The McCann Time Capsule: APAC-American Heritage Month and . . . Hawaii
While the global McCann network didn’t officially open offices in the Asia Pacific region until 1959 (Australia) and 1960 (Japan), our exploratory and affiliate roots actually go back much further. In August 1917, just five years after the establishment of The H.K. McCann Co. in New York, founder Harrison K. McCann announced to the staff that affiliates were in place both in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in the Pacific Islands. As he said at the time, “We have the best agency in the Hawaiian Islands representing us.”
Fast forward to 1960, and McCann expanded its worldwide network of offices to Hawaii through the acquisition of the 50th state’s oldest and largest ad agency, Holst & Male. The Holst agency had been founded in 1929 and then merged in 1957 with W. H. Male, Ltd., also in Honolulu. In September 1960, it merged with McCann, but kept its own name until mid-1964 when the branding changed to McCann-Erickson Hawaii.
At the time it employed about 40 employees and was a consistent creative awards winner, especially for its Hawaiian Electric Company business, one of its oldest and largest accounts, but also for other clients such as First National Bank, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Visitors Bureau, and the Kahala Hilton Hotel, as well as for brands like Love’s Biscuit & Bread Company.
From the Honolulu agency’s perspective, the reasons for tightening its branded relationship with McCann were endorsements of the global network similar in concept if not exactly in language that one might hear today.
“As part of the McCann organization, we have available to us a multitude of communications services on the mainland, in Pacific basin countries, and throughout the free world,” said the manager at the time. “We draw on the market and media research facilities and creative experience of company offices all across the mainland. Internationally, we are represented with offices in Europe, Africa, Latin-America, Australia, and, most important to our sphere of activity, the Far East.”