Kiwi: The Australian Brand That Brought a Shine to the World

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Allen & Unwin, May 24, 2017 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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You probably have a tin of shoe polish tucked under the laundry sink bearing the little bird logo that has been in homes around the globe for over a century. Founded in Melbourne by William Ramsay in 1906, Kiwi is one of the most iconic and enduring international brands ever to have come out of Australia. One of Australia's best-loved journalists, Keith Dunstan tells the remarkable story of the Ramsay family and how they created and nurtured the Kiwi brand. Always quick to seize a marketing opportunity, the Ramsays sent Kiwi to England with the Anzacs in World War I, putting a brilliant shine on belts, bridles, and leggings as well as boots. Soon there was a Kiwi factory in London, and in time Kiwi ran 24 factories worldwide, selling more than 250 million cans of shoe polish annually. In his inimitable warm and chatty style, Dunstan follows the fortunes of the Ramsay family as they built the Kiwi brand over the decades: business decisions good and bad, grand houses, the latest cars, constant travel, and their marriages, quarrels, and friendships. He also tracks the clever advertising strategies that kept Kiwi in the public mind, including the notorious sign that caused traffic accidents in Richmond in the 1960s. Richly illustrated in full color, Kiwi is the fascinating inside story of one of Australia's great families, as well as one of its great brands.

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About the author (2017)

Keith Dunstan OAM was a Melbourne journalist and book author. For 30 years, his daily column "A Place in the Sun" was an institution in the Sun News-Pictorial. He also wrote for The Bulletin under the pseudonym Batman, and for the Courier-Mail and later The Age. Keith Dunstan wrote more than 25 books, including a quartet of books on the Australian character, pioneering works of sport history including The Paddock That Grew, about the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and The Melbourne I Remember. He died in 2013.

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