Manufactured by tobacco company Cavenders of Manchester, Army Club made history by being the first product to be advertised by neon sign in Britain. Erected on a thirty-five feet long by twenty feet high display, it was switched on on Picadilly Circus in 1924.
In the aftermath of the First World War, Army Club advertising campaigns played heavily the nostalgia card. The image of the mildly smiling officer smoking casually his fag was an attempt at bringing back memories of wartime camaraderie and male, if not macho, attitude and behaviour. As proclaimed on one of their printed adverts:
The front-line cigarette
This is a cigarette for the fellow with a full-size
man's job to do. When you're feeling all 'hit up',
it steadies the nerves.
If you ask me, this is complete bull... Still given the popularity of the brand between the wars, it must have worked...
One if not two earlier signs were painted on this wall. Several letters can be seen here and there, in particular at the same level as 'Club.'
Location: High Road / Picture taken on: 17/02/2010