Friday, October 13, 2006

The self-promotion of a marketing master

Paul Devlin on Ernest Hemingway and other famous literary self-promoters at Slate:

He was always showing up in some high-circulation magazine like Life with a big fish on the hook or hunting rifle in hand. His visage was (and is) immediately recognizable. And he had no problem letting that familiar visage appear in ads, for which he also wrote the copy. In one he promotes Ballantine Ale (while sitting in a deck chair with a book open) writing, "You have to work hard to deserve to drink it. When something has been taken out of you by strenuous exercise, Ballantine puts it back in." There's one for Pan American Airlines ("We started flying commercially about the same time. They did the flying. I was the passenger."), and another for Parker 51, "The World's Most Wanted Pen," to whose ad Hemingway lent his face and a paragraph (presumably in his handwriting) on the horrors of war.

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