Before billboards, there were broadsides
In 1913, Frank Kenna, Sr., a New Haven, Connecticut entrepreneur founded Illustrated Current News ® a company that created current event posters for local businesses to place in their windows to attract potential customers. His idea worked.
It’s human nature
Mr. Kenna’s brainstorm turned out to be based in solid behavioral science. People are attracted to visual information they can relate to. Some people are sports fanatics, others gravitate to entertainment news, and almost everyone wants to know what’s going on in the world around them.
The recipe for success
In the 1920s, Mr. Kenna expanded his business base by purchasing Marlin Firearms, a manufacturing company. When his safety posters went unnoticed, and injuries persisted, he returned to his early success with illustrated news. Current event posters were placed next to the safety posters and workers then took the time to read both.
Starting in 1942, The Marlin Industrial Division published materials on safety, quality and productivity, bundled them with news pictorials, and manufactured a bulletin board fixture for their display. The program was sold as a subscription service to a variety of industries. Their workplace communication program was engaging and educational, and helped improve workers’ attitudes and behavior.
Print, digital, and beyond
Today, under the leadership of CEO and President, Frank Kenna, III, digital content is also programmed for electronic display, and both print and corporate digital signage systems allow for easy customization. As technologies emerge, The Marlin Company will adapt its time-tested messaging formula to new delivery systems, whatever they may be. The technology may change, but human nature doesn’t.