The Marketing Man Video
Running time 3.39
Filmed and edited by Jo Clyne, 2015
History Teachers' Association of VictoriaContributors
Contact the History Teachers' Association of VictoriaCopyright
History Teachers' Association of Victoria Royal Historical Society of Victoria
Professor Howard Frederick, lecturer in Entrepreneurial studies and owner of Mámor Chocolates & High Tea Szalón speaks about MacRobertson's marketing strategies.
PROF. HOWARD FREDERICK: MacRobertson was famous for his bright and bold advertising with strong messages. It was all out of his own head really. I mean he used his own signature, which was beautifully calligraphed signature of MacRobertson, which was even used by Australian school children for decades to practise their cursive writing.
He had his first ad which I’ve been able to track down was one for cough drops and he had penned it himself. It shows a little boy, and the parent is saying ‘what yer crying for?’ and then it says Mac. Robertson Cough Drops. And this was his original, a Scottish recipe, which he used with menthol and produced in his mother’s kitchen.
Well he went on to bigger and brighter things, and his beautiful ads for Freddo Frog and Old Gold and brands that we don’t know anymore, like Lady Gay, and Beau Brummell and Target Toffee, also his Milk Kisses.
When you go inside the courtyard of the Milk Kiss factory today, and you sit underneath the cherry tree and the coconut palm that still exist there, where he invented the famous Cherry Ripe recipe, you also have to think of the very interesting court case from1904 which led to the so-called Milk Kisses legislation.
So Mac was sued by Mr Hoadley one of his competitors and asked to remove the words ‘Milk Kiss’ from his famous product because Mr Hoadley was using ‘Cream Kiss’. And so, intellectual property protection not being what it is today, the case was held in the famous court room of Judge A’Beckett in Melbourne, and testimony came from dozens of witnesses and in fact it says in the newspaper that, “Never had so many witnesses committed perjury as during the Milk Kisses case.”
Basically Mr Hoadley was trying to take advantage of Mac’s previous product called ‘Milk Kiss’ by creating his own product called ‘Cream Kiss’. And so the testimony was apparently filled with raucous laughter as witness after witness were asked by Judge A’Beckett, “Sir, (or Madam) if you went into a store and asked for ‘kisses’ what would you get?” And to the person they say, “Well of course sir you would get MacRobertson ‘Milk Kisses’ ”. And the Judge said, “Well, you wouldn’t get a slap on the face?”
“Oh no sir, that would never happen, we would always receive McRobertson ‘Milk Kisses’. ”
And this led in 1904 to legislation, which was called the ‘Milk Kisses’ legislation.
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Story education resources
Education MacRobertson's Confectionery Factory - Education Kit
The MacRobertson's Confectionery Factory education kit has been designed for grades 2 and 3 and looks at themes such as 'the past in the present' and 'community history'.
Key themes include:
1. Historical buildings and monuments
2. Victorian industry and the workforce
3. Technology and transport
4. Advertising and design
5. Local history
Teachers and students use the kit in conjunction with the MacRobertson videos, images and stories available on Culture Victoria to complete a range of activities aligning with key historical skills such as:
1. Distinguishing between the past, present and future
2. Posing questions about the past using sources provided
3. Exploring a range of sources about the past
4. Identifying and comparing features of objects from the past and present
5. Exploring a point of view
6. Developing a narrative about the past
7. Using a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written, role play) and digital technologies