ICE TO ESKIMOS?

Selling Ice to Eskimos

imageimages (16) Ice-to-Eskimos-4x6

Darren McEwen alerted me to this photograph (from 1943) currently featured in National Geographic’s Flashback section. He notes that it looks like a guy trying to sell a refrigerator to eskimos. Actually, the women are Bolivian cholitas, not eskimos. The caption explains:

Urban cholitas have little to do with popular beliefs of a timeless, unchanging indigenous culture,” explains American University anthropology professor Lesley Gill. Today, “they are urban born and frequently well-to-do. They make their money primarily from commerce, and their style of dress expresses a dynamic, expensive, and completely modern sense of Aymara femininity. Many hats come from Italy, for example,” Gill notes, “and nowadays the cloth for their skirts comes from Korea.

 

If you want a real picture of a guy selling ice to eskimos, here’s legendary pr stuntster Jim Moran in 1938, bundled in furs up in Alaska with an icebox, trying to make the aphorism a reality. (Photo from Mark Borkowski’s Improperganda.)

Moran’s most infamous stunt was when he tried to tie midgets to kites and fly them over Central Park. His idea was that the midgets would carry billboards on which he would sell advertising space. When the police told him he wasn’t allowed to do it, he remarked, “It’s a sad day for American capitalism when a man can’t fly a midget on a kite over Central Park.”

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jul 08, 2008 | Comments (0)
Category: Business, Advertising
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s