One of the more surreal takes on the 1929 stock market crash which led to the Great Depression is on view in this October 1930 Campbell's Soup advertisement which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. A Campbell's Soup Kid reads the latest stock news from a state of the art glass domed stock ticker machine. Wishful text reads "The news that I'm reading look's dandy to me. Like a plateful of Campbell's Which fills me with glee." This original illustration painting is a supremely odd example of Americana advertising. I wonder how they topped that one? Showing one of these cherubic little creatures playing with John Dillinger's loaded revolver?
The Campbell's Soup Kids appeared in print ads in countless American mainstream publications such as The Saturday Evening Post. The brainchild of illustrator Grace Drayton, who debuted the first Campbell's Soup Kid ad in 1904, the characters became so popular, that the company soon hired a number of illustrators to create ads in the manner of Drayton. It's unknown whether Drayton herself is the illustrator of this example.
The Mother of Campbell Kids - Grace Wiederseim Drayton:
The Campbell Kids have been selling Campbell's Soup since 1904 when Grace Wiederseim Drayton, an illustrator and writer, added some sketches of children to her husband's advertising layout for a Campbell's condensed soup. The Campbell advertising agents loved the child appeal and choose Mrs. Wiederseim's sketches as trademarks. In the beginning, Campbell Kids were drawn as ordinary boys and girls, later, Campbell Kids took on the personas of policemen, sailors, soldiers, and other professions.
Grace Wiederseim Drayton will always be the "mother" of Campbell Kids. She drew for the company advertising for nearly twenty years. Drayton's designs were so popular that doll makers wanted to capitalized on their popularity. Campbell's gave the E. I. Horsemen Company the license to market dolls with the Campbell label on their sleeves. Horseman even secured two U.S. design patents for the dolls' clothes.
Today, Campbell's Soup Company, with its famous red and white label, remains a staple in the kitchen as well as American culture.