Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Big Apple


I took an early morning stroll around Farmer's Market yesterday to check out what fruits and vegetables are in season. I was looking for apricots and peaches to make some jam. I haven't made jam at home since I left California where I had a fig tree in my backyard. I'll have to wait another month or so for peaches, apricots and nectarines but apples are in abundant supply right now - all varieties of them from the sweet and delicious Honey Crisp to the tart Granny Smith. I bought half a dozen Honey Crisps as a healthy accompaniment to the large chunk of white cheddar that is lying in the fridge ready to be consumed.

Do you know why New York City is called the Big Apple? Curious to find the answer, I did some research on Google and found a very fascinating story about how New York was branded. I was particularly impressed to learn about the negative associations that New York imparted to apples (it had more "houses of ill" per capita than any other city) at the turn of the century because of which sales declined in the U.S. The Apple Marketing Board then embarked on a repositioning initiative and came up with slogans like "An apple a day keeps the Doctor away" and "As American as apple pie" and infused these into popular culture. Quite a remarkable transformation in that they were successful in ridding apples of unsavory associations. In America at least, apples have a very wholesome image these days. Brilliant marketing, wouldn't you say?

3 Comments:

Blogger gs said...

absolutely.it is indeed marketing at its best.did steve jobs also draw inspiration for naming his computer company from this marketing strategy.
in a similar vein,the tea board in india has gone on a marketing overdrive ;coaxing and cajoling people to drink more tea.
the ad says "aspiring for a healthy lifestyle?.take up drinking seriously."
"piyo more chai" is the catch slogan.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Barry Popik said...

The "Big Apple Whore Hoax" was put on the web in 1995. Not a word of it is true.

Couldn't you have done better in your Google-ing? Please see my site, www.barrypopik.com. I dedicated "Big Apple Corner" in 1997 and explain it all there. "The Big Apple" comes from horseracing in the 1920s.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

Thanks, Barry. Will check out your website.

You've identified an inherent problem with internet research - authenticty of information.

3:17 PM  

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