Fratelli Branca
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FRATELLI BRANCA DISTILLERIE SRL Via Broletto 35, 20121 Milan, Italy
Milan Registry of Companies no. 00720670157 – Taxpayer and VAT no.: IT00720670157 Capital Stock 1,500,000.00 Euros, fully paid-in

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The earliest of Branca's advertisements in the Fratelli Branca archives dates back to February, 14th 1865. It appeared in La Perseveranza, a politically moderate daily paper published in Milan from 1859 to 1922.

The advertisement was an early example of marketing communication: it was a 10 x 10 cm print containing the name of the product and a long caption. What went down in history as "Fernet Branca" was simply called "Fernet" at that time. It was described as a renowned liqueur with beneficial properties, especially as a treatment for fever and anxiety.

Over the years, advertisements grew in importance. In 1876, with the first issue of Corriere della Sera, Fratelli Branca became a prominent feature in national daily newspapers too.
Later advertisements aimed to emphasise the curative properties of the liqueur. They often included evidence – conspicuously validated with official stamps – provided by doctors in charge of hospitals and sanatoria. In particular, a prominent example was Milan's Fatebenefratelli Hospital, which largely contributed to the popularity of "Fernet-Branca" thanks to the testimonial given by Father Nappi, then director of the hospital.


Watercolour drawings

The author of the watercolour drawings is Rodolfo Paoletti, an artist born in Venice in 1866. He was one of the partners of Fratelli Branca in the Fratelli Tensi printing-house venture and an author of elegant covers appeared on Secolo XX. The drawings, , which depict men and women wearing the national costumes of various countries,, may have been intended for a series of picture cards in a Liebig style, very much in vogue at the time.


Post-First World War

In the post-First World War years, Fratelli Branca started to plan its advertising with a view to make it high-profile: prominent Italian and French designers were employed for the company's advertising posters. Behind the campaigns of those years there were the best advertising agencies of the time (Les Affiches Maga of Bologna, Luigi Dal Monte's Acme-Dal Monte and Umberto Notari's Agenzia III).

The notable names of those who designed Fratelli Branca's advertising campaigns include: Di Cappiello, Jean D'Ylen and Marcello Dudovich.


Post-Second World War

The post-Second World War period was really crucial to Fratelli Branca. After the reconstruction of Milan's company plants destroyed by the 1943 bombing, advertising campaigns started to be planned on two new important media that were bound to change the course of history: radio and TV.

The first spot aired during night-time Carosello on the Italian TV featured plasticine-made cartoon sculptures and a fast-paced soundtrack. It soon became popular among the general public and the critics alike.

To support the TV advertisements, an extensive promotion programme was set up, including new initiatives and various types of giveaways: posters, display stands, glasses with logos, beer mats, ice buckets, drink dispensers and ashtrays. Among the most popular slogans aired over the decades there are: "È così che piace, forte e puro dopo il pranzo" (The Pure Strong Taste That Pleases after a Meal) (1967), "Digestimola" (roughly ‘Digestimulant') (1975), "Sopra tutto, Fernet Branca" (Above All, Fernet Branca)(1981), "Pregio e privilegio" (Value and Privilege) (1990) and "Brrrr, Brancamenta".


Historical buildings

Branca has brought together a photo collection of all the advertising signs used in cafés and restaurants back in the day.
This series of photographs, dating back to 1890 through 1950 is a valuable source of information: the pictures make up an extraordinary set of historical documents on the buildings and the décor of public places. The collection and other Branca advertising materials were exhibited at the Museo del Teatro alla Scala of Milan (financed by Bernardino Branca himself in 1913) in November 1981.


Art Nouveau posters

The 80s of the 19th century marked the beginning of the so-called golden age of the Italian Art Nouveau posters. The trend came from France, where the technique of chromolithography made it possible to print large-size colour posters.

Fratelli Branca lost no time in applying these new ideas and techniques to their own advertising: starting from 1886 a series of calendars – intended for both the Italian and foreign markets – was produced, having the female figure as a leading character.

The artists whose signatures appeared on these calendars are among the most famous of the period: Giuseppe Amisani, Elio Stelminig, Plinio Codognato, Osvaldo Ballerio, Achille Luciano Mauzan and Leopoldo Metlicovitz.
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FRATELLI BRANCA DISTILLERIE SRL Via Broletto 35, 20121 Milan, Italy
Milan Registry of Companies no. 00720670157 – Taxpayer and VAT no.: IT00720670157 Capital Stock 1,500,000.00 Euros, fully paid-in
Fratelli Branca
Fratelli Branca
Fratelli Branca
Fratelli Branca
Fratelli Branca
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