Like it or not, advertising defines how we experience products. It’s inescapable: all studies on the subject have shown that the people who think advertising does not influence them are usually the most influenced of all!
Advertising can make us think products taste better, can give us an identity, and make consumption give us a feeling of excitement or comfort.
As a result, advertisements are a valuable nostalgia item. People don’t just want to drink a Coca-Cola to remind them of the joys of childhood, they want to again experience the ads that made Coca-Cola so fun and exciting in the first place.
Tastes and smells are the most nostalgic senses, so when considering the value of collectibles, remember that food advertisements tend to have the most lasting value.
For example, take a look at these hugely expensive collectibles:
- Vintage Coca-Cola Signs
- Everything to do with Mr. Peanut
- Campbell’s Soup Merchandise
- Ronald McDonald
Recently, a Coca-Cola sign from 1926 sold on eBay for over $2600, and it’s not alone. An undated sign that shows a price of 5 cents is currently at a bid of $700. An old sheet metal sign from a 1950s drugstore is selling for $500. Even the smaller and more common items are going for hundreds. People love Coca-Cola, and they love the advertising from the golden age of soda fountains.
Everyone loves Mr. Peanut, and it shows in advertising collectibles. Although Mr. Peanut stuff is rarely worth over $1000, almost all of it is worth over $50. Mr. Peanut items are just solid collectibles that reliably sell for high amounts.
In the 1950s and 60s, Campbell’s launched an all-out merchandising blitz, creating posters, dolls, knick knacks, kitchen tools, sports equipment, and storage tins. Most of this merchandise still has some value, usually in the $40-$50 range. Some of it, however, is worth obscene amounts. Posters from a limited-run print of the flag of the United States, rendered in Campbell’s cans, are valued at about 50 grand.
We’re not sure when exactly that McDonald’s realized clowns are now terrifying to kids, and silly to adults, but it’s kind of a shame they did. Probably the most iconic advertising character ever made was tossed out in response to a changing world.
The good news for us is that Ronald’s ads are now valuable collectibles! Statues of Ronald regularly go for over $1000 on eBay.