There Is Only One Chris-Craft. What’s Behind An Ad Slogan!

What if you own more than one?

So, I was on ebay….again, and came across this cool vintage Chris -Craft advertising pin. And I thought, that’s cool, and as a designer, mmmm they violated there graphic standards by messing with their logo, and so it must be a very early pin. Like VERY early. Also a tag line like that is a defensive position against knock offs encroaching on there products. Which is a message made earlier in a brands history.

It’s interesting to read old ads, you can really feel what the company was going through and who was making the decisions. This was personal. You can feel the Century , Gar Wood, and other brands starting to flood the market, and Chris -Craft is saying. Hey wait, THERE IS ONLY ONE CHRIS-CRAFT. And then you go over to the Century dealer, and they are saying, it’s just like a Chris Craft, or its better than a Chris Craft. And that’s why today Chris Craft is such an iconic brand. Because of brilliant marketing moves like this. And all this from an old pin on ebay!

You can see here that the slogan was used in 1929. But also in 1929 Chris Craft used the line ” Worlds Largest Builder Of All Mahogany Boats”

Also in 1929 they were also still CHRIS SMITH & SONS. So all the marketing was very personal and shows how important marketing was to Chris Craft from the very beginning.

AND HAPPY HEADER DAY! Because there isn’t only One header. WOOHOOO. Just hit the refresh button and you will see an old header from the past

21 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Was it all that personal? In 1929, the company was for sale/sold until the market crashed, and that was really at the start of the 1930 model year.

  2. Craig A. McIntosh
    Craig A. McIntosh says:

    …well, i’ve got one thing to say! thank you for all that you do everyday of the week for woodyboater and its many friends.
    i visit this site everyday of the week and it brings great joy to me!
    your devotion to this wooden passion is incredible, and i appreciate ‘you’ for that – thank you very, very much!
    wishing you and yours the best, most healthy and fun new year.
    cheers and peace!
    craig from atlanta, ga and traverse city, mi

  3. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    Matt, there are hardly any comments today because everyone is out finishing off their holiday shopping so the wives don’t PIN IT TO THEM!!

  4. Floyd r turbo
    Floyd r turbo says:

    I wish I had time to shop. We’re trying to finish last details on a boat for Christmas. We’re fortunate to have your marketing and design expertise to document what CC’s thought probably were back then. When you say theyViolated their graphics standards I assume you’re referring to the F where it drags that little scroll down on the button. I thought that was just a maybe fill the void and balance the text.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Some hand drew that, and therefore changed the logo, opening up a can of worms in todays graphic standards. Its interesting to see that in the early days they had many variations of the same logo mark. Just the two in the story are the same and different. But then again, mayny times the logo was hand done on the boats. So it was normal.

  5. Capt. Cranky
    Capt. Cranky says:

    Old advertising is cool. I’m not an Mad-Man (like Matt – or Don Draper)…but find the slogan and branding iterations companies went through fascinating…when “it” was as much art as science…and big-data didn’t drive every decision.

  6. RH in Indy
    RH in Indy says:

    What Craig said. Seriously. I give Craig 200% credit for saying it the way I would want to say it. IF I miss a day, and that’s rare, it’s easy to catch up. Woody Boater is the absolute highlight of my day, visited first thing in the morning and to the last comment at night. Sincere thanks Matt and everyone who helps make it happen.
    Happy Woodydays and a merry Chris Craftmas.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I am with Craig and RH……thanks Matt more than you know…for all that you do.

    Merry Christmas to all…..and yes, I just got back from GOING BOATING….going some more too…..mid 60’s in ole Va today…not much like Christmas weather.

    John in Va.

  8. LehrJet
    LehrJet says:

    Agreed to what others have said. Matt you are a treasure to this community. Many thanks for what you have created and for what you continue to do. You bring great joy to many. Cheers and Merry Christmas

  9. tommyholm
    tommyholm says:

    It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. 1929. The button tells a story not like the ad exec remakes history. The story is the slogan: “There is Only One!” The button was worn at the 1929 New York Boat Show. Lest you forget, the NYSE crashed in Oct. 1929, banks closed, men jumped out of windows, bankruptcies occurred often and it was just the beginning of a long economic malaise. What to do? Surround the wagons. Go with your strength. Chris-Craft’s strength was always the dealer network, it was not low prices, it was not craftsmanship, not Philippine Shorea/Meranti wood, not styling, not logos. It was the dealer network. Just say No to Gar Wood, No to HackerCraft, No to Sea-Lyon: yup, Chris-Craft was the only one to save you too from going out of business. So some hack in marketing (dealer relations) made up some pins with a local Algonac printer or more likely an in-house CC printer and made up some pins with a hacked logo and saved the day: The Only One. Go with #1. Chris-Craft, a dealer network unknown in the marine industry in its time. That’s the story.

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Looks like Tommy nailed it…

      Meantime…thanks t you Matt for bringing us this daily comentary on our favorite subject….Don’t know how you manage to keep it up, day in and day out. but we genuinely appreciate it.

      Merry Christmas.

  10. matt
    matt says:

    What a fantastic comment and makes perfect sense. BTW, that little pin is already up to 113 Bucks on ebay! YIKES. It might just be the only one!

  11. Matt
    Matt says:

    Okay, Okay, what the hell is going on! This pin is at 290 bucks now.. What the hell? Is the world coming to an end.. What am ai missing? Okay, just on this one topic. Just pins.. of the 1920’s Thats it.

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