Facebook brand timelines went live this morning, and though we've known about these for a while, some of the executions are pretty impressive, including founding documents, early advertising, memos, news clips and photos. It's as if dozens of little corporate museums just launched on Facebook.
While Facebook has long been a way to make connections with consumers, it just became a powerful storytelling medium, and an opportunity for brands with interesting stories to tell. Here are a few of our favorites culled from the staff at Advertising Age.
What's cool: A handwritten letter from the owner of Alpha Drug Co. in Woonsocket, RI, in 1893: "In over 20 years experience of soda fountain management I have not known a beverage to be put upon the market that in point of giving universal satisfaction and extent of sales can compare with Coca Cola..."
What's cool: Vintage ad campaigns trace Burberry's roots as a brand worn by explorers and adventurers in the early 1900s to its current state as a high-fashion luxury marketer. Plus, a photo of the original T Burberry & Sons store in Basingstoke, circa the brand's founding in 1856.
What's cool: A picture from the first Walmart store opening in 1962 in Rogers, AR. There's also the first official and consistently used logo, which was known as "Frontier Font Logo."
What's cool: Where did the Tide name come from? No one knows for sure. One legend is that the company president was vacationing at the beach and while taking a walk he noted how well the morning Tide cleaned the beach.
What's cool: A photo of "SportsCenter"'s first studio set, taken in October 1979. Bob Ley, an early "SportsCenter" anchor who's still with ESPN, said, "It was a mandate from Getty Oil Company, former owners of ESPN, that one anchor had to wear a (Getty) red jacket..."
What's cool: Starbucks is focused on showing it's a good corporate citizen. For 1988, it notes that full health benefits were offered to eligible full- and part-time employees.
What's cool: Nostalgia galore, including images of the first vehicle Ford Motor Co. sold in 1903, a Model A, to Dr. E. Pfennig of Chicago for $850; another from 1913 of the world's first moving automotive assembly line at Highland Park Plant, Michigan; and Ford 's Notice of Listing on the NYSE from 1956.
What's cool: Watch first host Dave Garroway anchor the first 13 minutes of "Today" live from Radio City in 1952.
New York Times
What's cool: The front page from the day Lincoln was assassinated. Just a one-column headline decrying the "Awful event." It's a timeline of the brand and also a timeline of American history.
What's cool: Who says a timeline can't be fictional? An 1890 update from Madrid shows a picture of a lavish dinner at a miserly baron's home; Captain Morgan says, "The Baron's monthly dinner became an unexpectedly awesome event soon after I cracked open a special bottle of my Private Stock."
What's cool: Old Spice, founded in 1938, adds some creation myth: "Captain William Lightfoot Schultz invents Old Spice on a ship with his shipmate Rogue Stallion -- a one-eyed Australian ninja leopard -- when they accidentally mix space rocks, tank weaponry, a race-car spoiler, cool sunglasses and a vampire fang."
What's cool: The first "Pete's Super Submarines" opens in Bridgeport, Conn., in 1965. They sell 312 sandwiches the first day.
What's cool: Born in 1822, Rowland Hussey Macy opened his first "fancy dry goods" store on Sixth Avenue and 14th Street.
What's cool: The first issue on Jan. 11, 1930, hails the new "five-day week" for engravers and printers and a big newsflash: "Federal Expert Tells Food Advertisers to Get a Housewife's View."