Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The World Trade Center in Advertising Before 9/11

This is an actual ad from 1979 that was published in Le Point. This has been verified by a reference librarian at UCLA's Charles E. Young Research Library. The advertisement appeared on p.143 of the March 19, 1979 issue, #339.
The above ad from 1979 is quite an ominous visual. It is a stirring image and everything that good advertising should be. It features the WTC which was an iconic image of New York City. The shadow of the airplane against the building is simple yet striking. It tells the story the client wants to tell: when you travel to New York from Europe or Asia, call Pakistan International Airlines.

Flexon TV ad campaign that began in August of 2001 has a brief image of the WTC with an airliner heading straight for it. Watch carefully to catch it.

If 9/11 never happened it would be seen as just a great piece of advertising. It is possible that Osama Bin-Laden saw this ad at one time--and yet also possible that he never saw it. If he did see it, when he came up with the plan to fly planes into the WTC it may have been deep in his subconscious. If the ad or any reference to it is in his computer, it may come to light eventually.

Asbestos ad from 1981.
The above asbestos ad state quite simply that "Asbestos contains fire, cannot burn and holds up after metal and glass have melted down, giving vital time for people to escape." Except, of course, when a passenger airliner crashes into a building.

Texaco commercial featuring the WTC.

Print ad for The Squeeze (1987) starring Michael Keaton.
When considering the 9/11 attack, everything from before that day associated with the WTC falling, breaking, being squeezed, etc. seems ominous. Did these images contribute to the planned attack? Probably not. As mentioned above, the WTC is an iconic image and structure of New York. Thus destroying it was symbolic as well as an act of terror.

This video shows numerous representations of destruction of the WTC before 9/11 in advertising and entertainment.

Copyright (C) Eric Brothers 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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