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There’s More Than One Way to a Consumer’s Heart

Bar wrapper for Hershey's Milk Chocolate. 1903-1905
Bar wrapper for Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. 1903-1905

The Hershey Company did not incorporate media advertising for its products until the company was over 75 years old. Even though Hershey Chocolate Company did not advertise in newspapers, magazines or on the radio, it made use of a variety of advertising techniques. Milton Hershey made use of store windows, counters and posters in trains and trolleys. His packaging also promoted his products.

Beginning with the first Hershey Chocolate products, packaging carried advertising slogans such as “More Sustaining than Meat” and “A Sweet to Eat.” Later bar wrappers included advertisements for Hershey’s Cocoa.

During the Hershey Chocolate Company’s early years, it inserted specially sized postcards in standard size Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars. These postcards featured scenes from the chocolate factory, dairy farms that supplied much of the milk used to produce milk chocolate and also images of the community’s recreational facilities. Other Hershey Chocolate “bar cards” can been found in the Hershey Community Archives.

Salesmen created massive displays of product to attract attention and advertise special promotions. Hershey Chocolate Company made effective use of displays in store windows, counters and aisles. In smaller stores, special counter displays were used to promote Hershey’s products.

For several decades these methods were effective ways to market the United States “great American chocolate bar.” However, beginning in the 1960s, these methods were no longer enough and Hershey Chocolate began losing market share. In response to growing competition, Hershey Foods Corporation launched its first media advertising campaign in 1970.

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