The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

March 11, 2009

Shipwrecked by a Boatload of Values – Out of Context Ad Solution

Filed under: Advertising, Recycled Newspaper — Brian Lutz @ 9:29 pm

Those of you who read last week’s Recycled Newspaper posting will recall this out-of-context snippet of an ad found in a 1967 edition of the Bellevue American.  The challenge (for the few of you that chose to accept it) was to try to figure out what’s going on here.  As promised, the solution to last week’s image (also seen above, if you’d like to take a quick guess before you look) is found after the jump.

Yeah, I’d probably be a bit startled if a freakishly huge guy with questionable sailing skills and a boatload of groceries was headed for my little dinghy too.  I’m not sure if this was supposed to be somebody in particular (the way he was drawn, it seems entirely plausible) or just some random character, but I have absolutely no idea what the “XPX” here was supposed to stand for.  Perhaps there was some meaning to it, but whatever it is is presumably lost on a modern audience (well, what little modern audience there is that spends their evenings digging through old microfilm for ads, anyway.)

This particular bit came from an ad for Mayfair Markets, a west coast chain which at its peak had stores all over the Western United States, but is now extinct except for one remaining store in Hollywood, CA.  In Bellevue at this time, there were two locations:  One at 108th and Main (where the Office Depot is located today) and one in the Lake Hills Shopping Center (which, although I can’t confirm this, appears to have coexisted with a QFC store in the same center.)  A few years later they would add a third store by taking over the Market Basket store located at Crossroads, even though it was only about a mile away from the Lake Hills store.  The Eastside Heritage Center collection includes a photo of the former downtown Mayfair store circa 1969.  A comparison to the building in its current form shows that although the front of the building got a facelift when the current shopping center (with the Boater’s World and former CompUSA store soon to open as a  PetSmart) was built around it, the side and back of the building retain the 60s design pattern shown in the photo.  Looking at the back of the building (the side that faces NE 2nd street) you can sort of see this:

And although it’s not quite as cool looking as Market Basket’s old logo (which by this time had been replaced by a really boring one to match Marketime’s logo,) Mayfair also had a pretty nice logo in their ads:

This too would eventually be replaced by a more boring (but presumably less space-intensive) logo by the 1970s.  A bit of a shame really, there’s something to be said for these meticulously hand-drawn logos that really adds a nice touch, although I’m sure they would seem quite out of place these days with all the slick computer graphics and glossy color ads now being used.

Anyway, this week’s Recycled Newspaper should be coming soon.  This week, we’ll be going back 75 years and taking a look at an East Side Journal from around this time in March of 1934, along with another out-of-context ad snippet.

Edit:  One other detail that I probably should have noted on this particular ad is that its appearance coincided with the Opening Day of Boating Season which takes place annually in early May.  A number of the other ads in the paper that week used a similar nautical theme.


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