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Classic(s), brands and adverts: 12:15-12:45 Thursday 28th May Leeds City Museum

May 24, 2015

This talk will take place at the new time of12:15-12:45 in the Ancient Worlds Gallery of Leeds City Museum.

Eleanor OKell will investigate the role of classical characters and imagery in establishing and advertising brands, using twentieth and twenty-first century examples. It is no surprise that the allure of the goddess Venus underpins the Gillette Venus range of products to “Bring out the goddess in you” but she has also contributed to the brand image of washing soap, Kellogg’s cereals, Matsuda sunglasses, John Paul Gaultier perfumes and the 2014 Athens paralympics! This talk considers why companies as diverse as Nike, Leonidas, Goodyear, Red Bull and 02 have been drawn to Classical mythological and historical characters, suggesting that their combination of familiarity and exoticism enables them to add value to brands, a value that includes a sense of longevity and gravitas.

The talk will feature a degree of interactivity to explore the associations of classical characters for modern audiences and their effect on brand image: prepare to be asked what you think when “X” is mentioned.

Some of Eleanor OKell’s work on classics, branding and advertising has been concerned with the tobacco industry (see the article on “The Anglo-American ‘Tobacco Wars’ and the use of classical imagery to establish a global company”, New Voices 2, 2007), but no tobacco products will be featured in this talk.

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