Face It: Some Images Have More Selling Power
The Los Angeles Times, 15 March 2000 «back | home
Images courtesy the U.S. Mint
Having to sell the American public on the concept of money is downright hilarious and so is the television commercial for the new Golden Dollar coin.
The spot features a studly modern-day George Washington (an animated coin face on a real actor's body) going about his daily business buying cappuccino, using a vending machine, driving through a toll booth and paying for all the transactions with a new dollar coin (enlarged to saucer size for the TV audience). "It's money," Georgie says in "Swingers"-speak.
But why is Washington flogging the coin when he's not even on it? The Golden Dollar bears the image of Sacajawea, the American Indian guide who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1800s. So what is the message here? That the feministicon, whose navigational and negotiating skills were essential to the trip's success can't hold her own in an advertising campaign? What does it take for an American woman to be captivating enough to sell a coin? The attributes of a Pamela Anderson Lee or Cindy Crawford?
Swingin' Georgie was chosen for the $ 14-million ad campaign through market research, according to Jennifer Arnold, a public affairs specialist at the U.S. Mint.
"We found that everyone liked and could relate to George Washington," she said. "We wanted to take a unique, un-government approach. Our hope is that everyone will think money is cool."
It's bad enough that George Washington's quarter put Susan B. Anthony's buck out of business. Now he has to hog Sacajawea's limelight too?
© 2000 Times Mirror Company