Preserving the past —Documenting the present — Inspiring the Future
The UK advertising industry is widely considered as the finest in the world. Its story, culture, and people are understood through the archive held by the History of Advertising Trust (HAT).
The HAT Archive was established in 1976 and operates on a non-profit basis. During the past 40 years it has amassed the largest archive of British advertising in the world and holds approximately 100,000 commercials. Its earliest spot being the Gibbs SR commercial, which was the first ever commercial to be aired on television in 1955. The collection also reflects the achievements of the UK advertising industry from 1800 to the global operation it is today.
The HAT Archive provides the stories behind the famous brands, the ideas and research that led to their development. It therefore represents the memory bank of the advertising industry, holding knowledge and evidence of creative and commercial activity.
A company’s history is also the story of its employees, clients, operational sites and the communities that support them. The HAT Archives have direct commercial value as a source of new product innovation – they are literally full of ideas that can be re-discovered and re-packaged for today’s market. Knowledge about brand history gives commercial teams the long view of brand development and ensures the integrity of ongoing brand development. Archives can be used to develop brand awareness both to customers and to an organisation’s employees through PR and marketing campaigns. The brand heritage concept has been maintained by many successful companies that trade on the strength of their brand identity and brand heritage. It is well understood by everyone in the business that this encourages customer loyalty and product reassurance.
HAT have preserved commercials from a range of formats, such as 1” tape, Digi Beta, Beta SP, U-matic and VHS, by digitising them and storing them on secure and backed up hard drives. The original tape formats are all kept but only the digital masters are used for viewing / reference to minimise the impact of continued use on the tapes.
Due to the continued financial support over the years from individuals and industry bodies, including British Arrows, HAT’s unique resources have survived and are continually updated in order to serve the research needs and new technologies of the 21st century. Commercial teams can use the archives as inspiration in the creative process of brand and service development, saving significant development costs. By keeping archives we capture today’s experience, knowledge and sector know-how to inspire tomorrow’s prize-winning campaigns. It is a powerful tool, it is industry generated and so it is far too valuable to be ignored or discarded.
HAT provides a range of archive and brand heritage services. Please contact us if you wish to make an exploratory, no-obligation, site visit http://www.hatads.org.uk/