Mexican War Grabs Their Attention
Smart marketing isn’t a recent innovation. Merchants were just as eager to get the customer’s attention 160 years ago as today. The top news story of that day was the Mexican War (1846-1848).
Local African American businessman William Goodridge used the interest in the war as the “hook” in the ad he ran in the Gazette during the winter of 1847-1848 to entice customers to check out his wares:
“1000 MEXICANS TAKEN.
Just now’s the time for girls and boys
To buy of Goodridge’s one cent toys.
A little chicken with a mans head,
Or troops of soldiers made of lead.
Come on, ye boys, and just see
The MEXICANS from Monterey;
Woman and men both made of candy,
So that a child can eat quite handy,
He’s also got small barking dogs,
And little boys a-riding frogs.
Prunes and raisins every day,
Just from the isle of Malaga.”