Way Back When: How Winchester Got the Word OutWinchester values communicating with consumers through a variety of marketing and advertising efforts. Before today’s television commercials, digital videos and social media posts, print ads in magazines were the main (sometimes only) way to announce innovative, new Winchester products.
Vintage Winchester advertisements are considered true pieces of art. The original ads showcased painted scenes with bright hues and immense detail. Images of Western frontiersman riding a galloping horse, colorful pheasants flying in fields, whitetail bucks running in front of a blazing orange sunset….these are the striking lifestyle illustrations that Winchester often highlighted in their early advertisements. In certain ads, the illustrator even painted his signature in the bottom right corner.
During the 1950s, Winchester advertisements took on a different type of illustration style similar to the popular Norman Rockwell-esque artistry. Ads featured family lifestyle imagery that were so prominent during the era. One Winchester ad features a dapper dad in a suit sitting in his living room chair; his teenage son is holding his brand new Winchester firearm. They both are smiling. The tagline above it reads “Start Him Right— Right Now. There’s a Winchester 22 for every purse and purpose.”
Nowadays, vintage ads featuring Winchester Repeating Arms are valued memorabilia that many people like to add to their collections or use to decorate their homes or hunting cabins. Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., has several vintage print ads adorning the walls at the AcuSport Lodge, part of the world-class facilities that make up the John Anthony Halter Shooting Sports Education Center.
Winchester’s vintage print ads are iconic symbols of the company’s history and expertise. The ads represent the nostalgic times of the past, and the consistent values that remain the core components of Winchester’s foundation.