by Mosè Battocchio

Publicity images have always been an invaluable source of information in research as well as in collecting antiques. The vast amount of material, found mostly in trade journals, but also in sales catalogues, leaflets, posters and so on, offers not only very important information, but also vibrant displays of colours, nostalgia for the antique and expectations of the future.

The great literature and sociological insights of the nineteenth century have attributed to advertising images a fundamental role in helping us understand today the process of industrialization which took place in the western civilization, foisting upon society radical and irreversible changes.

It became necessary to understand the colourful, primitive images of a new form of communication: the poster, appearing in cities and interacting with the common citizen, who, torn between need and desire, necessities and luxuries, is invited to participate. The publicity image captures in this fashion the technological advances between the two centuries and recounts in dreamy terms and fairytale colours, the first steps of the radio, phonograph and recording industries, bearing significant witness to the evolution of new technologies in the field of radio communication.

This web page illustrates a radio set as seen through the eyes of a publicity creator, who contrives, through an advertising campaign, the best way to arouse the interest of the public. Unda Radio, between 1925 and the early sixties, makes frequent use of this new means of information to promote the sale of its products. So it is that the radio becomes the most important means of mass communication, transforming itself into an object of communication, an advertising gadget, victim or star of the ploys originating from communication.

Aside from these philosophical considerations, from the pen of artists and illustrators sprung images of overwhelming beauty, born for the fleeting duration of the advertising campaign, and then forgotten. These images are brought back to life by collectors and fans more and more frequently today, because of their graphic and artistic value, aside from being an important testimonial of an era and of a particular socio-historical period.

It stands to reason that this section is a work-in-progress. Those who possess advertising material of any kind pertaining to Unda Radio, such as postcards, catalogues, gadgets, and so on, are encouraged to contribute to enriching this page.

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