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A Serious Collection of Fun Books: Promotional Pop-Ups

Promotional Pop-Ups

circular kellogg's wheel of knowledge in yello with green

Pop-Up and other movable book formats have been used as marketing collateral since at least the middle of the 1800s. As early as 1902, for example, the Kellogg Company included slender flap books in cereal boxes. Their original product, known as Toasted Corn Flakes, was initially advertised as a healthy breakfast food for children. Undoubtedly, tucking a paper toy in a cereal box appealed to children, who would ask their parents to buy the product. Did the gimmick work? Yes, apparently, because by 1909 Kellogg’s was producing 120,000 boxes of corn flakes every day.


pop up of the great exhibition with small crowd and decorations Yet another marketing ploy was use of pop-up and movable books as souvenirs.  Notably, they seem to have been produced as souvenirs to promote international exhibitions and world’s fairs. Among Special Collections are a pair of very rare tunnel books published as keepsakes of the 1851 Great Exhibition in London (see an example of these in the display case to the left when you first enter the exhibit).