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Professors pen book chapters

Two communications professors at Ohio University Southern have written chapters in a new three-volume book about the influence of advertising in American culture and how it shaped popular culture, politics and the economy.

Dr. David M. Lucas and Dr. Miki Crawford each wrote separate chapters in “We Are We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life…and Always Has” released Jan. 31 by Praeger Publishing.

Lucas’ chapter focuses on Pepsi and young America and Crawford’s details roadside ads such as Burma Shave and Mail Pouch Tobacco barns.

“This is probably the most prestigious book I have ever been involved in,” Lucas said. “It’s an honor to be part of it. People who are involved in advertising can use it as a teaching tool. I am very happy to have participated.”

Journalists and communications professors came together and spent two years compiling the 1,004-page hardcover collection.

“It was a really fun chapter to write,” Crawford said. “The book will definitely appeal to a certain audience and people who just like to look at advertising.”

Some things discussed by Lucas are Pepsi’s role in the Cola Wars and how those who drink Pepsi and those who drink Coke are viewed differently in some countries.

“I remember the Cola Wars and Pepsi’s advertisements during that period,” Lucas said. “I also wrote about how people in Mexico, for example, view people who drink Coke as rich and those who drink Pepsi as poor.”

One aspect of Crawford’s chapter tells about the explosion and eventual demise of roadside advertisements utilized by Burma Shave and Mail Pouch Tobacco.

“Companies just aren’t doing the sort of thing those two companies did anymore,” she said. “Most advertising is geared toward major highways and the public’s overall view on tobacco has all but eliminated roadside ads like these. It’s part of Americana that’s just not here anymore.”

The collection is currently available through amazon.com.