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Advertisement Collections on Display at the 'Pub Mania' Exhibit

From 05 May 2013 to 06 October 2013

When the ads become the products

A new exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, a museum dedicated to the decorative arts, is putting more than a century of advertisements on display for the public to see. The exhibit is called 'Pub Mania,' and the pieces being showcased are part of a legacy of collectible advertising objects.

From the first moments of our lives, advertisements shape our perception of the world and become an essential part of our culture. Often, these advertisements are not only represented by TV or magazine ads; they also take the form of various objects, such as tie-in products and collectible merchandise. In this way, the ad itself becomes the subject of consumption, in addition to the product it is promoting.

Brands such as Coca-Cola and Michelin have been using these techniques for decades — creating items like bags, key chains and tins to make sure that their names stay in the hearts and minds of the public. Although there is nothing extraordinary about these objects, the fact that they become a part of daily life ensures that their brands are the first thing to come to mind when shopping.

The 'Pub Mania' exhibition focuses not only on these advertisement objects but also on the psychology of the collectors themselves. Motivated by desires that are similar to those of art collectors, advertisement collectors have created a community where they can specialize, trade and share their common interest.