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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Peoria, Illinois

Peoria brings to mind a couple of things for many people.  One is CATERPILLAR.  Another is "Test Market."

CAT's presence in and around Peoria is amazing.  Peoria is a city of about 115,000 with close to 400,000 in the metropolitan area.  Caterpillar employs around 15,000 in the area.  We noticed some of the largest manufacturing facilities that I have ever seen.  No matter where you go in the area, you find a Caterpillar sign.

In the 1950s and '60s Peoria was utilized my many companies as an ideal test market because of its demographics and media-isolation.  There was little bleed-over into Chicago and St. Louis from ads run on Peoria Television and in Peoria newspapers.

But besides these two interesting characteristics, I wanted a chance to see the giant woman.

Yes, Vanna Whitewall, the Uniroyal Gal!

She normally wears only a bikini, but when modesty dictates, (For instance when she is accused of causing a distracted-driving traffic accident) she is equipped with a snap-on skirt and blouse.  She was part of a Uniroyal advertising campaign in the 1960's and only a few remain.  This copy in Peoria is perhaps the best known.

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