BAYKO Advertising

Advertising isn't a 21st century invention and BAYKO, like every other product, needed to be advertised.
Unusually, the first advert mentioning BAYKO was a joint affair with BAKELITE, the firm which supplied raw materials to Plimpton...
 
The first 'pure' BAYKO advert was half a page in 'Games and Toys', which was the leading publication for the U.K. toy trade.
Photo of the first ever BAYKO advert in the February edition of Games and Toys
The advert appeared in the February 1935 edition.
The February edition was the key issue every year as toy companies generated interest for the B.I.F. [the British Industry Fair].
The B.I.F., in its turn, was a major vehicle for the British toy industry to show the toy retailers what was available as both sides of the trade prepared for Christmas!
The advert was placed by Berwick's Toy Company Limited, BAYKO's first distributor.
The advert was supported, on page 170 in the same edition, by a short 'puff' introducing the retailers to the merits of BAYKO.
Further adverts appeared in 'Games and Toys', again in the February issue, in 1936, 1937 and 1938.
 
The first BAYKO advert in the MECCANO MAGAZINE which appeared in the September, 1935 issue.
As far as I have been able to establish, Berwick's, on Plimpton's behalf, began their marketing campaign to the wider British public with a BAYKO advert in the 'MECCANO Magazine'.
The advert [left] appeared in the 'MECCANO Magazine' in the September issue, in 1935, in the run up to Christmas.
That year's campaign continued with three further adverts, running the campaign right through to the to December issue.
Berwick's campaign continued, a little less intensely, for the next 2 years, with further BAYKO adverts appearing in the 'MECCANO Magazine' in both the November and December issues, in 1936 and again in 1937.
Perhaps a little surprisingly, these were the last adverts BAYKO adverts to appear in the 'MECCANO Magazine' before the war.
 
Fred Rogerson of Berwick's persuaded C.B. Plimpton to bring the marketing in house and was recruited some time in 1938.
Berwick break announcement, Games and Toys, May, 1939.
The final break with Berwick's was heralded in 'Games and Toys' in the May and June editions in 1939...
This, perhaps, precipitated the announcement in the last of those that Berwick's would not be attending the B.I.F. next year!
I can only assume that Fred used his budget, now presumably fatter without Berwick's fees, fairly aggressively as the frequency of BAYKO advertising gradually increased after this, with further adverts in September and October 1939 and May, June and September 1940.
Rather surprisingly, from June 1941 onwards, 'Games and Toys' was graced with a BAYKO advert every month throughout the war...
...got to keep the BAYKO name up there!
Wartime shortages affected printing in terms of shortage of both paper and printing plates, resulting in long term contracts for classified ad sized adverts from June 1941. This approach lasted until well beyond the end of the war.
One of the few mid-war adverts in Games and Toys - December, 1941
There were exceptions to this pattern, perhaps offered by 'Games and Toys' on some form of rotation system, when additional larger adverts also appeared...
The first large, postwar advert in Games and Toys, May, 1947.
...the first of these was in 2 colours in December 1941.
Another large advert appeared in May 1942, informing frustrated retailers of the day that BAYKO will be supplied to them "as soon as victory is won".
Again, in July 1943, another large advert appeared, though this time with the slightly less gung ho message that "BAYKO will be in normal supply after the war".
The first large post-war advert appeared in 'Games and Toys' in May 1947 [right], presumably as raw material shortages began to slacken...
...unfortunately it gave no product details, which is a shame, when you consider just how rapidly BAYKO was developing at that time.
BAYKO also regularly advertised in two other toy trade publications : -
The BAYKO relaunch in MECCANO MAGAZINE, May, 1949
Regular post-war advertising to the general public in the 'MECCANO Magazine' only began as late as May 1949 [left], fully 2 years after the trade was given the message.
The first, post-war, full page advert in MECCANO MAGAZINE
.It may well be that Plimpton could sell everything the restricted supply of raw materials allowed them to make before that.
The association with the 'MECCANO Magazine' subsequently survived, pretty well unbroken, right through to the MECCANO takeover and up to the demise of BAYKO in 1964
Initially ads were a mere quarter page...
...until January 1951 when the size was doubled...
...BAYKO then went full page size in 1953 [right].
Subsequently, declining sales led to a temporary reduction back to half page adverts in January 1959.
Immediately before the MECCANO takeover there was an interesting departure, with Plimpton arranging joint adverts with British Resin Products, a key raw material supplier...
Almost the last of the Plimpton era adverts in MECCANO MAGAZINE, April, 1960
 
The first MECCANO era advert in the MECCANO MAGAZINE, September, 1960
The death throes of Plimpton, and the trauma of the MECCANO takeover, were reflected in the absence of any adverts 'MECCANO Magazine' for the first three months of 1960.
The final advertisements which used Plimpton artwork appeared in April [left] and May 1960, though, in both cases, there was no mention of either Plimpton or MECCANO in the adverts.
This confusion was further reflected in a confused BAYKO Flier, and a similarly confused Brochure, from the same period : -
MECCANO finally advertised their ownership of BAYKO and launched their remodelled product in September, 1960 with the advert seen to the right here.
MECCANO, somewhat belatedly, began to demonstrate their 'good intentions' towards BAYKO by two interesting initiatives in their 'MECCANO Magazine'.
First page of 'The TOYMAN' article from the November, 1961 edition of the MECCANO MAGAZINE
These are not actually adverts, but were never-the-less clearly intended to boost awareness of the merits of BAYKO.
Architect article from MECCANO MAGAZINE, September, 1963
Firstly - the 'Toyman' articles : -
These often featured BAYKO buildings, drawing children's minds to the wider play possibilities of BAYKO models beyond the construction.
Left, is an example from November, 1961...
Secondly the 'Architect' articles : -
These began 6 months before BAYKO's death, running from July 1963 to May 1964 - the last being a month or so after production had stopped! An example can be seen to the right.
 
During BAYKO's heyday in the 1950s the advertising onslaught was broadened beyond the exclusively hobby based press.
Adverts, many produced by C. Vernon & Sons of Rodney Street, Liverpool, appeared in various children's comics.
My first EAGLE BAYKO advert, it's from an undated Christmas advertising supplement
So far I have found five sources of adverts : -
The first advert from GIRL comic, from the November 12th, 1960 issue
Parents were also targeted through local and regional newspapers.
BAYKO advert from the Liverpool Echo, Friday, December 9th, 1955 - page 6
So far I've drawn a blank with the national newspapers and the only regional paper I've found adverts in is BAYKO's home town paper, 'The Liverpool Echo'.
BAYKO advert from the Macclesfield Times and Courier, Wednesday, November 26th, 1952 - page 6
By contrast, Local Rags - perhaps slightly more respectfully referred to as small town newspapers - seem to be a much happier hunting ground for BAYKO adverts, or adverts for local toy shops which have the good sense to mention BAYKO!
If you can't find adverts from newspapers which are local to you...
...perhaps you could help swell the ranks of BAYKO adverts?
You never know what other local trivia you may unearth, and, who knows, you might actually enjoy it!
The more observant among you will have noticed that the above references are all to English papers.
BAYKO advert and associated classified adverts from the Daily Record on November 27th, 1959
Geography inevitably means that my opportunities to unearth BAYKO newspaper adverts elsewhere are limited...
General MECCANO advert, which includes BAYKO, from the December 7th, 1962 issue of the Glasgow Evening Times
...can you help?...
...but a visit to the Mitchell Library in Glasgow has provided me with several Scottish examples.
I have been able to discover BAYKO adverts - or toy shop adverts which specifically mention the world's finest construction toy - in two Scottish publications...
...The 'Daily Record', [left] which is a national newspaper north of the border...
...and the 'Glasgow Evening Times', [right] a local evening paper.
Not surprisingly Scottish BAYKO adverts were similar to their English counterparts, as was the policy of tagging classified sized adverts for local BAYKO distributors - toy shops or department store toy departments - below, or alongside, the main BAYKO advert.
I've now visited Wrexham, so that Wales is included...
So come on Belfast, Douglas, St Peter Port, St Hellier, St Mary's...
...why not help broaden the coverage.
 
I have been reliably informed that there were also BAYKO adverts shown in slots on the [then] newly launched commercial TV in the 1950s, though, unfortunately, nothing has survived - or do you know better?
 
Below here are links to related info : -
 
Click on any of the links below for related information.
 
 
 
 
   
   
     
 
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