Warner Corset Advertisement

USA after 1910. Dir Thomas A. Edison.

Though next to nothing is known about the production of the film, it was clearly constructed with a sophisticated combination of motion-picture technique and skilled salesmanship. Advertising was always important in the development of the Warner’s business, and the film reflects years of experience gained from the company’s extensive print advertising campaigns. It is a textbook example of product endorsement, employing methods that would later become standard in television commercials. A pair of children discovers a brand new Warner’s Corset in its original box of their mother’s dressing table. They proceed to vigorously tussle over it, playing a violent game of tug-of-war with the garment before dropping it repeatedly into bath water. When mother enters, the children expect worst but instead of scolding them, she turns to face the camera, smiling confidently. A title card proclaims: “Thank Goodness it’s Warner’s and it’s rustproof”. The film ends with a striking stop-motion sequence showing an animated corset rising into frame, unrolling and fastening and unfastening itself.