Diversified science & technology developer 3M is probably best known for everyday consumer and office products such as Post-It notes, Scotch Tape or Scotch-Brite, and numerous other Scotch-branded adhesive products. However the group derives the bulk of its revenues from industrial coatings, films, adhesives and dressings for a vast range of other sectors from road signs and electrical engineering to healthcare solutions, and from occupational safety products to automobile and aircraft manufacturing. It was founded in 1902 as Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing to make sandpaper, and didn't officially change its name to 3M until 2002, although that acronym had already been in informal use for many years. The key development in the company's history was the invention of masking tape in 1925, initially for use when painting automobile bodywork. That led to the introduction of cellophane Scotch Tape five years later, and other adhesive products. According to legend, the brand name Scotch was conceived because the tape was only lightly - or "stingily" - coated with adhesive so it could be easily removed. (In the politically insensitive 1930s, "stinginess" was popularly considered to be characteristic of the Scottish). Post-It notes were introduced in 1980. Revenues for 2020 were $32.3bn with net income of $5.4bn. Consumer products is 3M's smallest division, contributing $5.3bn. Home improvement products (masking tape, duct tape, adhesives and the like) accounted for almost half that total, and stationery & office products (including Scotch tape and Post It) for $1.4bn. The biggest growth in 2020 came from healthcare products - 3M is one of the world's largest producers of medical personal protection equipment, and supplied more than 2m respirator masks during 2020. More than 60% of group revenues are generated outside the US. Inge Thulin, group CEO since 2012, was succeeded in 2018 by Mike Roman, formerly COO. Paul Keel leads the consumer business group. In 2019, the group acquired wound-care company Acelity, whose brands include Nexcare medical tape and bandages, for a total value of around $6.7bn including debt.
Capsule checked 8th January 2021
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Adbrands Social Media 11th Jul 2019: "Back To School". Something about the nature of Post-It Notes just seems to inspire stop-motion animation. It's the idea of those multiple individual frames of course. Venables Bell & Partners have crafted four superb shorts with the help of animation specialist Gentleman Scholar, all designed to highlight the many uses of those ingenious pads for school. All four spots are technologically astonishing.
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Nov 2016: Biggest new review was a similar parting of the ways between 3M and longtime partner Grey. 3M is seeking a new agency to handle global campaigns for Scotch Tape, Post-It notes and its other consumer products.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jul 2016: Ads of the Week "Jump". Grey New York's sweet new campaign for 3M's Post-It notes - the first for more than three years - comes up with an imaginative way to sell the benefits of the product. It's not just a stationery item; it's an inspirational sporting achievement tool as well. Cute idea.
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