A Busman’s Holiday

This isn’t a typical B2B International blog post, but I wanted to share with you my visit, this weekend, to a lesser-known museum in London, and one which may be of interest to readers of this blog.

On Saturday morning just gone, I caught a train from Manchester to London; I was visiting a friend for the weekend and, naturally, she asked if there was anything in particular I wanted to do while there. Having already exhausted the London tourist ‘staples’ over the years – Big Ben, the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, et al. – I decided to do a little bit of internet research for inspiration, and it was here that I came across the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising, in Notting Hill. Not so much a weekend away, more of a busman’s holiday, then.

The Museum features a multitude of different brands from the Victorian era through to the present day. Moving through each decade of the twentieth century, you are told a little about life in Britain at that time before being treated to hundreds of boxes, bottles, tins, toys, posters, etc. from that particular era.

My (non-marketing-employed) friend and I were fascinated to see familiar brand names appearing as far back as the 1800s. By the time we had progressed to the 1930s, we could actually recognise quite a few brands that, back then, already looked scarily similar to how they appear today (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing!). And, by the time we had reached the 1970s, we had entered the realms of pure nostalgia overload, recalling with cries of delight our favourite crisp and sweet wrappers from our long-forgotten childhoods!

After reaching the present day, the museum exhibits a number of long-established household brand names and shows how much – or, in fact, as is usually the case, how little – the brand has evolved over the decades of its existence. There is also a display which deals with all different kinds of packaging and their respective pros and cons.

Whether you work in the disciplines of branding/advertising/marketing, or simply fancy a trip down memory lane, this is a really interesting little museum in which to pass an hour or two.

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