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Bang & Olufsen advertising through classic posters

Sonja Henie and Esther Williams made a huge impact around the world in the 1930s and 1940s. And they both appeared on Bang & Olufsen posters of the time.

In 1948, Bang & Olufsen released two posters entitled 'Sure of Success', featuring the Norwegian skating star Sonja Henie, and the American swimming sensation Esther Williams. The idea behind the poster series was the theme 'Sure of Success', showing these easily recognisable stars of the day together with Bang & Olufsen. The original poster measured 40 x 60cm

Poster 1 - Esther Williams - 'America's mermaid'

Born in 1921, Esther Williams was a swimming natural, winning US championships at the age of 16, swimming for the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team. World War II meant she didn't get the chance for Olympic success, with the cancellation of the 1940 Olympics.

The poster of Esther Williams "pool diving" was used for release on to the market in 1948 of the Master de Luxe 413 K

Poster 2 - "Sure of Success"

Bang & Olufsen advertisement poster from 1950 featuring a drawing of the Norwegian ice skater and actress Sonja Henie - three times Olympic gold medallist

The poster of Sonja Henie was used during the marketing campaign in 1950 for Bang & Olufsen's new Beocord 506 K.

Norway has a long tradition of winter sports success, and Sonja Henie was no exception. Born in 1912 in Oslo, Sonja Henie contributed to the increasing popularity of figure skating with her three gold medals from the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics and dominated completely women's figure stating for ten years, winning her first World Championship title in 1927.

Sonje Henie moved to the United States and turned professional in 1936. She appeared in popular ice shows and made a number of successful films, as well as ice skating television shows in the 1950s.

In 1956, Sonja Henie married the Norwegian shipping magnate Niels Onstad, and they shared a mutual interest in modern art, amassing a large private collection. In the late 1960s, they set up the Henie Onstad Art Centre. Sonja Henie died of leukaemia in 1969. The Henie Onstad Art Centre is situated just outside Oslo and houses the collection amassed by Niels and Sonja plus other pieces of contemporary art.

Poster 3 - Beomaster 1900 with Photographers

At the time of its introduction in 1976, the Beomaster 1900 receiver was radically different and unlike the 'black boxes' churned out by most other manufacturers. The poster shown here emphasised Bang & Olufsen's uniqueness and 'doing things differently' in the light of strong competition in the 1970s, especially from the Far East.

Created: 9th January 2007
Modified: 2nd April 2007

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