Over its hundred year history, the Iochpe Group has operated in various segments of the economy. It began its activities in 1918 as a lumbering company, and diversified its businesses throughout the 1950s. Of all its activities, one stands out as particularly curious: the assembly of a factory to produce a clothing component with which we are all familiar today, but which was quite the novelty back in 1965—zippers.
After some viability studies, the company’s representatives travelled to Europe to negotiate and learn the production processes. In partnership with a traditional Swiss zip-maker, they returned to Brazil to set up shop making “invisible metal clasps for clothing”. It was one of the Iochpe Group’s first experiences in manufacturing, at a time when Brazil was still a predominantly rural country. The product, under the brandname Alco, was heralded in the press as “the Revolutionary Zipper”.
To promote the curio, the group hired an advertising agency (another novelty back then), Kley Moreira Publicidade, which came up with the following ad, broadcast on Guaíba Radio in Porto Alegre in 1968:
“A highlight in elegance: the completely invisible new zipper from the famous Alco brand. Modern, and the very height of international fashion, Alco’s new zipper hides itself to showcase your elegance. A Iochpe Organizations product. Sales Department: R. Dona Teodora, 1257 – phone 2-34-14. Come see the new zipper at Lojas Colombina, Lojas Americanas and at the best stores citywide”.