Think a Museum of Brand, Packaging & Advertising sounds dull? You are wrong. Here is why!

Museum of Brands London Notting Hill : Brands Packaging & Advertising Museum of Brands London Notting Hill : Brands Packaging & Advertising.
In one of the back streets of Notting Hill in London, not far from the popular tourist attraction of Portobello Market, is the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.


History of the Museum
The museum was created in 2005 using as the base a collection of many thousands of items of packaging, posters toys, magazines, technology, travel, souvenirs, fashion and design by Robert Opie. A collection that he started when he was just 16.

Over the years he had built up a vast collection of British memorabilia and materials that tells the story of how brands and packaging have evolved. The Museum continues to look at what is influencing and changing in packaging and design.

The collection used to be in the Gloucester based Museum of Advertising and Packaging before the move to this home in London. Various large companies, many of who are featured in the museum, sponsor it with the main ones being: Kellogg’s, Cadbury, Twinings, Vodafone, McVities and Diago.


A “Time Tunnel” Experience: Brands through the Ages
The museum is in a mews road, and is spread across the ground floor of a large modern building. Once inside you journey through a series of rooms that have very crammed and very packed cabinets (as the photos below will show). 

They call this a “time tunnel”, which is a great description of what it is. Each of the rooms in the journey are a sensory overload. Every nook and every possible space in the cabinets that line each of the rooms are packed full with a vast array of items from the decade.

You journey through the collection based on year, and not product or brand. This helps you get a feeling for what people of that era bought and used.

It starts in Victorian and Edwardian era and then each room covers a new decade, through 1910s to the current decade. At the end there is more focus on sustainability and emerging trends.

Cafe, Store and Events
A the end of the tour is a cafe area, often filled with students working on various projects and assignments. There is a small store selling various books and memorabilia.
The place is very popular for student trips that focus on design and packaging. The venue is also often used for company events, functions and launches. The Museum itself runs focused exhibitions and many events and learning experiences for students.

Some observations 

  • Fascinating if interested in design. The exhibition is fascinating for anyone interested in design, marketing, advertising and promotion. It will also be of interest to anyone interested in social development as it shows the influence that time, events and the environment had on products and design. For example, you get great insight into the life of people during the war and then post war austerity and recovery. But also of rapid changes in technology in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Reminders of things you ad forgotten about. You also get great reminders of things you had grown up with – but forgotten about. No matter how old you are you come across things you had forgotten about but were a key part of your life when you were growing up. The older you are the more you see and are reminded of. As the exhibition has so much content and “stuff” from every decade there is so much to recall.
  • How few brands survived. It is staggering how few brands have survived through the decades. Some, of course, did not survive as technology made them redundant but it is a sobering warning to marketers and companies.
  • More about packaging. The museum is billed as the museum of brands, packaging and advertising. In reality it is covers and is about packaging than the other areas. There is not much on history of advertising other than some posters or magazines that feature in the various decades.


The Brand Museum is not for everyone, but anyone with an interest in brands, design and seeing a more human and everyday aspect to life through the decades will find it fascinating and memorable. I enjoyed it a great deal.

Links:
Official Brand Museum Site
Interview with Robert Opie


Photographs and Video
Unfortunately you cannot take video or photographs in the museum. There are though some on various photo and video sites, so assume that this is a more recent development. Below are some photos and a great video tour below:

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London (via https://www.tipsfortravellers.com )
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London (via https://www.tipsfortravellers.com )
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London 
 Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London 
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London (via https://www.tipsfortravellers.com )
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London (via https://www.tipsfortravellers.com )
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London
Johnson's Baby Powder Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London (via https://www.tipsfortravellers.com )
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London 
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London (via https://www.tipsfortravellers.com )
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Notting Hill. London



Video of the Museum made by TakeTwo


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