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This article was written on 16 Jul 2014, and is filled under AGA History, Leisure Sinks History, Rangemaster History, Rayburn History.

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Baths Advertisements by Allied Ironfounders

By the 1960s Allied Ironfounders had already started branding its wide range of products under one brand and logo – AI (Allied Iron), as earlier suggested by Mather and Crowther, their advertising agency. The  Minute books from the company Archives dated October, 1936 read:

It was decided that ‘Allied Iron’ be adopted as our brand Trade Mark. Certain degree of protection can be obtained with distinctive design, chosen by the Managing Director and Mr.Wren.”

This same year -1936 – new and distinct advertising department is set – Allied Ironfounders Advertising Department, handling the work of the companies within the Group. The department was under the personal supervision of Francis Ogilvy, assisted by David Ogilvy. The department was located in Brettenham House, Lancaster Place, London. One year later, 1937, Raymond Loewy associates are reappointed to design the solid fuel ranges, all baths and sanitary equipment. Minutes from the meetings dated 22nd July 1937reveal that the American designer Carl Otto was also responsible for the designs of baths.

Backed with this remarkable team Allied Ironfounders held one of the market leading positions with confidence. We can now see from the quality of the advertisements produced that this was a luxury brand associated with wealthy lifestyle and high social status. On the first two sets of advertisements for VOGUE baths by AI we can see beautiful and slim models – as per the beauty ideal of the 60′s.

They are both enjoying a VOGUE bath at quite extraordinary places – one underwater and the other one on a deserted beach.  This is a nice advertising catch – it draws your attention to the image and you want to learn more. Similar effect has the new campaign of AGA for the launch of the AGA City60 with the slogan – ‘Didn’t expect to see you here!‘.

The lady on the first advert holding a mirror reminds a mermaid. Some of the symbolic meanings of the mermaids describe them as “matrons of enchantment, entreating sailors with beguiling beauty, grace and mesmerizing melodies. Seductive and charming, all those in contact with mermaids are subject to their persuasion”. 

As for the lady on the second advertisement she is seen relaxing and smiling and… holding an umbrella. Not so strange if we have a look at the symbolic meaning of the umbrella and see how closely it conveys the messages which the brand would like to be associated with – “The umbrella usually symbolizes the canopy of the heavens, shelter, and protection. The parasol is a symbol of the sun, and an umbrella is a symbol of the shade. It is often an emblem of power and dignity.”

In all bath advertisements from this period the VOGUE bath(as it’s easy to guess by the name) is presented as a fashion accessory, a conveyor of luxury living and desired lifestyle.

The text of the Vogue bath advertisement above reads: “Relax.. slip into something comfortable… a Vogue bath for instance. Luxury you can see and feel. The smooth, glossy perfection of it! The colour! So rich and yet so restful. A Vogue bath is made of cast iron which means the coloured enamel – Duramel – is harder, thicker and richer than that of other baths. Allied Ironfounders(who make Vogue) aim to make life easier and more luxurious for people. They ensure the reliability of all their products for the home and for Industry. This singles out everything they make… AGA boilers, for instance. Leisure cookers and Rayburn room heaters. Allied radiators too. So why don’t you single some out for yourself?

I would say it’s pretty self-explanatory.

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