10 August 2009

One way only

Advertising for the motoring masses can be seen daily on the side of buses, bus stop benches and posters, taxi cab lights, and the ever-present billboards. While novel, none of these techniques could be considered original as streetcars have been used in advertising since the early part of the 20th century. Is it any wonder that the vehicles of Main Street U.S.A. prominently display promotions?In keeping with the feel of a small town on the rise, and making its way through the turn of the last century, the vehicles of Main Street all come equipped with ad cards on their exteriors. While some of these advertisements promote sponsors, such as National Car Rental’s announcement on the back of the jitney, a majority of these ads promote attractions found within the Magic Kingdom. The most prominent of these cards are at eye level on the omnibus (which is, coincidentally, my favorite way to travel down Main Street).Walt Disney World’s ad cards were originally the handiwork of artist Paul Hartley. Yet, as the years have marched ever onward, a variety of artists and styles have begun to be showcased on the vehicles. These additions also include many of the attractions that were not present during the early years of the Magic Kingdom, such as Splash Mountain. But no matter their source or subject matter, it is always nice to see a theme, such as the early 20th Century, carried down to even the minute details.


Unknown said...

Have you seen the reproductions of the art cards in the Art of Walt Disney World? They are superb!

AJ said...

Very interesting post! Never thought about the streetcar that way.

Ryan P. Wilson said...

George - Yes, they are absoultely stunning! In fact, I wish that more of the ad cards had that early feel to them. Perhaps I should whip up some scans for a second article?