Our approach to advertising has always been guided by the principles of reliability, trustworthiness and good nutrition. In the early years, the best form of promotion for Sanitarium products came via word of mouth recommendations and referrals from chemists and doctors, since the foods were sold on their health benefits.
The very first advertisement for Sanitarium appeared in Melbourne’s The Bible Echo, in 1897. Prior to 1920, most of the advertising conducted by the Company was done by local retailers, who would put products on display in their windows.
In October 1922, the decision was made to begin placing “fair-sized” advertisements in the leading newspapers in capital cities and some of the larger towns around the country. The first official campaign began later that year. By the mid 1920s, the Sanitarium name had become a well-recognised part of the commercial world.
The new medium of radio was explored during the 1920s and 1930s. Various programs including ‘Quiz of Quizzers’ and Queenie Ashton’s ‘Kommonsense Kitchen Klub’ were sponsored by Sanitarium at this time. Late in 1930, Sanitarium moved into gift-coupons, which were a popular advertising strategy of the day. Gifts were redeemed to a set number of points, gained by collecting coupons attached to the Company’s products.
Another method of advertising used by the Company during the Depression was ‘sample sales’ – selling small samples of Weet-Bix and Marmite, as well as other products, for three pence – a nominal amount in these times. The practice of inserting collector cards in boxes of Sanitarium Weet-Bix began in 1942, and continues today.
From the mid-forties onwards, Sanitarium’s advertising campaigns began to address the changing nature of the Australian breakfast. During the 1960s and 1970s, Mrs Joan Bateman presented weekly TV segments demonstrating vegetarian cooking techniques using the Company’s products. These segments were called ‘Taste for Food’. Television advertisements for Sanitarium products began appearing from the early 1960s. One of the earliest advertisements the Company produced was for its Honey Weets breakfast cereal.