Thursday, 15 April 2010

Sunlight soap, Upper Clapton

As I made my way towards my seat at the back of the plane last week on my way back to Europe, I grabbed several papers: my favourite satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné, and daily papers Le Monde, Libé (short for Libération), and The International Herald Tribune. Hey, the flight was long and I wasn't planning to watch movies all night long...
In the IHT an article by Stephanie Clifford about product placement in the movie industry caught my attention: "When brands are cast as carefully as actors." (Tuesday, April 6, 2008, p. 14). If you thought some movies were already looking more like elaborate advertising, apparently you've seen nothing yet! Obviously product placement has a long history but what I didn't know was that the first product to be featured in a film was Sunlight soap. In 1896, a few months only after holding their first screening of a motion picture, the Lumière brothers agreed to include the Lever Brothers' product in their short film Washing Day in Switzerland.
This forty-second film opens with "Sunlight" written in white on a black background before three Swiss women are shown washing some linen. We can't see whether they are using the soap themselves but two large wooden boxes bearing the name "Sunlight" are clearly visible on the ground. The one on the left says "Sunlight Seife" while the one on the right says "Sunlight savon."
This gives me the opportunity to post another Sunlight sign, after the ones in Boscombe Road and Chatham Road.

Largest Sale In the World
General Household ...

Location: Upper Clapton Road / Picture taken on: 10/04/2008

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