Special Exhibition, Panasonic Museum: Messages from Konosuke Matsushita in Newspapers—An Evolution in Corporate Advertising; Monday, September 10 to Saturday, November 24, 2018

Konosuke Matsushita Museum Messages from Konosuke Matsushita in Newspapers—An Evolution in Corporate Advertising

Dates: Monday, September 10 to Saturday, November 24, 2018

Soon after the founding of the company, Konosuke Matsushita began communicating his ideas as an industrialist and as a manager to the world via different kinds of media. One such example was his corporate advertising in newspapers.
Through a total of 19 corporate advertisements, from the three-line National Lamp advertisement in 1927 to the year's end appreciation advertisement in 1982, this exhibition looks at Konosuke's corporate messages while delving into the social backdrop and business conditions of the times in which they ran.

Leaflet (PDF: 937 KB)

The significance of advertising

With regard to the significance of advertising, Konosuke said the following: "The better a product is, the more obligation a company has to let the world know about it more quickly and broadly." Starting with his first product advertisement in 1927, Konosuke widely conveyed his ideas on corporate attitudes, ways of thinking, and how Japan should position itself within the world.

Three-line National Lamp advertisement

On April 9, 1927, there was a small ad in the Osaka Asahi Shimbun that proclaimed: Reliable Quality, Superb Value, the National Lamp. With that, the National brand made its first appearance in mass media.

At the time, both money and resources were sparse, so placing a newspaper advertisement was no small feat. And yet, Konosuke realized the significance of doing so, and decided to pay the great sum of money needed to advertise.

Konosuke agonized for three days over various typesetting details. How thick should the characters be? How much leading and kerning should there be? And what kind of a feel would the text have within context?

Is This Good Enough for Our Lives?

Konosuke embarked on his first international observation tour in 1951, to the United States. He saw with his own eyes the prosperity with which Americans lived, and the phrase, "Is this good enough for our lives?" came directly from his heart. It was also a declaration of his intent to rise to the challenge to disseminate home appliances in Japan.

Idea Japan

In a New Year's advertisement, Konosuke described what Japan's industries should do to come out on top amid global competition, under the title, Idea Japan. He called on Japanese companies to stop imitating Western products and following in their wake, and to surpass the West with uniquely Japanese ideas, and stand at the forefront of global trends.

What I Learned at the Eyeglasses Store

The protagonist in this advertisement is the owner of an eyeglasses store in Sapporo. After seeing on television that Konosuke's eyeglasses did not suit him, the owner offered to fix them. Given the number of times that Konosuke traveled abroad, he argued, such mismatched eyeglasses would convey a negative image of eyeglasses stores in Japan. Impressed with the owner's broad perspective going beyond simply making money, as well as his passion, Konosuke traveled to Sapporo for a new pair of eyeglasses.

Matsushita Electric Exports Prosperity

In the 1960s, Matsushita Electric rapidly expanded its overseas business. Against this background, Konosuke Matsushita told his employees that now was the time to implement the company's management philosophy throughout the world. He emphasized that no matter where Matsushita Electric went in the world, its characteristics would always reflect the Basic Business Philosophy, and believed that these ideas would hold true wherever they were applied.

Related Links

Panasonic Museum