The March Toward War: The March of Time as Document and Propaganda
Introduction The Time Empire MOT as Document Marching into War Voice of Conscience Timeline/Index
The Time Empire
Time Marches—On Radio!
Time Marches—On Film!
Advertising the March
Life and Advertising Tie-ins
Theater Distribution
Citizen Kane and Other Imitators
 Display ad from the Washington Post, March 20, 1936

Advertising the March

While the March of Time films were frequently advertised in mainstream newspapers—perhaps because their ads were tied to other theater's cinematic features—radio ads did not appear in such publications other than in a radio schedule. The March of Time did run ads in Variety and Life magazines, and frequently tied in stories to the radio show or film's content. (See Life and Advertising Tie-ins). In addition to print ads, producers employed a number of saavy marketing methods.

The Time empire was endorsed via the radio show by at least one celebrity: New York City Mayor La Guardia, a former subject of a March of Time film segment himself. Play audio

Inside Nazi Germany

This show was anticipated enough to carry a single ad—rather than be paired in the advertisement with the main feature.

The Washington Post. 28 Jan. 1938: 7.

More Inside Nazi Germany ads

Fighting French I purchased this ad on E-Bay. It may have come from a 1942 Life magazine, as its dimensions suggest.
Ramparts ad

With its "what did your mother do about it?" headline and obviously romantic picture, this ad appears to be appealing to women. However, it also has a sexual undertone since when you look at the ad, without knowing the title, it looks like an ad about how to avoid sexual pressure from men. Note in the lower left corner that for the premiere, there were only reserved seats available, implying a large turnout. Click on the photo for a larger view.

The Washingon Post. 20 July 1940: 5.

Ramparts held over

One quote reads: "'The Ramparts We Watch' deserves the attention of every American....'The Ramparts' may be the 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' of the present."

Click on the photo for a larger view.

The Washington Post. 2 Aug. 1940: 19.

Ramparts ad

This ad is notable for the quotes from celebrities, including military and government leaders endorsing it. The ad makes it clear the movie was intended to mentally and emotionally prepare Americans for the coming war.

The Washington Post. 25 July 1940: 9.

Inside Nazi Germany ad

Includes Columnist Walter Winchell's recommendation. The ad notes the show is complete and uncensored because it was reportedly censored in some communities. Click on the photo for a larger view.

The New York Times. 28 Jan. 1938: 17.

Astiare and Rogers ad

"Japan Boils Over" in this March of Time ad. Click on the photo for a better view.

The Washington Post. 20 March 1936: 15


This standard format advertises for a film and lists the new edition of March of Time underneath. Click on the photo for a better view.

The Washington Post. 9 Sept. 1937: 6.


In addition to film and radio reviews, Variety magazine featured a number of March of Time ads. Again and again, the ads emphasized how The March of Timewas a brand advertised in the vast Time empire as well as in radio and film.