10 Nov: Birth of the Big Things

Rerun. In the early days of advertising, tyre company Goodyear sent a giant tyre on a coast-to-coast publicity trip. It was photographed on 42nd Street, New York on 10th November, 1930.

Was this the birth of the ‘big things’ phenomenon that has lead us to roadside giant prawns, record-breaking sausages, and Instagrammable statues of Jeff Goldblum? Perhaps. We’ll go with it, anyway.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal how Goodyear’s publicity nous went beyond photo opportunities and into their very origin story; explain why press agent Harry Reichenbach once brought a lion into a New York hotel room; and discover how Australia’s love affair with the Big Banana, the Big Prawn and the Big Peg came to be… 

Further Reading:

• The photo that inspired this episode – 42nd Street, New York, 1930 (excerpted from ‘Curious Moments’, published by Konemann, 1999): https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FDv1k7TXsAILXh7?format=jpg&name=large

• ‘Most Ridiculous Ways Anyone Ever Promoted A Movie’ (Grunge, 2017): https://www.grunge.com/42153/ridiculous-ways-anyone-ever-promoted-movie/

• ‘The World: Australia’s BIG Things’ (PRX, 2011):

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