Historical Advertising Films


The Film Archive Austria’s collection of advertising films comprises about 2,500 items from the 1910s through the 1980s. The earliest Austrian advertising film to survive, HOW NINETTE GOT HER DAY OFF, was made in 1913. Like other advertising films from the silent era, it is quite long by today’s standards, cleverly embedding its commercial message in a mini-narrative. The films made by Julius Pinschewer’s German production company between 1910 and 1956 are among the most important international contributions to our holdings.


Another strength of the collection are advertising films commissioned by the Austrian tobacco industry in the 1920s and 1930s. Election campaign ads commissioned by political parties became increasingly important in the 1920s and reached a peak in the years following World War Two. Newspapers, too, used the silver screen to promote their product. In the 1950s, for example, the Austrian daily Kurier launched a series of advertising films that were very much of their time: with generous doses of humour, public figures like Helmut Qualtinger, Heinz Conrads, Fritz Heller and Fritz Muliar provided testimonials for the newspaper. Our holdings from the 1960s include a substantial number of advertising films promoting saving, premiums and finance plans.


Of particular interest are the avant-garde ads produced by Hans Albala in the 1950s and by Franz Novotny (for the shoe-store chain Humanic) in the 1980s. Small businesses sometimes produced ads independently. The FAA’s collection of amateur films includes many charming examples of this DIY approach to advertising.


Mag. Anna Dobringer
+43 (0)1 216 13 00 – 410