Friday, April 16, 2010

Girl Scouts Cake Mix Advertisement

I'm still buying silly amount of Girl Guide and Girl Scout paraphenalia on eBay for a potential book. Girl Guides originated in England, and the movement arose out of very British sentiments, just like the Boy Scouts. The adoption of Girl Guiding as Girl Scouting in the USA saw a few distinct differences evolve. Not only is the name and uniform different, but the Americans have unsurprisingly proven to be more effective merchandisers and promoters of their girls' movement. I have bought many UK books, badges, letters, scrapbooks etc. but it is from the US that I find annual Girl Scout calendars, most LPs of girls singing, clothing and equipment catalogues, dolls etc. Girl Scouts also regularly feature on popular magazine covers, such as the Saturday Evening Post, as symbols of American identity and innocence.

I've also found a number of American advertisements in which the wholesome connotations of Girl Scouts are used to market other products, including for Mutual Life insurance! This one for Dromedary Angel Food cake mix shows a level of commercialisation that just doesn't occur with Guiding and Scouting in the UK. I am partially annoyed at people who are tearing out advertisements from old magazines, destroying them as historical records and then charging large amounts for them on eBay. But then, without these opportunistic sellers, I'd never come across these images, so I'm not entirely innocent in the process.

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