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Spotted at Rapid City Regional Airport

Rapid City Airport rug

For a week of adventure in South Dakota – including visit to Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug and Deadwood – my trip begins at Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP).

In a gift shop stocked with lots of great regional items, I spotted these two gems:

Rapid City Airport buffalo chip

Rapid city AIrport stuffed animal

The airport welcomes passengers with some great vintage photos (more on that later in the week) and with the South Dakota’s first licensed homebuilt aircraft:

Rapid City Airport Mt. Rushmore photo

Rapid City Airport Triwing

Rapid City Airport Triwing sign

And, at the baggage claim carousel, this creative advertisement for casino gaming in Deadwood, which just added roulette, craps and Keno this past July.

Rapid City Airport carousel

Airline ads from the Mad Men era

Mohawk

The final season of Mad Men kicks off tonight and that gives us yet another excuse to look back at the real work done by advertising men and women on behalf of airlines during the glory days of the industry.

We get help from an impressive new book – in looks, size (it measures 12.2″ by 16.1″), weight (it tips the scales at over 14 pounds) and price (it will set you back $400, although the pre-order price is about $250) – that details the artwork of airline ads from the mid 1940s through the mid 1970s.

Air_France_Nr_196

Created by M. C. Hühne, Airline Visual Identity: 1945-1975 is a lushly printed and encyclopedic tour though the artwork and the advertising images that helped build airline brands.

Here are a few more samples of images in the book reproduced directly from the originals, with special care given to getting the colors and special effects just right.

American_Airlines_texas

TWA_Disney

Pan_Am_paris

(All images except Mohawk Airlines courtesy Airline Visual Identity 1945-1975)

Characters on parade at SFO Airport

Baby boomer alert: Tony the Tiger, Charlie the Tuna, Pillsbury’s Poppin’ Fresh Doughboy and more than 300 other advertising mascots are on display at San Francisco International Airport.

SFO MASCOTS

The collection is offered by the SFO Museum and is on loan from San Francisco-based author, consultant and pop culture historian Warren Dotz. On view: advertising, promotional items and other nostalgia-inducing items for the baby boomer generation.

Here are some samples:

Presented by SFO Museum

sfo snap

Presented by SFO Museum

A World of Characters: Advertising Icons from the Warren Dotz Collection is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport through January 4, 2015.

Presented by SFO Museum

Travel Tidbits: guns, billboards and ugly sweaters

Guns at airports

PIT Firearm

Courtesy TSA

The TSA’s Week in Review is always a fascinating and somewhat frightening read.

In the latest issue, for example, we learned that 28 firearms were found at airport checkpoints nationwide this week – a tally that is not that unusual.

Of those 28 firearms, 25 were loaded and eight had rounds chambered. And among the loaded firearms was one discovered strapped to the ankle of a passenger at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT).

I wonder if that passenger gave the excuse most people do when found with firearms at airports: “Oops, I forgot that was there.”

British Airways billboards: how do they do that?



British Airways
is rolling out video billboards that show children pointing to the sky whenever a British Airlines plane flies by. The airline says there’s some sort of “digital “wizardry” involved that allows the billboards to “know” the flight number and city a plane is arriving from and display it on the screen.

The first billboard was installed in Chiswick, a suburb west of London. Bustling Picadilly Circus gets one as well.

Ugly Sweaters

And if you’re headed to Portland, Oregon this season – perhaps to the presentation about my new book Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can’t or Won’t Show You on December 6 at St. Johns Booksellers -then keep an eye out for downtown sculptures that will be “yarn bombed” by local fiber artists.

Portland ugly sweater

More than a dozen statues are scheduled to get yarn bombed this season as the city goes a little knit-crazy with sweater -themed events and ugly sweater promotions at several hotels.

At the Mark Spencer, for example, any guest wearing an ugly sweater at check-in will automatically receive a free room upgrade. And at the Heathman Hotel, ugly sweaters will be issued to all dogs checking in with their people.

More details about visiting Portland here.

Roaming Gnome vs Charlie the Tuna & others

When a deal between Expedia and Travelocity was announced a few weeks back I worried about what would happen to the Roaming Gnome.

gnome

In an interview shortly after the deal was made, Travelocity CEO Carl Sparks told me the gnome would definitely be sticking around.

But, as we all know, bosses make promises they don’t always keep.

So the Roaming Gnome is likely looking for ways to spice up his resume.

One way he may do that is by winning a spot on the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame. Voting for this year’s inductees is open till September 20th and the gnome’s competition includes the likes of Charlie the Tuna, the E-Trade Baby, Mr. Clean and Smokey Bear.

See the full list here and cast your vote.