Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Early Promotion 

This posting about Lucy the Margate Elephant proves that good publicity ideas are enduring -- in this case since 1881. The giant statue was a promotion gimmick to sell real estate on the New Jersey shore. Crowds came to see it and coincidentally, buy land. I've been to see Lucy two or three times, and the edifice is extraordinary in a late Victorian way. Perhaps the salvation of Lucy was the weirdness of a 6-story elephant statue where it had no business being. In any event, Lucy is the last of her kind, not that there were many of her kind.

The kind of publicity stunts that spawned Lucy still exist, but they are usually not as elaborate or as long lasting. Lucy has lasted long past her first economic purpose but still hasn't lost her role as a tourist attraction.


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