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2003/97/2 Food packaging, 'MacRobertson's Superfine Milk Chocolate', Beatles imagery, paper, made by MacRobertson Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, belonged to Beatles fan Jennie Small, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1964-1965. Click to enlarge.

Food packaging label featuring the Beatles

Made by MacRobertsons Pty Ltd in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964-1965.
This chocolate wrapping bearing the image of the Beatles belonged to a teenage girl who was an early fan of the group. It is a rare Australian-made piece of Beatles merchandise. Through 1963 the Beatles gradually built up a following in Australia. By April 1964 they held the first six positions on radio station 2SM's Top 100 chart. When the Beatles finally arrived in Australia in June 1964, 'Beatlemania' had swept the world. The Beatles' 1964 Australian concerts consisted of an eleven-song, half-hour set; there were usually two shows a night. The primitive amplification systems and the constant deafening screaming of the crowd meant that not much music could be heard, but it didn't seem to matter. It was as though the audience came not to hear the Beatles, but to see them.

With Beatlemania came souvenirs and products designed to cash in on the band's international popularity. Although he is regarded as having managed the Beatles skilfully, Brian Epstein has been blamed for granting merchandising licenses inappropriately. An avalanche of Beatle products appeared in the 1963-1964 period. The Beatles' merchandising operation, operated by Nicky Byrne, was incorporated as Stramsact in the UK and Seltaeb Enterprises in the US. Seltaeb sold over 150 different items. There were Beatle dolls, scarfs, mugs, bath water, wigs, badges, t-shirts, bubble gum, licorice, empty cans of 'Beatle Breath', even the bed linen on which the band members had slept was cut into three inch squares and sold for $10. Epstein's company NEMS received 10% of the manufacturing royalties on merchandise, while Seltaeb received the remaining 90%. In August 1964 the rate received by NEMS was raised to 46%. However the Beatles would never see most of the profits on this merchandise. NEMS finally paid Seltaeb $90,000 to end their deal.

The Beatles continued to have a huge impact on Australian music after 1964. The local rock scene flourished as Australian bands began to write their own songs and found they too could have hit records. Fans of Australian pop artists were soon admiring local heroes like Normie Rowe and the Easybeats with the same fervour they had shown the Beatles.

Summary

Object No.

2003/97/2

Object Statement

Food packaging, 'MacRobertson's Superfine Milk Chocolate', Beatles imagery, paper, made by MacRobertson Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, belonged to Beatles fan Jennie Small, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1964-1965

Physical Description

Sheet of sealed blue wrapping paper with black and white images of the faces of the four Beatles and the text in black: 'The Beatles. Seltaeb Inc'. Reverse side has text in red and white: 'MacRobertson's Superfine Milk Chocolate. The Beatles. Seltaeb Inc'.

Dimensions

Height

60 mm

Width

85 mm

Production

Notes

Packaging made by MacRobertson Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964-1965.

The designer of the packaging is unknown.

History

Notes

Used by Jennie Small when she was a teenage fan of the Beatles in Sydney.

Purchased by Jennie Small in 1964 or 1965.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Jennie Small 2003

Acquisition Date

4 June 2003

Cite this Object

Harvard

Food packaging label featuring the Beatles 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 9 July 2020, <https://ma.as/12283>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/12283 |title=Food packaging label featuring the Beatles |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=9 July 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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