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At its height in the 1940s and ’50s, the now-defunct Calvin Company of Kansas City, Missouri was one of the largest and most successful producers of advertising films in the United States. With Your Name Here (1960), Calvin Company offered a wry, tongue-in-cheek satire of its own advertising style. Beginning with a generic retelling of human history before transitioning to a jingoistic story of American exceptionalism, a narrator declares that, for all our collective striving, ingenuity and brilliance, happiness still somehow eludes us. So what’s the solution? A more satisfying tobacco-smoking experience, of course. Or more leisure time. Or whatever it is that your product, service or institution offers. While today the self-aware commercial is a genre unto itself, it’s somewhat jarring to see the form so cleverly executed in this peculiar short, released at the dawn of the Mad Men era – a time when exceeding earnestness in advertising was very much still in fashion.
For this version of the film, Aeon’s video programmer and producer Tamur Qutab provided digital enhancements to the picture and sound.
More than breathtaking, ‘The Birth of Venus’ signalled an aesthetic revolution
Childhood and adolescence
Striking shadow puppetry illuminates a skater kid’s memories of Boy Scout camp
Values and beliefs
A Zen Buddhist priest voices the deep matters he usually ponders in silence
Rituals and celebrations
Meet the entrepreneur whose business is crafting perfect peak experiences
Human rights and justice
A reporter orphaned by night raids in Afghanistan investigates their cruel legacy
Does capitalism make ‘non-playable characters’ of us all? An uncanny exploration
Technology and the self
A ‘virtual outing’ on Google Maps reveals a treasured image from Diego’s past
‘I listen to the land’ – poetry and greenery intertwine in Emilio Ambasz’s architecture
Design and fashion
The ornate, the aromatic, the cruel – Valentine’s cards before the age of Hallmark