Selling the Minor to the public

How to differentiate a product from that of a competitor(s) when its functionality is very similar or identical, is an issue that has confronted those involved in advertising and marketing since the commencement of the industrial age. The Morris Minor was launched in late 1928 into a burgeoning small car market, with the market leader well established and with sales of all variants in its model range continuing to grow. Those responsible for marketing the new Morris decided to make a virtue of the more significant differences between the new Minor and its rival, the Austin Seven, these primarily being its slightly larger size and its conventional ladder chassis, versus the ‘A’ frame, on and around which the ‘dainty’ Seven was constructed. These same marketeers also came up with a memorable slogan “Built like a big car” that encapsulated these differences, a theme that was to run in advertisements throughout the model’s life.

While the majority of advertisements for the Minor appeared in the motoring magazines of the period, others popped-up in some unusual publications. At its launch the model created quite a stir with features and articles in both national and local newspapers, usually accompanied by supporting advertising material. In the local press this material primarily originated via the Morris dealership chain. Whilst there were not so many ‘lifestyle’ magazines as there are today, ‘ads’ appeared in publications such as Punch, Illustrated London News, Picture Post and perhaps many other non motoring periodicals. What can be seen below are examples from across the media of the day.

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