Now open, the exhibition, "İş Bankası İftiharla Sunar" (İşbank Proudly Presents), lays out İşbank's 93 years of advertisements.
Speaking prior to the preview of the exhibition at İşbank's historic museum located in Istanbul's Eminönü neighborhood, İşbank Deputy CEO Senar Akkuş said that the bank is one of the most valuable brands in Turkey. "We think that sharing this collection through such an exhibition will shed light on both the history of İşbank as well as the changes in the banking and advertising sectors in our country," Akkuş said.
Akkuş also thanked those contributing to the exhibition, adding that she hopes the exhibition would spark interest and recognition.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), the curator of the exhibition, İzzeddin Çalışlar, said that it showcases a fascinating collection of the bank's advertising from its establishment onward.
Explaining that they had compiled a comprehensive collection of the bank's thought-provoking ads, Çalışlar said the exhibition also offers visitors an interactive experience while they explore the interesting pieces.
Specifying that they are only exhibiting original materials, Çalışlar said: "We have picked and compiled the pieces in the exhibit from a colossal archive and tried to add the most original pieces. For instance, the exhibition displays original advertisements printed in a newspaper, yet we tried to not overlook the first drafts and rough sketches of the ads and the pieces that show their production processes."
Çalışlar added that the exhibition showcases 450 commercial films, nearly 400 printed pieces and 60 original drawings and that the bank's commercials, starting from 1973, will also be shown.
"We have compiled objects from the museum's archives and advertising agencies that worked with İşbank over the years and reformatted them. Afterward, we painstakingly created a collection by selecting the most interesting ones. Imagine watching commercials all day for an entire week. Through teamwork, we tried to make a final compilation that could be exhibited. It was exhausting, but encouraged real creativity," Çalışlar said.
He also said the exhibition is a valuable resource for advertising historians, citing the example from a radio program presented with the voice of renowned singer Zeki Müren:
"In the first radio commercials, the radio host would read the advertisement's dialogue. Music was added to the commercials when the advertisers of the time tried new ways to improve the presentation. The advertising agencies working for radio stations used to purchase and invest in two-hour programs and fill them with various programs. They made deals with the famous artists of the time such as Orhan Boran, Zeki Müren and Kenter actors, casting them in the programs.
The formats varied with series, sketches and game shows. A brand was ultimately needed to finance this. İşbank has sponsored the longest-standing programs in radio history. The concept of sponsorship was much different at that time than it is today. İşbank always introduced the sponsored programs with: 'İşbank proudly presents,' which inspired the name of the exhibition. This system has been employed since 1952," Çalışlar said.
Çalışlar also touched on the Atatürk section of the exhibition in which two commercials portraying Mustafa Kemal Atatürk are featured: "[The bank] cannot overlook or forget the fact that Atatürk played a major role in the establishment of the company, attended its opening and assigned its executives. Portraying Atatürk in a commercial is important for Turkey. Atatürk was played by two different actors in these two commercials, which are being screened in the Atatürk section of the exhibition," he said.
Pattu Architecture designed the exhibition, Umut Südüak created the graphic designs and Medina Turgul DDB handled the organization.
The exhibition is free-of-charge and open every day except Mondays until March 25, 2018.