Monday, September 21, 2009

Ivar Haglund; Advertising Visionary

Ivar Haglund is one of those legendary Seattle figures, like Jimi Hendrix, Bill Gates, Squatch or Jim Kim. In 1938 he established Seattle's first aquarium at Pier 54, along with a fish-and-chips stand. In 1946 Ivar established the renowned "Acres of Clams" restaurant. By 1965, when he began lofting fireworks over Elliott Bay and called it "Fourth of Jul-Ivars" he had firmly cemented his place in Seattle's history.

Now, more than 24 years after he died at age 79, Ivar Haglund apparently has managed one more fantastic stunt. Underwater billboards that date to around 1954.

The billboards were made of stainless steel and are anchored 55 to 80 feet deep to the bottom of Puget Sound with solid concrete footings. The story is that back in the 50's Ivar took a peek into the future and the future was full of submarines. He sunk these billboards into the sound where he thought submarine traffic would be the heaviest and then apparently forgot all about the project.

Thankfully a researcher working on an Ivar Haglund Biography found the plans for these long lost underwater billboards and hired a dive team to dig up... ok, I can't do it anymore...

This is obviously an advertising hoax. But who cares? It's an awesome hoax. Check out the pictures of the divers pulling these signs out of the water. You tell me that's not awesome.

Or is it a hoax? I mean that's a pretty gnarly looking sign right there. Is it possible this lovable old coot thought he was getting ahead of the competition by advertising 10 leagues under the sea? Check out the mini-documentary over at the Ivar's website, and come to your own conclusion.




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