Saturday, August 30, 2008
Ingesting Lenin, or is Che the only revolutionary who can sell stuff?
Lenin didn't do well selling burgers:
1993, Dallas, TX:
The first sighting of an attempt to use a decommissioned cold-war era Lenin statue for marketing purposes here in the USA occurred in Dallas Texas in 1993. The owner of Goff's Burgers picked up his 800 pound Lenin trophy in Odessa, Ukraine, shipped it to Texas, slapped a plaque on it reading, "AMERICA WON" and waited for the cheesburger starved curiosity seekers. No word if they ever showed up but the statue was sold on Ebay two years later. Roadside America
Lenin has done better selling tacos, gellato ice cream,
and more recently boutique beer in Seattle:
1995, Seattle, WA:
In 1995 a 30 ton statue of Lenin, from Poprad, Czechoslovakia found it's way to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, WA where it stands today in a mini mall selling taco's and ice cream. It has been alternately decorated as a Christmas Tree, a clown and John Lennon. Most recently a likeness of the statue has been placed on bottles of a beer called "Red Menace" brewed by Seattle brewer Hale's Ales. Lenin may have found his market niche with this new advertising pitch: "'Red Menace Big Amber' is out to revolutionize the world of Amber ales... Taste one and you'll want to join the party". His visage has now penetrated even the aisles of Costco.
Caviar and Vodka, now we're talking:
2005, Atlantic City:
"And, as Ms. Jove discovered, in its new incarnation, Atlantic City is no longer just about gambling. High-end stores like Brooks Brothers, Burberry and Louis Vuitton have set up shop or plan to within the year. Restaurants like Red Square at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, complete with a 12-feet-tall statue of Lenin at the front door, serve $200 caviar appetizers and Kurobuta pork and give vodka drinkers a choice of more than 100 brands on a frozen bar."
New York Times
2005, Las Vegas:
"Mandalay Bay: The towering statue of Vladimir Lenin standing in front of Red Square, the casino's tony vodka-and-caviar lounge-restaurant, is missing a head that was lost, then found in a thrift-shop warehouse. The head now sits in the restaurant's vodka freezer in an acrylic block that serves as a table. The head of the statue, a replica of one in the real Red Square, was removed shortly after it was erected because of complaints that it lionized the father of international communism – and to mimic the fate of so many Lenin statues throughout Eastern Europe after the fall of communism. The head had been accidentally packed up with other items the casino was donating to the thrift shop; warehouse workers discovered it."
The San Diego Union Tribune
Conclusion: As long as you poke fun at him or cut off his head, old Lenin
statues can be used as "cigar store Indians" of luxury consumables in the Good 'Ole USA.
Posted by Doug at 11:21 AM