Provides a unique insight into the American consumer boom of the mid-20th century through access to the market research reports and supporting documents of Ernest Dichter, the era’s foremost consumer analyst and market research pioneer. Provides researchers of consumer culture, business, advertising, marketing and psychology with a wealth of documentation. The variety of industries featured will allow for diverse and multilateral approaches from a range of academic disciplines.
The collection includes information on some of America’s best known brands, and contains thousands of reports commissioned by advertising agencies and global businesses in a booming era for consumerism, including Madison Avenue advertising and global brands on consumer goods ranging from tobacco and broadcasting to cars and hotels. Immensely influential, Dichter’s Freud-inspired studies put the consumer “on the couch” and emphasized the unconscious motives behind consumer behavior. The Institute of Motivational Research employed trained social scientists and used established methodologies to conduct psychological research. Dichter’s career reached its peak after Vance Packard’s bestselling exposé The Hidden Persuaders (1957) presented Dichter as a mastermind manipulator who could exploit the emotions of consumers for the benefit of any advertising agency or big brand.