this film, however, were loaned to the various railway
companies running excursions to Southport, who in turn arranged for
the showing of the film in connection with their advertising campaign
at the picture theaters in their territory. The outcome was that the
enterprising town reaped a harvest of winter holiday-makers, who were
transported by the railroads.

The motion picture is also invaluable in developing towns and various
little-exploited territories, with, of course, special emphasis on the
fact that yours is the best line to travel by. The Southern Railroad
Company had a film produced along their line in South Carolina in order
to bring out the possibilities of farm, city and industrial life in
that State. The film was exhibited in the North and Middle West.

Nor is this an isolated case, for the Great Northern Railway and
Oregon Trunk Company joined forces in order to record the development
of central Oregon on a motion picture. The most convincing portions
of same were those of the great Blitzen Canal which will open up one
hundred thousand acres of land, homesteaders arriving, a big cattle
round-up, and vast picturesque stretches of land which are ripe for

You can also call attention to the precautions taken to ensure safety
traveling. The Rock Island Railroad film dealt with some of the
every-day dangerous experiences of their employees, besides pointing
out the right and the wrong way of doing each thing. These pictures
served a twofold purpose. In the first place, regular demonstrations
were given to the other trainmen, so that they can guard against
the dangers that attend their work. This, in turn, rebounds on the
passengers, who are ensured being reasonably safe from any accidents
occurring. The public were also invited to view the film, which could
not fail to leave a favorable impression. Societies, schools and
theaters were also at liberty to show it.



The motion picture stands in need of a nickname. The one most
appropriate would be, “Conveyor of things as they are.” Not only are
audiences regaled on a feast of comedy and drama, but the aid of the
screen is often sought to educate them in reforms of various kinds.

And this is where the food manufacturer can hitch the movies to his
next campaign. Let me tell you this much--the screen is no ordinary
publicity medium. It possesses a pleasing individuality of its own.
This is the art of vision. You don’t let your pen loose and turn
out printed matter that but half satisfies. In these days of food
adulterating, the alert housewife wants to be shown, so the case of
the man from Missouri is not an isolated one. The film accomplishes
more than printers’ ink, and allows you to take people through your
plant, which it is often not convenient to do in person.

Before we proceed further, I want to call your attention to a two-reel
drama which was recently put on public exhibition. It is a lecture in
celluloid, and was produced by the Kalen Company, in collaboration with
Professor Lewis B. Allyn, who has achieved fame in connection with the
Pure Food movement. He also acts in this gripping screen drama. The
_Ladies’ World_ ran the fiction version.

The story opens with Jack, the son of a canned-food manufacturer,
entering his father’s business. Jack is thoroughly disgusted with the
plant, for dirt is allowed to accumulate and the employees are sweated.
Some are so ill that their infections are liable to be transferred to
the consumer. One of the employees dies of ptomaines as the result of
consuming the canned goods, and Jack is urged to reform the existing
state of affairs. To this end he receives instructions from Professor
Allyn, but Jack’s father will not listen to effecting a reform, for
wealth comes first. The manufacturer then tries to bribe the Professor
to place his goods upon the Westfield Pure Food List, but the Professor
will only agree when he makes the needed alterations.

It happens that Jack is in love with the daughter of another food
manufacturer, and Jack’s father visits the plant. The cleanliness and
the quality of the raw materials impress him greatly.

His little daughter steals a jar of his fruit jelly from the closet and
is taken seriously ill. Then he learns that his factory is on fire, and
we leave him vowing to build a factory which shall be sanitary, the
material of the best, while the health of the employees will be cared

At the lowest estimate, this was seen by five million out of the
total twenty million movie fans in this country, besides being read
by two million or more _Ladies’ World_ readers. The film is sure to
make the public more discriminating than ever. Here, then, is the
ripe opportunity to gain their patronage by following it up with an
effective advertising film.

This is not mere theory, for the Postum Cereal Company recently had a
motion picture taken at their Battle Creek factory depicting the making
of Post Toasties, Grape Nuts and Instant Postum. The healthy conditions
under which they are made were well brought out. Human interest--which
fans are so partial to--was added by introducing several bunches of
happy children enjoying the products heartily. An exhibitor was
selected in each town to show the film for a small consideration, the
campaign proving very successful.

Cadbury Brothers, an English firm renowned for their cocoa and
chocolate, got out a very interesting film to boost their cocoa. It
showed their cocoa plantation in Trinidad, the natives gathering the
pods, and various other stages until the cocoa reached the consumer.
Their other film went further, with special emphasis on Bourneville,
their garden city. The most valuable points presented were these: The
picturesque surroundings of Bourneville works, storing raw cocoa, daily
arrival of new milk for milk chocolate, men’s recreation-ground, a
walk round the plant, showing the airy work-rooms and open windows,
the factory fire brigade at drill, open-air baths for boys and girls
where they swim during working-hours, girls’ physical drill, preparing
creams ready for covering with chocolate, covering chocolate creams
and decorating chocolates. All this tended to favorably impress the
millions who witnessed the film. As it also had educational qualities,
it was offered to exhibitors free, over three hundred theaters taking
advantage of the offer. It is usual to pay exhibitors a fee for this
privilege, but when the advertising element does not unnecessarily
obtrude, it can be put out on its own merits.

The manufacturers of an English beef-tea preparation called “Oxo”
sent an operator to their ranch in the Argentine. He filmed a reel of
entertaining stuff which was put out under the title of “Life on the
Oxo Cattle Farms.” The firm was also wise in only mentioning the name
of their product once.

In this instance movie exhibitors could hire the film free, and the
advertisement in the trade papers had not been a day old before two
hundred bookings resulted. What made the offer so attractive was to
insert free advertising in the local newspapers announcing where the
film could be seen. Dealers, too, were put in a good frame of mind,
for at the bottom of the ad. appeared the names of those stocking Oxo
locally. Exhibitors were also invited to write to the local schools
and get the pupils to attend a special matinee as their guests, for an
appeal to the children is worth something.

Motion-picture audiences go to see interesting stories, and it stands
to reason, therefore, that they would better appreciate your ad. got
over in this way than by any other method.

The plot written around the Hecker Mills introduces us to the
harvesting of the grain, and in the mills the various processes come
in for due attention. Additional interest is imparted to “The Chef’s
Redemption”--for that is its alluring title--by showing how useful the
Hecker flour is in making various kinds of bread popular in foreign
countries. The ideal conditions prevailing in the plant carried

There now exist several firms who specialize in motion-picture
publicity, so the advertiser need have no fear of inexperience holding
him back. The old adage, “Do it now,” applies in this case.



It is not every day that a new and reliable advertising medium is
unearthed, and it was decidedly a good day’s work when the selling
powers of motion-picture publicity became known.

You appeal to the public at their leisure and there is no competition
to fear, as exhibitors will not show more than one ad. film on a
single program. You also enjoy a monopoly of the audience’s attention,
for folks can only see one thing at a time in the darkened hall. The
photoplay used to attract the poorer classes, but now the theaters have
divided up into grades, and the well-to-do and middle classes are quite
as enthusiastic patrons.

The manufacturer of automobiles and accessories can take up
motion-picture advertising with every confidence that it is going to
prove a good business producer. Naturally the latter depends on the
efficiency of the campaign, for, like in everything else, system has to
be applied.

It saves the trouble and expense of having to give numerous tests in
order to prove your claims, and as the film records them once and for
all, you are avoided any annoying hitches in demonstrations. The ideal
film for advertising is that which carries the vague definition of
industrial. The Reo Motor Car Company had such a one taken, and made
it serve three useful purposes instead of one. The picture depicted
conditions in their plant and how the autos were manufactured. In the
office building they possess a private motion-picture theater in which
the film is regularly exhibited to the employees, especially the
salesmen, to keep them efficient. The result is that they are able to
discourse with the completest knowledge of the goods they have to sell
and enable them to land a sale easier. The film also comes in handy
for sales demonstration purposes, while, with alterations, it is made
suitable for showing before the general public to rope in prospective
auto enthusiasts.

A noteworthy film gotten out by the Ford concern showed an automobile
being erected in two and a half minutes, when it was speeded off on
its own power. Henry Ford also recently devised an interesting plan
which combined news with advertising. Each week he arranges to have the
important events in Detroit filmed and offers the picture to exhibitors
throughout Michigan. In Detroit alone fifty theaters show the picture.
Henry Ford not only gets himself known as a booster of his home town,
but in addition, avails himself of the weekly opportunity to boost his

The Pierce Arrow Company had a film produced setting forth in a
convincing manner the powers and capabilities of their autos. You
can not demonstrate a motor truck on any street, and this is where the
film triumphs.

The Straker Squire Company, an English firm, not so long ago
introduced, within the compass of a single film, the making of the
various parts of a modern automobile, erecting a car in sixty seconds,
trying it out on rough roads, work tracks and on timber support. Then
came a hill-climbing test and racing cars speeding at ninety-eight
miles per hour. Lastly, the 980 employees were seen leaving the works.

The reel depicting the Diamler Motor Works at Coventry, England, was
distributed in a different manner. The film was on show at a recent
London auto exposition and caused a hit because it was an interesting
novelty. This plan could also be allied in connection with future auto
expositions held at the Grand Central Palace, New York, by enterprising

And if you want to boost your tires, here follow some successful

The De Laski and Thropp Circular Woven Tire Company put out a film
dealing with their methods of manufacturing tires. It revealed also
that it only takes five minutes to complete one. This film was used
in connection with their campaign for capturing business in foreign

In the fifty motoring centers in Britain, the Goodrich Company has been
conducting film lectures extending over a year. The film was entitled
“From Tire to Tire,” and in an entertaining way motorists were educated
from the time the rubber was gathered from the tree until the tire
was on the auto. In the course of the lectures, which were attended by
large audiences, much practical information was imparted on the use and
care of tires.

A story within a story. Did you ever think it was possible? If you want
to approach an audience by means of entertainment instead of education,
then it can be done. A trained scenario writer is capable of weaving
your advertising story into a comedy or dramatic plot. It has been
accomplished, as witness the “silent representative” of a Birmingham
concern manufacturing a patent dual rim for motor cars. The plot
concerned a gang of thieves who robbed a bank messenger of $25,000.
While fleeing in an auto they are held up by the police, but escape
after a struggle. The police then chase them in an auto. The crooks,
however, come to a halt through one of their tires being punctured,
and the police meet with the same misfortune. It so happens that the
latter’s car is equipped with the Patent Quick Change Dual Rim, by
which they complete the repairs before the thieves are half through
with theirs. This allows them to capture the thieves with ease.

If you intend working the campaign in conjunction with your dealers,
it is best to get up a list of them in order of territory and arrange
for each to retain the film for a day. They then persuade, for a small
consideration, the best-class theater in the town to show the film at
the evening performances, after which it is despatched to the dealer in
the next nearest town.



The manufacturer of heavy agricultural machinery and merchandise of
an intricate nature is placed considerably at a disadvantage, yet,
by enlisting the aid of the versatile motion picture, he can greatly
improve his selling tactics.

The idea of the salesman being burdened with such cumbersome things
is, naturally, not to be thought of, so his abilities are confined to
selling talk, aided by the literature of the publicity man. However
convincingly these may be presented, the one clinching argument is
conspicuous by its absence.

Almost every prospective customer, like the man from Missouri, wants
to be shown, and when his desire can not easily be gratified, his
business is often lost. It is usual in these cases for a firm to pay
his traveling expenses to visit the plant, but if this is done, very
frequently it is a mighty expensive way and takes the profit off the
deal. The buyer, on the other hand, may not be able to spare the time
for the trip.

But with a film, all doubt on the subject is scattered to the wind.
The salesman carries a miniature projection machine, which is quite
inexpensive, in a natty case. And when he wishes to demonstrate before
the farmer, the blinds in a room are pulled down and a socket fixed
to the electric light; if this is not available, he uses acetylene.
A table-cloth is borrowed and tacked to the wall. He then turns the
handle, and as the possibilities of the machine are unfolded on the
screen, the salesman explains thoroughly all the difficult points. All
the time the farmer is comfortably seated in a chair and is favorably

One firm I know went one better with the producing of their film. They
arranged to have it taken on a farm where one of their machines was at
work, and filmed the laborers using the implement in actual practice.

Both the Holt Caterpillar Company and the M. Rumely Company have
successfully employed the motion picture to set forth the merits of
their farm machinery.

Another effective plan has been to arrange a special show with the
local movie exhibitor when the farmers come to town. Each farmer in
the neighborhood was sent invitations, inviting himself, wife and
children to attend an exhibition of select photoplays free. They were
entertained with several dramas and comedies, but the star turn was
the advertising film of the enterprising firm. This sank in to the
right audience in a receptive mood. The exhibition of the picture to
a number of the farmers at the same time saved much of the salesman’s
time and trouble, and clinched a whole lot more business in the bargain.

There are times when certain experiments have to be made with intricate
articles. The dynamite made by the Du Pont Company, who advocated the
use of same to farmers, is a case in point. Tests were given in stump
blasting, deep plowing, tree planting, ditching, etc., and effectively
shown to farmers at institutes, land shows, State and county fairs, and
on other suitable occasions. In all, over one hundred copies of the
same film were shown at the same time in rural communities throughout
the country. And what is more in favor of the method is that the
demonstrations were given on winter evenings, when the farmer had
his liberty and no outdoor tests could be held, owing to the average
weather conditions. Nor must it be overlooked that the extra expense
of this form of publicity was gotten back in the saving of the dynamite
which would have been necessary in each actual test. There was also no
fear of failure.

At those times when the farmers attend important functions on business
bent it is customary to erect machinery and rent a large amount of
space for same. The demonstrations are cramped and can never be so
thorough in scope as were a special cinema show to be erected and
demonstrations given at stated intervals by means of a film. This would
be a good investment, which I can vouch for by the success that has
attended the plan at various expositions held at the Grand Central
Palace, New York.

On first thoughts, the idea of erecting a private motion-picture
theater in your office building may appeal to you as an unnecessary
expense, but an agricultural machinery concern in Hull, England, has
such a place in which to show its implements to prospective purchasers.
On the whole, it is rather a bore and unpleasant having to take
the prospect through your plant, and everything is in favor of the
short-cut method. Perhaps a prospective client will request even to be
shown the machinery in actual use, and a lot of inconvenience is saved
in not having to trouble already satisfied customers. This is only of
importance when the film is produced, after which it is good for all



It has been asserted by some that the movies are a new menace to the
publisher. While not denying the truthfulness of the statement, I can
not pass by without remarking that the publisher is to blame for such a
deplorable state of affairs coming to pass.

The motion picture has created a demand for clean-cut stories, without
a particle of padding. Yet there are publishers who have continued
to turn out fiction of all kinds with frightfully slim plots. In the
motion-picture play, the story is the thing. Sometimes one of these
compressed plots that the average author would weave into a good-sized
novel can be unfolded on the screen in eighteen minutes.

The longest novel--from a plot stand-point--when converted into a
photoplay, would not, at the most, provide more than two hours’
entertainment. As a rule, they run to an hour or so, while those that
rely, to a great extent, upon description rather than plot, and are
also deficient in plot qualities, could not be put on at all.

It seems to me that the person who has reaped most of gold for this
fiction adaptation mania is the author. Now, why shouldn’t the
publisher likewise benefit? Well, he can, if he gets into action right

Down to date, the greater part of the adapted fiction--short stories
and serials--has not been filmed until after publication, when, of
course, it would not increase the sales one little bit. If all are to
profit, united co-operation is necessary. When a piece of fiction--no
matter whether it be a short story, a serial or a novel--appears,
an endeavor should be made to arrange with a film concern that the
photoplay should appear simultaneously with it in fiction form.
Tagged on to the end of the film--or both beginning and end for
preference--should be a notice announcing where the printed story can
be seen. This publicity the publisher will reciprocate by informing the
readers of his publication that they can see the photoplay version at
the movie theaters, and so forth.

The millions that visit the moving-picture shows daily have come to
regard their favorite amusement as a “Guide to Literature.” They prefer
to see it on the film first, because it is the quickest and easiest way
to arrive at a decision. It is also the truest test.

Since the movie manufacturers have made good with the speeding-up
process in stories, so must the offending publishers follow suit if
they do not wish to be put out of business.

When a film form of a well-known copyright-expired work has been
exhibited, a run on the cheap editions has occurred, while in many
cases the book dealer has been totally unprepared for the demand. The
publishers should keep a weather eye on the different releases week by
week and watch out for opportunities.

Fresh developments have resulted in more business slipping out of his
hands. The latest move of the film producer is to produce an original
serial play, have the scenario author write it up in book shape, add
some photographs from the film, together with a signed one of the
leading actor. The first attempt along these lines has been distributed
among the picture shows in lots of twenty-five or more at 15 cents per
copy. The first edition of fifty thousand copies sold like hot cakes,
so to speak, and the second edition sold well.

Why, I maintain, should not the publisher have the business that is
legitimately his? There is little chance of co-operating with the
ordinary one- and two-reel photoplay, as the fiction rights of these
are given to the motion picture magazines, whose staffmen write them
up. There are, however, opportunities for the publishers to handle the
big feature photodramas, as well as the linked series and serials. It
is a paying proposition for all concerned if operated on the right



Enterprise is a restless thing. Once let it remain still and all the
good work is undone. This fact is brought more closely home in the case
of a newspaper, for enterprise does so much to hold a reader. One stunt
is soon forgotten, and it is therefore imperative to keep the ball

You, as a newspaper man, know the huge following the motion picture
has, and if you are a small-town member of the fourth estate I want
your attention right now. Mr. Big City, your turn will come next.

Several small-town newspapers have tried out the following plan
successfully. A prize, usually $25, is offered for the best one-reel
scenario, comedy or dramatic, as you may choose, only it must possess a
plot which can be effectively taken amid familiar local surroundings.
Usually the editor, dramatic critic and the movie director act as the

This is followed by a voting contest for the selection of the most
beautiful young woman and handsomest young man in town to play the
heroine and hero, respectively. A prize of, say, $25 each, should be

Nominations are best made by coupon, accompanied by a photograph. The
judges can weed out the hopeless ones and print the photographs of the
good-looking ones in the newspapers, as well as having them thrown
upon the screens of the local motion-picture shows. Interest may be
maintained each day by announcing the standing of the candidates.

It is up to readers to vote for their favorites, who, if successful,
would be trained to act in the prize-winning story.

The advantages of the indirect advertising campaign are many, and it
will be found to pull more results than ordinary advertising could
accomplish in a lifetime. I say this in all seriousness.

In the first place, almost everybody has a hunch to write a photoplay,
but few see their efforts on the screen. In a local contest they stand
more chance of making good. The winner is aware that there is more than
$25 and local fame awaiting him. His success does much to remove the
barriers from the doors of the regular motion-picture producers, who,
knowing he is one of the “arrived,” give his future efforts special

The acting bug is strong within many, especially boys and girls in
their teens. The speaking-stage used to be the attraction, but nowadays
they get screen-struck instead. Can’t you imagine how proud the
winners would be to act in a photoplay and be viewed by their admiring
friends? It may prove a stepping-stone to an engagement with a big film
company. Events have turned out this way before now.

Important links in the chain are the local motion-picture exhibitors.
All are fully alive to the value of a photoplay possessing a strong
local appeal. Therefore, if you agreed to announce in your newspaper
where the picture was being presented, you would find all the local
exhibitors clamoring to hire it. You would probably be able to charge a
nominal fee to help cover the cost of production, for it is not as if
the photoplay is advertising pure and simple. You get your publicity as
the promoter of the production.

Apart from getting your newspaper on the lips of everybody, every
candidate would enlist the aid of friends to secure votes, the
additional coupons required for this purpose increasing your
circulation many times over, temporarily, of course. On the other hand,
you would secure new permanent readers.

You may be too far removed from such movie-producing centers as New
York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Jacksonville. Fortunately, however,
there exist private concerns throughout the country which make a
specialty of local work.



Mr. Shoe Manufacturer, take your choice. Which would you prefer to
boost a brand of shoes by--an industrial film, a comedy photoplay or
a trick film? That is a matter for you personally to decide, for my
responsibility ceases after mentioning how each type of motion picture
has been employed by other shoe manufacturers.

The George E. Keith Company, manufacturers of Walk-Over shoes,
introduced themselves to the motion-picture public with “The Making of
a Shoe,” said film being exactly one-reel in length. The camera man
went to Campello, Massachusetts, for his material, and first panoramed
his camera outside the Walk-Over plant. Once inside, evidently nothing
escaped his notice, for he covered everything, from the leather
inspection to the polishing of the finished soles.

Credit must go to the Krohn-Fechheimer Company, of Cincinnati, for
being the first to present photoplay stars. Their film, “A Footwear
Romance,” featured, to use a studio term, Ruth Stonehouse and Bryant
Ashburn. It was easy to capitalize these two attractions, so full-page
announcements were taken in the leading motion-picture magazines.

This was how the fans were appealed to: Glancing across the aisle on
the Pullman, Edward Blair saw a pair of feet so small, so bewitchingly
dainty, that at once he lost his heart to the pretty feminine
possessor. But who was she, and where was she going? Resorting to a bit
of clever detective work, he found that she wore the Red Cross shoe--a
clue that led up to some startling information. But afterwards came
the greatest shock--when he discovered her as the servant in the home
of Miss Eugenie Hatton, the girl he must marry to win the fortune of
his eccentric uncle.

How would you have this story end? Would you have him marry the
servant-girl, whom he really loves, or Eugenie and a fortune? How it
really does end will be a big surprise to you.

The star players, of course, were especially mentioned, as well as
advising readers to see the film when it came to their town.

The opportunity to present the direct appeal was not overlooked, for
the Krohn-Fechheimer Company offered to send the complete story of the
film. With the synopsis was enclosed a card of introduction to the
local Red Cross dealer.

I understand that the film was handled by a Red Cross dealer in every
town, who arranged for its showing at the most desirable local
photoplay theater, calling attention to the fact in his newspaper

The trick film is capable of putting over many amazing advertising
stunts, and for impressing a name on the public it can not be
surpassed, if equaled. While I can not recall any American shoe
manufacturer having adopted same, we can take a leaf out of Germany’s

A clever idea was carried out by the Dorndorf Shoe Stores, which
establishment used a film that presented a jumbled heap of letters,
these eventually merging into the word “Dorndorf.”

The same concern employs another film which shows shoe-boxes traveling
unaided from the shelves to the customer, who allows the shoes to try
themselves on his feet until a pair proves suitable. Then appears the
apt subtitle, “Dorndorf Shoes Sell Themselves.”



Business and art do not usually go together, but this can not be said
of Edward Earle, the popular photoplayer.

“Perhaps why I evince such a great interest in advertising,” Mr. Earle
began, “is the fact that without it a photoplayer would soon find his
popularity on the wane. A player must, first of all, possess ability,
as otherwise the most brilliant publicity campaign in creation will
fizzle out.”

Having thus broken the ice, I got down to business.

“Do you advocate the film as an advertising medium?”

“Well, yes, and then, no,” he remarked, thoughtfully. “It is the
forceful methods adopted in film advertising to which I am opposed,
and which, incidentally, are responsible for the medium not having
attained the popularity of its older sister--press advertising.

“One of the points in favor of the latter is that you are not compelled
to read the advertisements. They win out on their own merits, for
if one is sufficiently compelling your attention is automatically

“But the ‘make-up’ of the motion-picture theater screen differs in that
only one thing may be presented at a time. If an advertising film is
unfolded, you have no other alternative in the darkened hall than to
give it your attention.

“Nothing is more abhorrent to the people of this democratic country
than compulsory methods,” Mr. Earle continued, “and it is my belief
that motion-picture advertisers unconsciously get in bad with their
prospects. It is a human trait in buying to be able to choose between
goods of the same kind, but as the exhibitor only rents out his
screen to one advertiser in each trade, the public can not possibly

“You will have to go far to find a magazine or newspaper that doles
out monopolies to advertisers. I honestly think that this condition
of things has a tendency to make advertisers dull and listless.
Competition is the life and soul of publicity, and makes the
advertisement writer put plenty of ‘pep’ into his copy.

“Once the present forceful methods in film publicity presentation are
abolished, the medium will enter an era of prosperity.”

“Do you consider this treatment can be avoided?” I asked.

“That all depends,” Edward Earle replied. “You see, the average
photoplay program occupies two hours. To lengthen this in order to
include advertising picture, the exhibitor has either to open his show
earlier or else curtail his performance. The former step would not be
practical, as his busy times are from seven to eleven in the evening,
in which hours he has to give two performances. The latter move,
however, would not meet with the approval of his patrons.

“If the advertising film was about one-reel in length, the exhibitor
could just about squeeze it in. This should be shown at one theater
for only a day, as the regular fans dislike to see a picture more than
once. It will also allow other advertisers a look-in.

“If the ad. story can be told in less than one thousand feet, so much
the better. I notice some commercial producers offer to release several
subjects by different advertisers on the same reel. I know in the case
of press advertising that it is a serious mistake to cram as many
words as possible into a small, displayed announcement, but in film
publicity the reverse is the case.

“The more material you compress into a film the snappier it will be,”
commented Mr. Earle, “though clearness should not be overlooked. The
bugbear in the motion-picture industry to-day is padding, and I should
be sorry to see national advertisers fall for it. A film may occupy the
screen longer, but it will certainly not impress spectators any the

“The big advertisement has its place in filmdom if the story succeeds
in maintaining the interest from beginning to end, but you must
remember that a whole page magazine ad. can be read inside of two
minutes, while a feature, its motion-picture counterpart, demands at
least an hour of a fan’s time.

“But there is no room for the big feature in the regular
motion-picture theater. If I am not mistaken, there will spring up a
chain of photoplay theaters in the large cities to which the public
will be admitted free. At these ‘billboard stations’ short, regular
photoplays will be sandwiched in between the ad. films so as to attract
the folks inside.”

Mr. Earle raises some interesting points, which deserve the
consideration of every national advertiser.



Motion-picture advertising has presented its crop of new problems, and
probably none so involved as circulation. Let us, first of all, compare
the film with printer’s ink. To my mind, a motion picture is like a
press agent’s story syndicated to a chain of newspapers throughout
the country, yet it is different in some respects. A write-up may be
released for simultaneous circulation and published in several thousand
newspapers on the same day, but this stunt would not be practical in
the case of a motion picture.

The regular photoplay producers have specified release dates for their
productions, and although several thousand exhibitors may book the same
production, their dates will be spread over a period of about six
months. Each print supplied by the film manufacturer costs the exchange
at least $100. The leading theaters are in a position to pay the high
rental demanded for first run, but the exchange has to keep that print
working overtime in order to make a profit, so it is hired out to other
exhibitors at proportionately reduced rates.

Now, suppose you have a one-reel industrial film produced. The
negative, we will say, costs $500, but for every print you need the
charge is $100. Now, if you are going to have your film shown at every
theater simultaneously, it means that you will have to supply one print
for each theater. As the picture will only be retained for a day or
so, it is extremely doubtful whether the expense will be justified,
so it is best to utilize only one print in each territory. A film
does not generally begin to show signs of wear and tear until after
about six months’ constant use, and, if we allow one day for each
theater, each copy of the picture will be shown in about 156 theaters.
Allowing an average audience of one thousand at each of the two evening
performances, the film will have been seen by 312,000 people. There are
more in these than appear on the surface, for, although a publication
may guarantee such a circulation, you have to allow for those readers
who skip all advertisements. In the motion-picture theater this can not
be done, as only one thing is shown on the screen at a time, and in the
darkened hall a spectator can not turn his attention elsewhere.

Another thing which must be taken into consideration is the fact that
the one-reel film occupies the screen for eighteen minutes, which
is several times greater than the time a reader devotes to a press

The film must be charged to the copy writer’s account, for an exhibitor
charges from $12.50 to $50 per week for renting out his screen for
advertising purposes. A film, I admit, represents a big outlay for the
copy writer’s services, but it is a worth while investment.

The Maxwell Motor Sales Company, for instance, had a series of films
produced which were presented over five thousand times in America,
Canada, Australia and England. It is estimated that they were seen by
at least two million people. The circulation was mainly achieved by
dealer co-operation, the dealer making arrangements with the local
exhibitor and presenting free tickets to all who cared to accept same.

Those advertisers who do not make their appeal to the general public
will find that quality circulation is far preferable to quantity
circulation. Hoggson Brothers, the New York contracting designers,
realized this when they showed their film exclusively to business men
who contemplated having buildings erected or remodeled.

The film owned by the Columbia Paper Manufacturing Company,
of Washington, D. C., was exhibited by one of their traveling
representatives before printers in various parts of the country.

The film which boosted the products of the Peabody Coal Company, of
Chicago, was shown at a number of educational institutions, as well as
to individuals interested in the coal business.

The Reliable Incubator and Brooder Company took advantage of a
recent poultry show held at Quincy, Illinois, to present a motion
picture, “taking spectators through their plant and showing their
poultry-raising methods.”

Both the French China Company, of Sebring, Ohio, and the National
Tube Company were represented at the Panama-Pacific Exposition by
motion-picture exhibits.

Under these conditions, the motion picture becomes a catalogue in
celluloid. It is more powerful than the printed page, and helps to
substantiate the claims of the salesman. Whether it is best suited to
general or class circulation is determined at the outset, after which
it is necessary to seek the right channels, these being determined by
the character of the proposition.



Not so long ago photoplay audiences were content to just see the films
through, so the players remained mere shadows until the industry
advanced a few steps further, when stock companies were formed. Now,
this meant that the fans saw the same actors, week in and week out,
instead of a fresh face every time, and, very naturally, they began
to evince an interest both in the screen players and the brands of
photoplays. Then the motion-picture companies were bombarded with
inquiries asking for the name of the man with the curly hair, and so

It occurred to one of the film companies that there was scope for a
magazine appealing expressly to the fans, and now the motion-picture
field is represented by nearly a dozen publications of all sorts and

The motion picture to-day has such a tremendous hold that it is
estimated that there are twenty million fans in this country. Just
think of it--one-fifth of the total population.

It has been truthfully stated that motion-picture fans are the most
inquisitive folks in the world. They make it their business to read
every word in their favorite photoplay magazine, and this ensures an
advertiser’s announcements being read.

I have discovered that the majority of the readers are girls and women,
but the publications are taken in the homes and eagerly devoured by the
rest of the family.

It has long been thought that motion-picture audiences only comprised
the poorer classes, but now the habit has spread to folks in
comfortable circumstances. These publications reach the largest city
as well as the smallest rural community, and are equally good for mail
order or dealer campaigns.

The photoplayers thrive on popularity, and you would be surprised what
a lot a fan thinks of his or her idol, so the appeal goes closer home
when the copy is linked with the name of a prominent screen performer.
For instance, in one publication the Charles William Stores, the
New York mail-order house, ran three cuts of popular players in the
full-page ad. They first showed Harold Lockwood wearing one of their
spring hats; the second was of Romaine Fielding attired in one of
their business suits, while Marguerite Clayton was seen with one of
the dainty afternoon dresses on. In the same issue Ruth Stonehouse
testified to the merits of Sempre Giovine Soap.

The logical follow-up medium for your film is the motion-picture
publication field, for every fan takes regularly at least one
publication devoted to photoplays, and the cover of national magazine
or periodical you have in mind may only catch his eye at the



There is a great future before advertising by motion pictures, and it
is only with the most careful deliberation that I have concluded in
what way the future developments will assume shape.

The medium is practically only in its infancy to-day, for, despite
the vast possibilities offered, most concerns have seemed to favor
following the same groove. I do not wish to insinuate that this is
because the work has been placed in the hands of the several firms
specializing in the producing of commercial motion pictures. Such a
thing never entered my mind. I do think, however, it is due to the fact
that advertisers have been reluctant to deviate from the exploited
fields. The path of the pioneer may be speculative, but it need never
be, if the alert advertiser studies the other end of the business,
where photoplays are made and exhibited for entertainment purposes. It
is a reliable thermometer to watch, believe me. That much only stands
to reason, for are not the majority of ad. films shown on programs
along with the ordinary photoplays?

To achieve permanent results, the spasmodic plan at present prevailing
must be abandoned. You would not dream of inserting a solitary one
advertisement in the press and then expect it to be business-bringing
for all time, would you?

Well, perhaps you have gotten the hunch that the film is a permanent
ad. So it is, only, to have it do so, you must keep it on the rounds to
folks who have not seen it before. It is the greatest mistake in the
world to present the same film before the identical audience day after
day. Let us come to an understanding. Would you employ the same copy in
the newspapers in more than one issue? Hardly. You would alter it so
as to eventually capture the most skeptical customer. You must, then,
apply the same methods to film publicity.

And this is why I hold the opinion that a moving-picture expert will be
on the staff of every large manufacturing concern. His duty will be to
present his employer’s copy to the best possible advantage on the film.
At the same time, each large advertiser will lay down a film-producing
plant. It is going to incur him a big initial outlay, what with an
artificial light studio, accessories, stock company and developing
plant, but he will obtain his expense back by the considerable saving
effected in not having to have his work done outside. Naturally, this
expenditure will not be justified unless the advertiser is prepared
to launch his publicity campaign along the same extensive lines as
in the press. We shall find him, I fancy, releasing new films with
clockwork regularity. By having all the facilities at his command for
the producing of these, he will be dependent on nobody, and can impart
the necessary individuality into his pictures.

His first big move will be to coax some of the leading movie stars
to be featured in an advertising film which is to be produced in an
elaborate manner. The fee for his or her services will be very large,
but, on the other hand, exhibitors will simply clamor for the free
hire of the film, with, say, Earle Williams as a bachelor who has
his housekeeping worries lessened by some article on the market. The
great saving in the fees paid to exhibitors for showing an ordinary
ad. film will be effected. Such a picture would also secure a larger
circulation, apart from the fact that movie fans will sit up and
take notice when they behold their idol in a role similar to the one
mentioned. This will mean the ad. appeal getting over more convincingly.

The next development will be the advertising film serial. As you are
probably aware, the dramatic serial has taken the photoplay world
by storm. It is the ideal vehicle for the advertiser, inasmuch as
it permits the interest to be retained. The story, if sufficiently
gripping, will keep audiences in suspense from one week to another.
There will be none of those trite stories that form the basis of
ad. films to-day. An aim will also be made to avoid permitting the
advertising element to obtrude.

One peculiar thing about the motion-picture equivalent of the newspaper
is that it does not carry advertisements, but this state of affairs
will not exist much longer. For these mediums a special type of ads.
will be needed. They will be sandwiched in the news items and be of a
topical character, so as to preserve the same atmosphere. For instance,
when a battleship is launched, you won’t forget to be told the brand of
the bottle of champagne that is smashed upon the vessel.

The feature production does not appeal to me much as a paying
proposition for the advertiser. It is too reminiscent of trying to cram
as much matter as possible in a single advertisement.

One thing to be said in favor of the film is that it is a perfect
paradise for the honest advertiser, for, as yet, fraudulent advertising
has not been allowed to mingle with the genuine.

The plant of a food manufacturer, for instance, may be unsanitary
and inferior raw materials used. Should this type of business man
be unscrupulous enough, he might have his conditions of his plant
pictured as ideal, by faking the whole thing in a film studio.

What is sapping the progress of film advertising is that no systematic
method of circularizing exists, for, naturally, this end of the
process is as important as the picture itself. What I predict is
publicity agencies specializing in motion-picture theaters. Then when
an advertiser has a high-class proposition, a circuit of high-class
theaters in select localities will be chosen, thus eliminating waste



Motion pictures are to-day a force to be reckoned with, and the
national advertiser can not do better than to take advantage of the
weaknesses of the fans, who are enrolled from all walks of life, and
no one, from the boy in short pants to the old man of seventy, is
immune. When they get the motion-picture bug badly--and the majority
succumb--their interest in a photoplay only really commences when they
view it at their pet theater. They next turn to their encyclopedia--the
latest issue of their favorite photoplay publication--in which they
will probably find the story of the play and some dope on the producing
of it. By the time they are through they are sure to know the
photoplay from A to Z.

The star player is a greater magnet than the play. The fans literally
pester the lives out of their screen idols via Uncle Sam’s mails,
and generally implore their pet magazine to publish an interview.
Practically anything linked with a motion-picture star is sure to find
a ready response. You can not secure a popular photoplayer to appear in
a thinly disguised advertising film, so the next best thing you can do
is to work along lines which other advertisers have successfully tried
out. Here follow some examples.

Pearl White, of “Exploits of Elaine” fame, was shown in an ad. which
appeared in the _Motion Picture Magazine_, wearing Vantine’s Panama hat.

Mary Pickford owns a Maxwell Cabriolet, so the manufacturers secured
a snapshot of her boarding her car. The photograph was used in a New
York _Morning Telegraph_ ad. to back up the following argument: “This
car is the easiest car in the world for a woman to drive. That is why
Mary Pickford selected it.”

A photograph of Lillian Walker in a smiling pose accompanied an ad.
in the _Motion Picture Magazine_ for Carmen Complexion Powder. This
was the significant argument: “One that adds every charm to your
complexion, as well as Lillian Walker’s, without seeming artificial.”

Marguerite Snow supplied the following testimonial for Sempre Giovine:
“I am pleased to attest to the merits of your skin preparation,
Sempre Giovine, conscientiously, having found it a necessary adjunct
to my toilet table. Its use after a day out in all kinds of weather
leaves the skin in a velvety condition.” This supplied the “pep” to a
full-page announcement in the _Photoplay Magazine_.

Mary Charleston permitted her name to be used in connection with Dr.
Bellin’s Wonderstein for a New York _Morning Telegraph_ ad.

The Richardson Silk played up Mary Fuller prominently in a displayed
advertisement which graced the columns of the _Motion Picture
Magazine_. “Free: Mary Fuller’s Own Pillow” was the headline. Below the
cut of the pillow appeared Miss Fuller’s testimonial: “I prefer this
design to any I have seen.”

The Red Cross Shoe manufacturers started off their full-page ad. in
the _Photoplay Magazine_ as follows: “Are You Making the Mistake Ruth
Stonehouse Did?” “I had always heard so much about the comfort of your
shoes that I did not realize how very stylish the different models
were,” ran her quoted letter.

Even child players can be turned to advertising account, as witness
the following full-page ad. in the _Motion Picture Magazine_: “Your
Little Friend, Little Billy Wirth, Whose Mother is Glad to Testify to
the Value of Imperial Granum, the Unsweetened Food.”

National advertisers, up to the present time, have paid considerably
more attention to the heroines than the heroes. Possibly it is because
it is much easier to appeal to the women, but the odds should be more
balanced. Tobacco, hosiery and sporting-goods manufacturers are to
name just three kinds of advertisers who could employ a prominent male
player to advantage.

Why not name the next new branded article you put on the market after
a motion-picture star? I happen to have advance information of a
cigar manufacturer who has christened a new cigar after King Baggot.
I understand, too, that Lillian Walker, Edward Earle, Leah Baird and
Eleanor Woodruff are open to receive offers.

How can the photoplayers be approached? In the first place, a player
can not secure too much publicity, and if he neglects this important
factor he loses much of his popularity.

Great as is a motion-picture player’s need for publicity, he will
seldom allow his name to be exploited by an advertiser without adequate
remuneration, as he feels that he, too, should reap some of the
financial benefit.



Are you a storekeeper who would blazon the path of originality, yet
would not object to the increased outlay?

The advertising powers of the motion picture have been fully realized
by the large manufacturers of this country, but the average retailer
has confined himself to the slide.

With a film, however, you can cause a small-sized sensation in your
town, for folks will look upon your effort as a home product. You can
not, of course, live upon publicity, and the true test will be the
extra amount of business it brings. Once the interest of people is
aroused, there can be no doubt concerning the latter.

The most suitable kind of photoplay is the comedy. You may have a
commercial motion-picture photographer located near by, in which case
you can avail yourself of his services. Failing this, however, there
are a number of concerns who do nothing else but produce films for
commercial purposes.

If you have the film produced along economical lines, you should
get the negative produced and developed for an inclusive charge not
exceeding seventy-five cents per foot. A useful length is from two to
five hundred feet. Then you will want a positive, which will cost you
ten cents per foot.

In regard to the actual producing of the photoplay, I strongly advise
you to have some scenes taken amid familiar local landscapes. You
might persuade members of the local dramatic society to attend to the
acting end. It would improve the play if you could manage to introduce
well-known local citizens. This will save you the expense of having to
hire regular motion-picture actors, and the folks who see the film will
not be critical as to the technical defects. The concern you engage to
put on the picture will send along a capable director, who will knock
the players into passable shape.

Considerable additional expense is involved in the use of interiors,
such as a store, house or office building. These have to be specially
erected in the studio and plenty of electric light used for
photographic purposes, so keep to outdoor scenes. It can easily be done
by exercising a little ingenuity. For instance, instead of arranging
certain action to take place inside your store, you can get it over
equally effective by arranging for it to occur outside your premises.

For economy’s sake, you need only one copy of the positive in
circulation. Now, if you approach local motion-picture exhibitors
in the right spirit, they may not demand a fee for showing your
advertising motion picture, as they realize too well the value of
anything with a local appeal. You should arrange with the leading
theater to have first run of the photoplay, say, for a week, after
which you can loan it to the next on the waiting-list, until all have
been covered.

Plenty of newspaper publicity is yours, too, if you invite the local
press to be present at the producing of the film, and also when it is
about to be released for public exhibition.



From a study of the motion-picture screens up and down the country, I
have come to the conclusion that the average dealer does not take the
trouble to get the fullest possible value out of his investment.

The majority of the announcements are merely plain business notices
that simply bore the spectator who has the doubtful pleasure of sitting
them through. They do, in fact, remind one only too strongly of the
early days of newspaper advertising, when every advertiser thought
it sufficient to have a formal announcement, unchanged from year in
to year out. Few dealers now would think of spending good money in
newspaper publicity in such a hackneyed and uninteresting fashion,
because they are well aware that their ad. has to compete with many
others, and it is only the attractively prepared ones that command a

The same methods must be applied to movie-screen advertising, if it is
to be pulled out of the rut. There was a period when audiences were
attracted by anything that resembled a picture. But these days are
gone and buried, and the fans are only satisfied with a program of
the best photoplays. This being the case, it goes without saying that
they expect the same of the efforts to hold their attention during the
reels. You can not really expect the ad. appeals to sink in otherwise.

Although you would dismiss the idea of having a short commercial film
of your own made on the grounds of expense, much remains to be done in
order to make slide advertising interesting to picture patrons rather
than tiring them, as it does at present. It is going to cost you a
little more money and effort, but your slide will be distinctive and
will stand out above the rest. Your reward will be increased results.

Just bear in mind, too, that you haven’t merely got to have them look
at your slide, but arouse them to action. This can be done by having
prepared a serial story in picture form on similar lines to the comic
supplements in the metropolitan Sunday journals. Have a series of
slides made of it, showing one each day until the story is told. A few
days before putting it on the screen of the local movie show, get the
operator to throw on a rough slide to this effect: “Watch out for the
story, ‘The Good Smith’s Meat Did for the White Family.’” This applies
to a butcher, but a story can be written around every trade. There are
firms who specialize in this kind of work. This plan has been attended
with excellent results wherever tried out.

If, by ingenuity, you can make the picture on the slide move, so much
the better. A London manufacturer boosted his bottled beer by showing
the slide of a dog drinking his master’s beer when he was out of the
room. Every time the dog lapped up the dinner stout, the audiences
could not refrain from laughing heartily.

One way by which to get on good terms with the motion-picture exhibitor
is to offer a liberal sample of your special line to the first hundred
attending the performance on the morrow. This allows a direct appeal
to be presented, and a Brooklyn grocery store has made good in drawing
marked attention to their own brand of tea.

Another way to make the fans laugh is to have a witty verse written
alongside an appropriate picture. I forget the actual verse of it, but
a Brooklyn hand laundry draws the distinction between the ape days,
when clean laundry was not necessary, and the vital importance to-day.

Slide advertising puts one over the press in securing the concentration
of readers. Surely, then, it is worth while paying more attention to
this excellent medium.



It is hard to keep pace with the progress of the motion picture. But a
short time ago the one-reel subject was considered the maximum length;
then came the feature, requiring up to twelve reels to tell its lengthy
story. This was followed by the photoplay series--a number of stories
linked around a set of characters, but each complete in itself. The
movie producers, however, were not satisfied, so they tackled the
serial proper, making a fifty-reel production and releasing it in
two-reel installments.

The bearing these facts have on this article amounts to this: In
motion-picture theater publicity, and slide advertising in particular,
you have to cut the cloth according to the length, which, to be more
explicit, means that you must watch the entertainment closely and
follow the general trend.

You, as a slide advertiser, are in much the same position as the
photoplay producer, who is not content to rest upon his laurels,
thereby not giving the fans an opportunity to complain. All this has a
certain physiological effect upon picture-play-goers, who expect slides
to advance in a like manner. Now, let us see how you can benefit by
running a series of ad. slides.

It will, in the first place, give you greater confidence in entering
into a contract with the motion-picture exhibitor, as you owe it to
the spectators to complete the series, or serial, you will begin so
auspiciously. It is good money thrown away otherwise.

It is hard to maintain interest with single slides, but with a good
series, or serial, you can actually make folks look forward to the
next slide.

It is essential to secure the exclusive rights for your town. This is
already possible, for the slide manufacturers have produced a number
of excellent series in slides. This concession, which may be obtained
by paying an additional fee, is important, because the slides can be
filled in to suit almost any business.

You must, however, be prepared for increasing your advertising revenue,
but why begrudge it when you can go one better than other advertisers?
The point is this: Probably your exhibitor has a dozen advertisers
under contract. Not one business is in competition. It goes without
saying that a snappy series or serial will sink in, whereas a plain
announcement slide of another dealer will be skimmed.

In a series of slides you can put over an entertaining story, humorous
in parts, and educational in that you point out why folks should
trade with you. A clever scenario writer-artist and skilled slide
manufacturer can do wonders for you in this connection.

Equally important is arranging for the exhibition of your slides. Most
theaters change their program daily, and only a proportion of patrons
attend regularly. Some days the program does not appeal to them, so
they favor the rival show. Therefore, if you were running a slide
subject of the “to be continued” kind, you could not expect to have
many follow it from beginning to end unless you took a system in charge.

Every now and then a motion-picture producer releases a serial or
series. It is booked by the exhibitor, who arranges for its showing at
his theater in weekly installments. The majority of his regular patrons
are present each week on the evening set aside for the installment.
So if your slide series or serial started off with the photoplay it
would be seen in its entirety by most folks. When you are planning your
slide series or serial, arrange with your chosen exhibitor to run it
simultaneously with the film production.



You have heard that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” so
you do not strive to emulate the other fellow. You prefer to go one
better and raise yourself out of the “type” clique, thus establishing
your individuality. I am fully aware that I am treading on dangerous
ground in quoting slide advertising as an example, for the simple
reason that it stands in a class all by itself. How? Well, permit me to

Suppose you prepared a dandy advertisement, and one entirely different
from that of your competitors. Would you not commission your most
desirable local newspaper to insert it, with the request that they give
it as good display as possible. If you didn’t do this, you would be

Suppose again, when next week came round, you were hard up for a
bright, new idea, and time was precious. Rather than go unrepresented
in the next issue you would promptly set about to prepare a stereotyped
announcement, which would not cost you a cent more for composing.

Yet, if you blazoned the path of originality in slide publicity
without knowing the correct way to go about it, the results would be
disappointing. Even though you had prepared your copy, you would want
a humorous illustration to back it up, and it would doubtless occur to
you to hire a local artist. Lastly, you would put your announcement
before prospects on a home-made slide. Slide-making, let me tell you,
is an art which has only been perfected by years of experience.

If you present your screen ad. in a crude manner, your purpose will
be defeated. So the only alternative is to have one of the slide
manufacturers make a special slide to your order. It should cost you
about $1 additional, for which amount you will obtain an artistic slide.

Possibly it has never occurred to you that you can use the stock slide
and still give photoplay goers the impression that you are decidedly
distinctive. The motion-picture exhibitor believes in hiring his screen
to one advertiser in each trade, consequently, if the slide has been
prepared specially for your trade, there is no fear of overlapping.
What I mean is this: There are slides on the market which, by filling
in the name, address and business, can be made applicable for several
trades. Here is one example: “You’ll Treat Your Pocketbook Right if You
Do Your Shopping at ----.”

It would be rather embarrassing, for instance, if several other
traders employed the self-same slide. The best stock slides are those
that can not be adapted by any other trade, and there are plenty of
this kind to be had. Now, on the other hand, there may be occasions
when a special slide is a necessity. Maybe there are some exclusive
features about your business, to boost which slides of a general
character would be out of place.

The only chance a person would have of discovering that your stock
slide is used by a competitor would be if he happened to be a patron
of more than one motion-picture theater. Here, again, you would gain
a brilliant victory. The fan, not being in the know, and having seen
your announcement first, would proclaim you as the originator. And his
respect for you would naturally have a tendency to increase.

So if you notice a fellow-trader using a stock slide which takes your
fancy, don’t go and do likewise. Select something different. Thus,
you see, you can make your slide advertisements distinctive without
incurring any additional expense.



The versatility of the stock slide ends just where it is essential to
present the intimate appeal which counts for so much.

What is that elusive something, the personal touch? To my mind, it is
by introducing yourself to your prospects. Now, stock slides can and do
emphasize the reasons why folks should patronize your store, but as I
take it for granted that you desire to further convince them, you have
got to “shake hands,” in a figurative sense.

Where is your store located? True enough, you will not neglect to
include the address on the stock slide, but first impressions are
lasting. It is my intention to advocate the adoption of what I may
term the photo-slide, for want of a better name.

On your visits to the local motion-picture theater you will have
noticed that the exhibitor is prone to using announcement slides of
forthcoming photoplays. On this kind of slide an important scene is
reproduced from the picture and tinted in natural colors, while the
blank space is used to good advantage with brief description of the

These are stock slides, of course, but if you wish to plan an
advertising campaign along similar lines, it is up to you to have
some photo-slides specially designed to conform with your individual

The best way by which to present the personal appeal is by having a
photograph taken of the exterior of your store. You can then forward
same to a reputable slide manufacturer, who will make a slide out of
it in natural colors and add the desired description.

The slide should have two marked effects upon spectators. Firstly,
visualize for them exactly where your establishment is situated, so
that they may be able to recognize it on sight, and, secondly, it will
leave a favorable impression.



A new thing is liable to be contaminated with the faults of its elders,
but this can not be said of motion-picture slide advertising, which has
been kept remarkably clean and truthful.

It is to the credit of the slide manufacturers that they have never
accepted any dirt-money. In other words, they have refused to make
slides for loan sharks, whisky manufacturers, undertakers and such like
undesirable advertisers.

Even had this type of advertiser got his slides made by hook or crook,
he would yet have to pass another barrier, who had no desire to present
obnoxious announcements before his patrons.

Another thing, slide advertising has steered clear of exaggeration.
I am not absolutely sure whether it is due to the indirect appeal or
not, but I do know that the announcements, for the greater part, have
maintained a high standard of truthfulness.

Here, again, the influence may be directly traced to the slide
manufacturer, who, when preparing a stock slide for a jeweler, for
instance, has to make it apply equally well to jewelers throughout the

Occasionally, however, he slips a cog, but this is not altogether his
fault; the dealer himself is partly to blame for purchasing a slide
which misrepresents his business. It may, on the other hand, just fit
in with the individual needs of his competitor a few blocks up the

Photoplay audiences should not be disillusioned; the screen must be
kept free from abuses, for once spectators discover that advertisers
are in the habit of misrepresenting the facts, they will evince less
interest in slide announcements.

Therefore, when purchasing a stock slide, let the deciding factor be:
“Does it apply truthfully to my own store?” If the answer is in the
affirmative, your slide will not strike a false note.



Not even the most successful business man makes good in every
enterprise he undertakes. That is an impossibility, especially in these
competitive times, but, if certain rules are observed, success can be
achieved in the majority of cases.

The photoplay theater is a comparatively new advertising medium. You
may have tried it out and failed, while your competitor, for some
reason you are unable to fathom, has won out. The mistake too often
made is to treat the motion-picture show as a new thing--a kind
of scientific toy--but as a popular form of amusement it has long
discarded its long pants. The photoplay, as a matter of fact, has
settled down to enjoy a long and flourishing career, with strict
adherence to business principles.

You do not find the modern exhibitor housed in a converted store, where
he presents the crudest of films under the most vile conditions. He
would soon find himself a bankrupt if he continued these pioneer-day

Maybe you have developed a similar misunderstanding, so it is well that
we have a heart-to-heart talk.

It is a serious mistake to have a slide thrown upon the screen of
the least desirable theater in your neighborhood. You make matters a
thousand times worse if you allow it to be shown at every performance
for months, until it gets cracked, dirty and faded, all in turn.

To begin with, the folks whom you are addressing must be carefully
considered. They step inside the photoplay theater to be entertained
with attractive films, though this is not to say that advertising
in connection with same is entirely out of place. Some theaters
run a performance through without a stop, while others, mostly the
nickeldromes, introduce an intermission during the change of each reel.

The former shows are continuous like the latter, so that the one
intermission is not intended to clear the house to make room for
another audience. In reality, it is to give the orchestra a rest and
allow time for other things, not the least important of which is the
projecting of a batch of slides. Some of these relate to forthcoming
attractions of the theater, and the remainder comprise advertisements
for live local traders.

Audiences appreciate these slides when they do not number too many, as
they are the means of affording them something to turn their attention
to instead of having nothing to do but idly gaze around the hall.

Motion pictures appeal to the eyes, consequently spectators pay much
more attention to slides which contain clever illustrations, preferably
humorous, backed up with apt sentences.

On the market are stock slides from thirty-five cents and up. Space is
left for your name and address, and most of the needs of your trade are
taken care of. New designs are constantly being put out, which make it
possible to change slides as often as once weekly. We all grow tired of
seeing the same thing over too many times, so if you fail to introduce
fresh pictorial announcements you are liable to lose the respect of
spectators. Once a week is an ideal interval, but in no case should it
exceed a month.

There are really no standard rates for slide advertising. Each
exhibitor has his own ideas in regard to the value of the location and
size of his theater.

The one great pull the photoplay theater has over other publicity
mediums is that you obtain one hundred per cent. of attention, for
folks, in the darkened hall, must concentrate upon the screen.



The other half of the battle of slide advertising is selecting the most
suitable theater. If you are situated in a residential section, and you
decide upon a downtown theater for your announcement, you are paying
for scattered circulation.

The exhibitor also rates the advertising value of his house at a
much higher figure, and, as you draw the bulk of your trade from the
surrounding blocks, it is advisable to pick out a local photoplay

Motion-picture theaters may be grouped into two divisions. One is the
nickeldrome which has been converted from an empty store, and seldom
accompanies more than five hundred. It usually shows the oldest films
and caters for a cheap patronage. This class of show is on the decline.

Although the motion-picture theater is a democratic institution, the
well-to-do working classes prefer to patronize the classy building
which has been exclusively erected for motion-picture entertainments.
It is not because they refuse to associate with their poor brothers
and sisters; quality is the deciding factor. For five or ten cents
more they see a longer and better program, amid more comfortable

So far, so good; the rest depends on the managerial policy. The best
way to discover this is to visit a desirable theater as an ordinary
patron. If you note your trade is already represented on the screen,
then the theater is unavailable for the time being.

This may strike you as peculiar, since no newspaper grants a monopoly
in one particular trade, but it is the custom in slide advertising. The
healthiness of a newspaper may be judged by the volume of advertising
it carries, but, in so far as the photoplay is concerned, the fewer the
slides the better. Time is precious, and, if the exhibitor is to give
each advertiser the service he pays for, he can only do so when the
slides do not exceed one dozen. When the number is more, the operator
usually whips each off before spectators are able to read it.

After you have satisfied yourself on all these things, you can take
the matter up with the exhibitor. You may frown upon a six months’
contract, but the rental, which will vary from $5 to $10 per month,
according to size and location of theater, will work out more cheaply
than on the weekly basis. It will also afford you protection in that
your competitor can not put one over. Another thing, the public may
only give your first slides the once over, but the constant seeing of
your name will go right home.

The slide manufacturers find that there is so much correspondence
involved in executing orders of less than one dollar that they prefer
they be given to the exhibitor, who orders slides in quantities.



Have you ever had legitimate advertising turned down by a newspaper?
I don’t suppose this rare experience has fallen to your lot, so it is
perhaps as well if I acquaint you with the conditions that exist in the
motion-picture theater advertising field.

The motion picture has not reached maturity, and consequently some
branches of the industry are not so far advanced as others. In the
former category comes slide advertising.

There are some exhibitors who throw up their hands at the very mention
of slide advertising, yet the strange part about it is that they
themselves can not get along without this excellent form of publicity.
They run a bunch of slides on the screen pertaining to current
attractions and house announcements. These occupy the screen for five
minutes or more, and are repeated at every performance for fully one

It is not necessary to advertise productions so far in advance, and
this would allow “foreign” advertising to have a look in, but this type
of exhibitor generally refuses to listen to reason. And the worse still
is the fact that he knows he has the upper hand of you.

Let me assume that you are located in a neighborhood section, which is
catered for by one photoplay theater. There may be another in the next
section, but, however desirable this theater, it will not produce so
much business, for it is a trait of Americans not to walk further than
is necessary.

If the exhibitor on your block favors slide advertising, the rest
is easy, but if he is opposed to it, it is up to you to assume a
resourceful attitude.

The chances are that this exhibitor issues a house organ of some sort,
for which he is prepared to accept advertising from desirable local
stores. Here, then, is your opportunity. If you have ever glanced over
a slide catalogue, you will agree with me that slides, when reproduced
in black and white, make dandy press advertisements.

Many dealers who believe in attractive slide announcements undo all
their good work by following same up by stereotyped ads. in the theater
house organ. It is, of course, a great advantage to have the former
already prepared by expert advertising men, so the stock slide in the
latter capacity would seem to leave little to be desired.

Contract for, say, three inches of space weekly, with weekly change of
copy, for which purpose a suitable stock slide should be selected.
Your slide manufacturer will willingly grant you permission to have
cuts made of his slides and reproduce them, if you give him the credit.
Your ad. will stand out prominently from the rest, and readers will
admire its all-round excellence.

The question now arises as to what use you are to make of the slide.
If there is another theater within easy walking distance, it would do
no harm to arrange for a weekly change of slides. Between the two, you
should hit the mark.



Watching motion-picture screens is my hobby, and, incidentally, my
business. Four times a week do I combine business with pleasure, and it
is these on-the-spot investigations that have given me good grounds for
asserting that the average exhibitor does not appreciate the fact that
there is an art in showing your slides to the best possible advantage.
He seems to imagine that they can be thrown in any slipshod way, so
long as he can claim to have shown them according to arrangement.

He does not realize that he is under an obligation to you, represented
on his theater screen by paid advertising. Were the local paper you
favor to print your ad. full of typographical errors and badly blend
the type faces, or place your ad. in the most inconspicuous portion of
the paper, you would, naturally, be offended and be likely to transfer
your advertising account to the rival publication. This is why I
advise you and your friends to frequent the theater that carries your
advertising and see if you are getting value for your money.

At a certain motion-picture theater in Brooklyn about thirty slides are
shown at the end of every performance. You have only got to look at the
faces of the spectators to realize the resentment caused by the bad
practice. That number of slides at one time is entirely too many. The
exhibitor of this type is attempting to cram the stuff down the necks
of his patrons, whereas he should accomplish it in an unforced manner.
The latter is easily gotten over by showing only several slides at the
end of each reel. They are thus spread out and have a far greater
chance of sinking in, because picture-play-goers are not called upon
to memorize a lot at one gulp, so to speak. In this way the patience
of patrons is not overtaxed. The exhibitor can never tell, when he
puts over his all-at-a-time slide stunt, whether or not he is sending
spectators away to his competitor a few blocks up the street. I have
personally known exhibitors who have been unable to account for the
falling off of attendance, yet the whole root of the trouble was the
slide dodge.

It is typically American to shirk telling openly anything that
displeases, so that offended patron says nothing and is never seen
inside the theater again. This rebounds on you, for these offended
folks become your mortal enemy and lay the blame on the ads. themselves.

Even at those halls that follow the commendable methods outlined,
spectators often see the entire performance through without witnessing
all the slides. The mistake made by the exhibitor in this case is to
project one of his own slides first to tell what the next photoplay
will be. This serves to reveal to patrons that they have seen the reels
over once, so they rise and leave the show right then. Instead, why not
tell your exhibitor to hold back this condemning slide until the last,
in order to have the audience sit out the others? Besides, the one
advantage of this form of advertising is that there is no competition
in commanding attention simultaneously. Each slide is projected
separately, and it is advisable, if only for the reason stated, to run
only a few at a time instead of the whole bunch.

As the provider of this extra revenue for the movie showman, it is up
to you to see adequate treatment for your investment.



To obtain the greatest possible results from slide advertising, there
must be an effective follow-up scheme. You may have gotten the hunch
that as you change your slide frequently it is quite sufficient.

As a matter of fact, only half of the battle is won, for the slide is
not sufficiently elastic to perform everything demanded of it. At the
motion-picture theater your slide is probably one of a dozen, and it
is well-nigh impossible for a spectator to retain a vivid recollection
of them all. You have got to remind him, and, incidentally, present
the direct appeal. That means your advertisement being presented in a
permanent form. It may occur to you at first to use the columns of the
best local newspaper, and, while this has its good points, it falls
short of the type of follow-up medium needed for slide publicity.

A newspaper, as a rule, covers the town like a blanket, but the
neighborhood photoplay theater draws the majority of its patrons from
the surrounding blocks. So, if you wish to obtain 100 per cent. value
from your investment, it is up to you to employ the house organ gotten
out by the exhibitor. This publication gets into the hands of all
patrons of the theater regularly every week, and the fans study it from
cover to cover when they reach home.

The grave mistake some dealers make at this stage is to forsake the
slide for the house organ. It may be an economical plan on the surface,
but, believe me, it is penny wise and pound foolish in the long run.

The slide serves to get acquainted with your prospects, who can
not possibly ignore it in the darkened hall, so you secure their
attention, while the printed page might escape their notice.

I have frequently remarked upon the attractiveness of the stock slide,
and this time I am going to contrast it with the stereotyped business

This is a snappy slide recently used by a Brooklyn dyer and cleaner:
“Don’t Get ‘Held Up’ for Inferior Cleaning and Pressing. Try Us for
Expert Work at Fair Prices.” In the left-hand corner was a sketch of a
New York tough pointing his revolver at a terrified meek man.

The follow-up advertisement in the theater house organ was as follows:
“Suits Pressed, 25c. Sponged and Pressed, 35c. Cleaned and Sponged,
50c. Dry Cleaned, $1.00. Pants Sponged and Pressed, 10c. Also Ladies’

It was as easy as kiss your hand to be entertaining in the first
instance, because the slide was one of the stock kind. This fact,
however, does not excuse the advertiser from putting some real thought
behind his announcements, for, otherwise, the interest of the reader
fizzles like a damp firework.



If you are a country town merchant, you are at the mercy of the
weather, and trade suffers accordingly. The farmer is a good customer,
and you must offer some inducement if he is to be persuaded to make his
customary trip to town when the weather is bad.

Practically everybody likes motion pictures, and the farmer is probably
as keen a fan as his city cousin, only circumstances preventing him
from attending so often.

I know of a merchant down in Harrisonville, Missouri, who got wise to
the fact and presented his farm customers with free motion-picture
theater tickets. He now finds that the weather makes not a particle of

How, then, can you make certain of doing good business every Saturday,
rain or shine? I would suggest that you try out the self-same stunt.

In the first place, the local motion-picture exhibitor, being a
business man, is always on the warpath for opportunities for increasing
his patronage, so, if you approached him on the subject of selling
admission tickets at a reduced price, he would undoubtedly come to
terms with you.

It might be well that you ask him to put on mostly rural pictures. This
may seem like carrying coal to Newcastle, but it has been proven that
rural folks much prefer farming subjects.

This settled, mail two complimentary tickets, with a letter about the
character of the program, to your farmer customers sufficiently in
advance to be used, and mark them good for only the Saturday matinees.



The national advertiser often links up his products with that of a
popular photoplayer by christening a branded article after the actor.
Failing this, he secures a testimonial, for which privilege he pays
handsomely. The reason is obvious, for the stars are worshiped by
countless thousands all over the country, in smallest village and
largest city, and, naturally, the use of a name means a big boost for
the article advertised. You see, the fans do not see their idols in
the flesh, which causes them to evince unusual interest in anything to
which the player’s name is attached.

Perhaps motion-picture audiences have been spoilt through the
ever-changing flow of new productions, as this demand for something
new has had a marked effect upon slide advertising. The dealer never
hesitates to try out something original.

The value of an article linked up with a photoplayer increases
a thousand-fold when advertised in the photoplay theater, and
consequently the slide on which mention is made of a screen favorite
will attract more attention than the slides you are at present using.

I am not going to suggest that you apply to the fountain-head, so that
you may follow in the footsteps of the national advertiser. In the
first place, it is out of the question, for the photoplayer, unlike his
legitimate brother, does not travel from town to town. Now and then,
it is true, he does tour certain motion-picture theaters, but these
occasions are not sufficiently frequent for you to wait for one to
occur in your town.

I have a method in mind which will cost you nothing additional outside
of the slide. This is just a rough draft of the wording:

“We Know of a Girl Who Tried to Manufacture Dimples Because She Envied
Lillian Walker’s.

“As Miss Walker is Famous for Her Dimples, so Are We for Our Candy.”

At the side of the slide you should have your slide manufacturer
reproduce a photograph of this popular Vitagraph player.

This item about Miss Walker, you will note, implies no recommendation
from her, so the same can not possibly be misconstrued. Here follows
the original paragraph, as submitted by Lillian Walker’s press agent:
“Don’t you dare attempt to manufacture dimples; they are a monopolized
product, and Lillian Walker has the motion-picture field all to
herself. The other day the popular Vitagraph player received a letter
from a girl admirer, who, desiring a beauty dent on each cheek, endured
great pain, but all to no avail.”

The press agents in the motion-picture field are so prolific that
seldom a week goes by without one appearing which may be adapted to
your business.

If you adopt the photoplayer slide, it is imperative for you to change
the slide frequently, not only because spectators dislike to see the
same thing over again, but because each fan has his or her favorite,
and by constantly changing the players you eventually cover them all,
and thus please each and every patron.

If your local newspaper runs a motion-picture department, study it
thoroughly for possible material. If it does not, one of the many
motion-picture publications will admirably serve the purpose. As the
items are news, there is no copyright.



Both the legitimate and vaudeville professions have their followings,
but neither can even slightly approach the huge and widespread
popularity enjoyed by the motion picture. A conservative estimate
places the number of fans in this country at twenty millions, which
number support the twenty thousand photoplay theaters.

The personal element counts big in this industry, and the leading
photoplayers come foremost in the affections of the fans. There are
more than two hundred well-known motion-picture players appearing
before the camera to-day, and each movie patron has his or her
favorite. And this is just where the enterprising storekeeper can
pounce upon this opportunity for all it is worth, which is a good deal.

If in view of what has gone before, you are still skeptical that an
amusement can not be mixed with publicity, I have only to cite the
method adopted by a trader in Los Angeles. He gave over his window
display to photographs of famous film players and arranged them in an
artistic manner. His window happened to face the sidewalk, and the
pictures created so much attention that the sidewalk was congested.
Two policemen, to cope with the situation, had to have the crowd line
up and only allow each spectator three minutes in which to view the
photographs. All day long the line extended over a block, the windows
arousing the same amount of interest during the subsequent days of the

It might hardly be a sound business policy to display only photographs
in your store window to the total exclusion of your ordinary wares,
for the underlying idea to get passers-by to view the goods set out in
the window and act as a sort of temptation to buy. I would therefore
propose that the photographs be mounted on boards at the back of your
window, so as to allow the window to be dressed in the ordinary way.
This should achieve the desired object satisfactorily.

You will find, on approaching the motion-picture producing companies,
that they will only be too willing to give or loan you photographs of
their stock players. The local exhibitor will supply their addresses.

Another dandy plan, if you are in the custom of offering premiums, is
to present each person making a purchase of a certain small amount with
a post-card of a popular screen player. You can purchase these for $3
per thousand and have the selection you prefer, for you will naturally
require more of Mary Pickford and Charles Chaplin than players of
lesser renown.

I am not acquainted with any instances where retailers have adopted the
preceding plan, but if same can bring full houses on dull nights to
motion-picture theaters that distribute such pictures to spectators,
then it is a positive thing that it will help along your slack days.

Popularity contests are all in the fashion to-day, and it is possible
for every town to arouse the patriotism of the fans by permitting them
to vote for their favorite player, presenting, perhaps, the one heading
the poll with a suitable souvenir on behalf of the town. This stunt, of
course, must be worked in co-operation with the near-by motion-picture

It can be arranged that each patron on entering receives a voting
blank, which he is to fill up and return to the girl in the pay-box.
The exhibitor should announce on a slide that the standing of the
contestants will be announced each day in the window of your store.

You will secure, for practically no expense at all, plenty of
publicity, resulting in increased business.



Every now and then a motion-picture producer comes a cropper. With the
speeded-up production methods at present prevailing, he can seldom
give adequate attention to the little things that count. It matters
little whether the play is historical or modern--it is almost certain
to contain at least one error of some kind. Now, photoplay fans pride
themselves upon their smartness in detecting these silly slips, and
therefore an added stimulant would please them greatly.

In addition to your ordinary slide at the local movie theater, why not
have same preceded with one worded somewhat as follows:

“If You Find a Mistake Pertaining to the Dry-goods Business in a
Photoplay Screened at This Theater, We Will Present You with 25 Cents’
Worth of Goods Free”?

The first thing is to determine as to what constitutes an error. In one
photoplay a daughter ran away from home and returned to the family fold
five years later with the same dress on her back.

Almost as bad was another picture in which the chief character, an old
gardener, began his day’s work with an old overall. At the end of the
day he blossomed forth in a new garment.

Mistakes are quite as prevalent in Western dramas. Imagine, then, as I
did, seeing an Indian girl wearing silk hosiery.

There are much worse mistakes in historical films. You will remember
that “Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Bronte’s famous novel, was set in the early
part of the nineteenth century, but the heroine in the photoplay
version was up to the minute in fashions.

It is quite likely that more than one spectator will detect the same
error, in which case it will prove too costly a stunt, so it is
advisable to limit same to the first four persons who report the error.
As the average motion-picture theater changes its program daily, it
will be hard to verify the mistakes, which may not prove to be such. To
guard yourself against the unscrupulous, it is well for you or somebody
you can trust to see each program. Failing this, stipulate that
spectators report the error to the exhibitor immediately after seeing
the picture.

This stunt, besides drawing additional attention to your regular slide,
should result in permanent customers. Moreover, those folk who delve
beneath the surface will realize that were not your goods satisfactory
you would, instead, offer a quarter in cash. Do not neglect to have
the names and addresses of the winners, together with particulars of
their errors, screened, for it will assuredly prove an incentive to the
unlucky ones.



The saloon-keeper may attribute decreased business to the versatile
motion picture, but to the average book dealer the industry can be most

It is what might be called the adaptation mania from which both
publishers and book dealers have profited. To prove this, you have only
to take into account “Les Miserables,” which, when released at the
picture theaters, created an enormous sale of cheap reprints of the
popular book.

This has been followed up by many other adaptations from novels and
stage plays, and in every case it has meant extra trade for the book
dealer who has been keen enough to make good use of the opportunities
thus presented. Many movie fans, after seeing the photoplay version
of a popular book, and finding it to their liking, have a desire
for reading the story. Instead of borrowing the book from the local
library, they prefer to spend up to a quarter on a cheap edition--and
this is precisely where the book trade comes in.

Hardly a week goes by without some popular book or play has been
produced in motion-picture form.

There are apparently few book dealers who have given this new field
of business activity the close attention it demands. Some have been
content to wait until the demand came--a most short-sighted policy that
meant customers going elsewhere--whilst others have sat down and let
the exhibitor reap the harvest.

I think it worth while for every book dealer to make a friend of
the local motion-picture showman. The benefit would be mutual. The
exhibitor could inform the book dealer well in advance whether he had
any adaptations booked, so that the book dealer could lay in a stock
to meet the demand. He could also announce outside his store that the
picture was being shown at the theater in question, whilst all could
obtain the book of the film from him.

The exhibitor would reciprocate the publicity thus given by announcing
that the book was obtainable of the book dealer, or by allowing the
latter to distribute circulars to the audience.

These are but suggestions. Other possible schemes may be devised by the
wide-awake book dealer. It is, however, well to know that here is a
source of revenue to be tapped.



The real-estate agent operating from a distance in selling vacant lots
and houses is placed at a considerable disadvantage.

When a prospective purchaser comes along the chances are in nine cases
out of ten that he has been so misled by some other members of the
fraternity that all the arguments in the world will not convince him
that a certain piece of property on your books is just the very thing
he is seeking.

When you invite him to pay an inspection, he will probably say: “I’m
not going on a wild-goose chase, so I want some tangible evidence that
it is likely to suit me.”

The unfortunate thing about it is that the innocent have to pay for
the sins of the guilty, and the only effective way you can convince
such an individual is by a motion picture.

Then, on the other hand, there is the client whose time is limited and
may not be able to make the trip on chance.

The motion picture is next to the actual thing, for it shows everything
as in real life without any tendency to exaggerate or allow false
claims to enter. It can not be thought, however, that the deal can be
clinched without the personal visit. The film serves to pave the way
for this.

This is not mere theory conjured up from the vision of an armchair. The
credit for putting the plan into actual operation is due to Western
enterprise. I refer to the Newell Murdoch Company, who own the San
Francisco suburb of Forest Hill.

Bearing the title of “A Drive Through Forest Hill,” the film opened by
showing the grand stairway at the main entrance, with the tract office
in the offing. Then came a number of panoramic views, introducing
the spectator to the serpentine turnpikes, streets and avenues.
Finished houses were revealed, as well as those in a partial stage
of construction. A tract salesman is also shown meeting automobile
parties of prospective purchasers. This film was presented for public
exhibition in the ordinary way at twenty of the downtown theaters,
where it created much interest and ultimately produced some more buyers.

It might also be well to show the interiors, for the inside of a house
is even more important than its exterior aspects. This was formerly
impossible, owing to the adverse photographic conditions and the
difficulty and expense in installing adequate artificial lighting
equipment. Lately, however, an invention has rendered it both possible
and practicable.

Additional interest would be lent to the motion picture by introducing
residents in typical poses, recreations, and so forth. This would
enable the prospective resident to gain some idea of what his neighbors
would be like. Another convincing touch would be added if the
transportation facilities could be introduced.

Romance figures in practically every photoplay. Of all the themes,
domestic troubles form the most prolific one for the scenario writer.
It stands to reason, therefore, that motion-picture audiences would
better appreciate a comedy. There is abundant material for introducing
the advertising element, such as a newly married couple who finds
paradise on your estate, or a family who experiences a great difficulty
in securing the right house, and yours measures up highly to their
exacting wants. These are but suggestions to indicate just what lines
you should pursue. A story can be easily woven around your estate,
introducing characteristic scenes in a perfectly natural manner.

The local theaters will be more than glad to have your film, if it
conforms to the usual run of photoplay stories, and you may get them to
show it for nothing instead of for a fee.

Maybe you would not care to go to the expense and trouble of fitting
up a room in your office as a private theater and installing special
motion-picture apparatus, so would suggest that you make arrangements
beforehand with the nearest movie exhibitor for the hire of his hall
and operator when not engaged. You can then show your dubious prospect
at any time convenient to him.



Department stores, whether large or small, in search of new ways and
means of attracting the public in face of competition, will find in the
versatile motion picture a publicity medium which fully comes up to
their requirements. Having the novelty element, it is bound to create
unusual attention, resulting ultimately in increased business.

The idea, however, is not new to England, for the well-known London
department store of Selfridge’s, owned by the American of that name,
had a one-reel film produced some time ago. This showed how customers
and staff are treated by the firm, dealing with accidents and illness,
and keeping the employees fit by physical-culture drills on the roof

The picture, besides capturing the fancy of the public at a
cinematograph exposition held in London, was also put on at the
principal theaters throughout London and suburbs.

To acquaint the public with how their welfare is studied and that of
the employees is just the very thing to form the basis of a successful
film. It is, on the other hand, hardly practicable to extend the
advertising to specific bargain offers, such as you often set forth in
newspaper announcements. The boiled-down stories of every-day life,
which are so frequently seen on the movie screen and are so popular
with the majority of picture-play-goers, offer their counterpart in the
advertising field, so department stores would be wise to follow the

Such a photoplay would stir more interest than an ordinary industrial,
and it is safe to say that your points would get home better. Audiences
would be delighted in recognizing it as a home product, set amid
familiar scenes in the neighborhood. It might also be advisable to
introduce well-known local players in the cast.

There is abundant scope for a trained scenario writer to block out an
interesting story. You can have, for instance, Mrs. Brown, all tired
out and discontented after a tour of all the shops except yours. She
happens to meet Mrs. Smith, her friend, on her way home. Mrs. Smith
is the picture of content, through trading at your store, and, after
sympathizing with Mrs. Brown, invites her to try your store. She takes
the tip and is too pleased for words.

This is just a rough outline so as to give you an idea of what can be

You could also have the story written up in fiction form and insert
it in the columns of the newspaper you favor, announcing at the bottom
where and when the film version is being presented. The exhibitors
of the theaters in question will be more inclined to entertain your
proposition and accept a smaller fee if they know they are going to
obtain some additional advertising.

As much discretion in selecting motion-picture theaters must be used as
if you were selecting reliable press mediums. You will find that the
downtown theaters attract the workers of both sexes in the lunch hours,
and in the afternoons the audiences, for the most part, comprise ladies
seeking relaxation after shopping tours.

But out in the suburbs and residential districts business men and their
wives go to the shows in the evening after supper to drive away the
worries and irritations of the day.

If yours is a high-class store, it naturally will not do to have
your film shown at a nickeldrome attracting the poorest of the
working classes. I would especially advise you, before putting your
motion picture into circulation, to make a tour of the photoplay
theaters in your territory. It is not enough to judge by the outside
appearance--mingle with the audience--and size each one up from the
point of view of your proposition.



The versatility of the motion picture is not confined to the varied
entertainment offered. Both the films and theaters can be linked
together and be converted into business producers for the musical trade.

Should I be accused of presenting mere theories, then I would
respectfully call your attention to the fact that what I am about to
suggest is based upon actual successful cases of the movies being
employed as an advertising medium.

Some time back the Edison Company started to issue musical selections
for motion-picture orchestras, so that their photoplays could be played
to as appropriately as possible. When one realizes that the majority
of the shows change their program every day, it can be seen that there
does not exist much time beforehand to prepare suitable musical pieces.
It may scarcely be needed to add that the exhibitors appreciate this
co-operation on the part of the film producer.

This example has since been followed by the Universal Film Company.
They devote almost a whole page in their house organ to the correct
music to accompany their motion pictures with.

The field is a good one for plucking, for there are twenty thousand
motion-picture theaters from Maine to California, and the average show
puts on six fresh reels every day. The average number of selections
for each reel is three, brought about by the quick-changing situations

The method of one song publisher by which to popularize his wares
to the folks in front is to arrange with a number of neighborhood
theaters to take on a singing act between the reels. The singer has the
assistance of the band, and the audience is encouraged to join in the
swinging chorus by a slide thrown upon the screen containing the words.
At the top of this is a notice stating that the So and So Company
publishes no bad songs.

To hark back, on the musical page of one of the house organs is a
notice to the effect that if the orchestra leaders do not happen to
possess the music, they can obtain it from certain concerns in New
York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.

I am quite in the dark as to the actual inside arrangements which have
been come to, but I presume that this is a sort of co-operative plan,
whereby, in return for reviewing the company’s productions from the
musical point of view, this publicity is provided in return.

Inasmuch as only two of the thirty or more motion-picture producers are
helping the exhibitor in this manner, it would seem that there exists a
particularly good opportunity to endeavor to coax the others to follow

Movie fans are mostly home-loving folks, and are at all times on the
warpath for new songs to play at home. This is proved by the fact that
it is nothing unusual for an exhibitor to receive an inquiry from a
patron asking for particulars of a certain piece of music that has
taken his or her fancy.

Some songs lend themselves particularly well to motion-picture
production, and such popular ones as “It’s a Long, Long Way to
Tipperary” and “Home, Sweet Home,” have already been filmed, thus
further helping to popularize them. The ideal song as a photoplay is
one which offers abundant scope for action and is also true to life.
Most film versions thus far have been prepared after the song has
achieved considerable fame. If, however, the publisher is to reap the
full benefit, the movie picturization should be released simultaneously
with the publication of the song.



The spring and summer are the busy seasons for the nurseryman and
florist, for the thoughts of the city folk fly in the direction of
the open air. The garden being the first haven of refuge, the garden
“outfitter,” if I may be permitted to coin a term, benefits financially.

The neighborhood theater is best suited to your purpose, as the
majority of the patrons are located in residential sections. You
approach them in the right mood, for one of the charms of the motion
picture, as you are doubtless aware, is the natural backgrounds.
Although a fair sprinkling of the stories are set in the city, there
are a goodly number located in rural communities, consequently
spectators see lovely gardens, farms, ranches, to say nothing of
the handiwork of nature represented by the prairies and forests.
All this makes the city dweller feel as though he would like to get
away from his artificial surroundings, so he unconsciously thinks
about converting his back and front lots into gardens and have his
window-sills filled with plants.

He may have just gotten to that wavering point where it needs an
incentive to stir him to action, for he is apt to forget his cherished
hopes when plunged in business on the following day.

It is customary, at some motion-picture theaters, to present premiums
on a certain night each week. Each patron on entering is given a
numbered ticket, and at an appointed hour about four numbers are drawn,
the lucky ones being presented with a useful article. The exhibitor,
in most instances, has neglected to enlist local co-operation and has
purchased his premiums at wholesale price from headquarters. It may be
because it is hardly profitable to local traders, since only four out
of a possible thousand would feel kindly disposed toward them.

A friend of mine who recently returned from a tour down South informs
me that he discovered a plan in his travels which has overcome this
apparent difficulty. It appears that each lady paying for admission to
the Columbus Theater at Mount Allen on a certain Wednesday night was
presented with a ticket good for either a fifty-cent rosebush or else a
plum or peach tree at the local nurseryman’s.

Each woman duly presented herself at the nursery and was permitted
to select her own plant. This afforded the florist an opportunity to
introduce many others of his line, and there were very few who did not
spend from $1 to $10 with him.

The only criticism I have to offer is that the proposition might have
been extended to the men, as there were undoubtedly married men in the
audience, unaccompanied by their wives, as well as single ones who
would care to take up gardening as a hobby.

The nurseryman in this case charged the exhibitor the absolute
rock-bottom price for each plant, relying upon the extra permanent
business secured to compensate for the sacrifice made.



Druggists should not be backward in availing themselves of one of the
strongest forces of modern times--the motion picture. It is a poor town
that does not contain a photoplay theater, and in most towns they are
as plentiful as druggists--one on every few blocks.

The proportion of motion-picture goers in this country is one to every
five inhabitants, and, however it may work out in your town, it is
practically certain that the majority of men, women and children spend
their evenings at the motion-picture show. After they have seen the
performance through, they are in the right mood to pay a visit to a
soda fountain. Do you make any inducements to attract their patronage?
Maybe you don’t, so let me suggest how you can accomplish this.

Why not introduce a Lillian Walker sundae, an Edward Earle frappe and a
Charlie Chaplin soda? The name goes a long way, but if you can make the
concoction distinctive it is an added advantage. Lillian Walker, for
instance, is famed far and wide for her dimples, which are not without
their publicity possibilities.

Do not adhere to any one particular player for too long a period, for
each fan has his or her favorite, and if you make, say, a daily change,
you eventually cover them all.

Obviously, the most effective advertising medium is the motion-picture
theater. If the exhibitor rents out his screen to retailers, you should
arrange to have a slide shown. Failing this, an advertisement in the
house organ or program should produce the desired results.

In regard to the well-known brands of photoplays, I know of a
pharmacist in Beatrice, Nebraska, who invented the Triangle sundae.
This comprised a mixture of vanilla and dark chocolate ice-cream, over
which was placed a confection triangle, the work of a local baker. On
the top of this were three cherries and three green candied plums. This
stunt was pulled off in co-operation with a local photoplay exhibitor,
who was as satisfied with the extra business secured as was the

Triangle is only one brand of popular photoplays with advertising
possibilities. Others are Paramount, Red Feather, Blue Bird, Metro,
World, Mutual, Universal, Gold Rooster, Beauty, Biograph, Kalem,
Vitagraph, Edison, Essanay, Selig, Lubin and Thanhouser.

It may be argued that it is giving the manufacturer free publicity, but
it does not sell him any more prints, for the exhibitor, as a rule,
contracts for all the productions released under a certain banner. You
would, of course, benefit the manufacturer were you to boost brands
indiscriminately, but the success of the stunt depends on securing
the assistance of the local exhibitor. When that is secured, you only
christen soda-fountain concoctions after the brands of photoplays to
be seen at his theater. A little extra time and effort in devising new
soda-fountain lines will be well repaid.


                                           TWIN ARC

                                              MODEL C

                        Used by leading producers all over the
                        United States and adopted as the =standard
                        portable lighting unit for motion-picture work=.

                                           Price, $70

                        Price of lamp, complete, with collapsible
                        reflector, rheostat and carrying-case containing
                        all, and separate folding-stand, =$70=.

[Illustration: Lighting]

  by Gov’t Test
  (U. S. Coast
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In use by

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and hundreds of other M. P. Studios

                           The new =Model C= contains a number of
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My Specialty is _=Motion Picture Publicity=_

Is there a photoplay you wish written around your goods? I supply the
plot, technical scenario, or both.

How about boosting your picture? It will pay you to entrust me with the
preparation of the literature.

Is there a unique publicity stunt you have in mind? Why not enlist my

Are you using regular photoplays? If so, I can furnish a weekly report
of the latest productions.

Is there a problem on which you seek advice? Perhaps I can be of
service to you.

ERNEST A. DENCH, 326 Decatur Street, Brooklyn, N. Y.



  1. Enclosed italic or underlined font in _underscores_.
  2. Enclosed bold font in =equals=.
  3. Original spellings have been standardised only when a dominant
     version was found.

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