Menier Chocolate bar packaging

The Menier chocolate factory, whose impressive buildings still overlook the Marne River in Noisiel, introduced the first chocolate bars in 1836. Over a century later, in 1938, the company entered a partnership with Walt Disney to promote a new chocolate bar called “Surfin-Santé,” tied to Disney’s latest film. The centerpiece of this innovative campaign relied on a proven technique from the past decade: offering empty albums at an affordable price (2 francs for two albums). These albums contained 180 stickers, reproductions of watercolors, to be found in the packaging of the chocolate bars (sold for 2 francs). An irresistible offer for sweet-toothed collectors!

Three-dimensional store display which held Menier chocolat bars

The campaign kicked off before Christmas in 1938, while the film was still playing in Paris, throughout the provinces, and in the colonies. The first traces appeared on November 18 in the Le Progrès de la Somme newspaper, with the Chapon & Cie store in Amiens advertising a special offer of 6 sheets of 10 Surfin-Santé Blanche Neige tablets with a participation in the national lottery for 11 francs. However, it was from December onwards that illustrated advertisements flooded all French newspapers, creating a media buzz. The ads featured Snow White and the seven dwarfs in front of a fireplace filled with chocolate bars, a dream shared by all children and the Menier company. A new wave of advertising hit the press from February 1, featuring fresh illustrations.

Menier ad published in Le Petit Provençal on December 18, 1938
Store display made from dummy Menier chocolate bars


The design of this campaign was entrusted to the Edia firm and the illustrator Sendraf. Sendraf reinterpreted the film’s characters to integrate them into the Menier universe, including an art-deco version of the famous little girl drawn in 1893 by Firmin Bouisset. The illustrations depicted Snow White and the dwarfs holding chocolate bars. The commercial strategy encouraged buying more chocolate: one sticker was given for the purchase of half a bar, 3 images with one bar, and 8 with packs of two bars. This information was explained on the back of each bar, richly packaged in a green box with gold letters, accompanied by a white case illustrated with Snow White and the seven dwarfs. These visuals were reused in advertisements in the form of giant cardboard imitation bars or a wheel made of bars for store displays. Albums were presented in a three-dimensional display with illustrations of the characters. Albums could also be obtained by sending 45 stickers, encouraging exchange among collectors.


Sendraf also signed a poster printed by Bedos and Co., who had already been responsible for printing the film’s posters. The albums were printed by M. Dechaux. To maintain interest beyond collecting, contests were offered, giving gifts to participants, including a book of their choice for those sending in two completely filled albums. Contests also allowed participants to win significant prizes by answering the question: “why is Menier chocolate my favorite?” These contests were supposed to last until January 1, 1940, but the war led to an extension until April 15, 1940. “Advertising specimen” albums attest to this extension. “Advertising series” stickers were also accepted up to 6 to complete albums during the contests. Concurrently, Menier launched a collection of cardboard masks featuring the characters, published by L’Idée-Réclame – Paris.

Menier Chocolate Poster

The first album

The second album

Menier masks