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The Story of Ginger Cubes/Chapter 17

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[A letter from Mr. Gray, of Gray Matter Service, to Mr. Ribstone, proprietor of the Ginger Cubes.]

My Dear Mr. Ribstone: I was glad to get your note from Kill Kare Kountry Klub, and to hear that you have been taking a few days' recreation. You will return, I am confident, much refreshed and eager to take up the problems that confront us.

I have been a little disappointed at not getting a definite authorization from you to go ahead with our plans. We have had tentative advances from other possible clients in this same general held, but I have put them off, desiring not to take on any accounts that might possibly conflict with the Ginger Cubes. To be perfectly frank, the thing that has appealed to me about Ginger Cubes is the bully opportunity for public service in a big way, and the chance to institutionalize a product whose possibilities have filled the members of our organization with unusual enthusiasm.

Ever since we first began talking institutional advertising for Ginger Cubes, a real thought impression has been epitomizing itself in my mind, and our Department of Cumulative Service has been giving the matter special study and analytical constructive investigation. We have been going right back to fundamentals on this proposition, studying the different sides of the problem along all its different angles. It will indeed be a source of satisfaction if we are accorded the opportunity to work with you. Our Mr. Geniall was saying in conference yesterday "I am convinced I would rather be associated with the Ginger Cubes Corporation than any other company I know of, because what I have heard of the quality of men that make up that organization and the quality of service they would expect convinces me it would be an educative experience to co-operate with that firm. The product-attributes of their Ginger Cubes fill me with enthusiasm, and I feel that if they were our clients we could work for them as personal friends, and not in any cold-blooded businesslike fashion."

That is the way we want you, Mr. Ribstone, to feel towards our organization.

It is not our desire to merely build a number of advertisements which may be combined together in a more or less connected series by some such device as art treatment. Art is all very well as a hand-maiden of advertising, but for a monumental campaign you need the inspiration of a Big Idea, a genuinely dominating thought that will clarionize every piece of copy and tie the whole together in a culminating increment of public consciousness.

Advertising is either Product-Advertising or Institutional-Advertising. The functions of the first are obvious—

  • A. Function is to sell product
  • B. Means of accomplishment are
    • (1) Directly presenting the product to the market
    • (2) Urging the market to accept the product

But Institutional-Advertising is far more psychological. Here enters the supreme function of the merchandising arts, to create consumer "good-will." This may be defined as encouraging consumer-benevolence, that is, educating the public to a sense of subjective interest in the entire business, and a conscious awareness of benefit therefrom. A feeling of friendly satisfaction engendered by Knowledge, Understanding and Appreciation is the inception of this consumer-benevolence.

The various factors that jointly and severally enter into these great merchandising truths I will not insist upon. But it would give me great satisfaction if you and Mr. Russell would meet the members of our organization and talk the whole matter over frankly and fully. Mr. Russell and your good self and the writer ought to get together in the near future for a long, serious talk on the whole proposition. We could not do nearly so well for you if our headquarters were not in New York, where we can have daily intimate conference with your organization headquarters. Our psychological director for the Chicago Territory, Mr. Alfred Ampere, has been so stimulated by what he has heard of your plans, that he wires me asking to be transferred to New York if our proposition goes through. I am inclined to favor appointing him as chief contact man, so that he could be summoned at any time within twenty minutes if a conference were called.

The objectives are all clearly defined, and we are ready to go to work. This is simply to assure you of my own personal appreciation of the splendid energy and fighting spirit your organization exhibits, and to hope that from the very inception of the Ginger Cubes we may be accorded an opportunity to cooperate in the public educationalization which is the real satisfaction of the advertising profession.

Cordially yours,


Technical Director, Gray Matter Advertising Agency.