March 16, 2020

POSTED BY

Rafael Esquer

CATEGORY

The Advertising of a Pandemic

new york branding sports graphic design agency

In the face of a pandemic like COVID-19, the deadly one we are going through right now, is hard not to look back at history. It was a century ago in 1918 when the world, like today, was on edge in the face of another pandemic, the infamous Spanish Flu. …

new york branding sports graphic design agency

In the face of a pandemic like COVID-19, the deadly one we are going through right now, is hard not to look back at history. It was a century ago in 1918 when the world, like today, was on edge in the face of another pandemic, the infamous Spanish Flu. Everyone wondered if the madness were ever going to end and longed for life to get back to normal. In the midst of this panic, advertising came in offering solutions to alleviate fears.

There couldn’t have been a more captive audience. Between the first recorded case in March of 1918 and the last one in March of 2020 around one-third of the world’s population was infected that is an estimated 500 million people. In the end, 50 – 100 million people died (three to five percent of the global population).

Today we take a look at the advertising launched at the time from both, private corporations and the government. Many products claimed to either prevent, save, or take your mind away from the mysterious flu. Some of these products include, spring water, milk, soap, Vaseline, all kinds of elixirs, nose protectors, and even bicycles!

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency
Vancouver Sun ad of Nov 1, 1918 for a way to keep safe from the Spanish flu or influenza – WEAR A NOSE PROTECTOR – on sale for 35 cents from Tom the Tailor [PNG Merlin Archive]

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

Of course, the government launched their own campaigns at national and local levels. Most of their messaging focused on awareness and prevention. It’s refreshing to see the layout designs so straightforward using bold typography and black and white illustrations as opposed to the ones produced today that, in most cases, are over-designed and look too busy. 

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency