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Grace Gebbie Wiederseim Drayton

 

 

   

Grace Drayton was the creator of the Campbell Kids used in the ads for Campbell's Soup. She was a member of The Plastic Club from 1905-1909.

The Campbell Kids were born from a simple sales pitch. In 1904, Philadelphia street car advertising executive, Theodore Wiederseim, asked his artistic wife, Grace Gebbie Drayton, to draw some characters for a sales meeting with Joseph Campbell Company. After viewing the adorable figures, Campbell's quickly embraced the 'Kids', and started using the characters in street car advertising as one of the company's first marketing initiatives in 1905. Known for their rosy puffed cheeks, widely-spaced eyes and plump bodies, the general public adored the Campbell Kids as did their creator who often affectionately referred to them as her 'funny babies'.

Soon after their public introduction the 'Kids' became an integral part of all Campbell's marketing in the States. With this surge in popularity, Campbell Kids memorabilia became all the rage including dolls, souvenir postcards, cooking sets, story books, toy farm trucks, games and even pajamas. In the late 1920's to the mid forties, the 'Kids' were still part of the Campbell's marketing culture, but played a more minor role. It was in the early 1950's, that their characters became revitalized with a fiftieth birthday party and the staring role in Campbell's television advertising that carried through to the 1960's and beyond.

The chunky cherubs have slimmed down a little to match modern notions of health as they celebrate their 100th anniversary.

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