|RI-EDG64-182 Sign twirler Ray. (Photo credit: e_pics)|
|Statue of Liberty? (Photo credit: Theophilus Photography)|
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I'm curious how many jobs "created" in the last six years involve sign-waving or standing roadside in an embarrassing costume.
As you have undoubtly have, I have also seen the sign twirlers, placard holders, and costumed chararacters advertising tax preparation services, new housing developments, or what have you. Human advertising devices have been around for centuries. Strangely in our age of ever-increasing technology there seems to be more use of old fashioned advertising techniques.
In the decades before the 90's I don't recall seeing that much of this type of advertising. I'm sure it was out there. I probably wasn't paying that much attention or just didn't notice, but I don't think that there was as much sign carrying for the purpose of advertising as there is now.
When I was a kid back in the 50's and 60's I associated sandwich-board advertising (a person carrying two large advertising placards front and back) with the depression. I only saw it in old movies and cartoons. I can't recall ever seeing a person in my real life walking the streets wearing a sandwich-board.
After I moved to Los Angeles in 1991 I began seeing the human street advertising on an increasing basis as each year went by. Maybe it's the nature of advertising in car crazy L.A. It's one way of catching the attention of all the people who are on the streets. Sign twirling and crazy costumes usually gets a second look if not a prolonged stare from those drawn by the spectacle.
Maybe I'm just being more observant in the past few years, but lately I think I've seen more purveyors of street advertising than ever before. Often I can look out my back bedroom window and see them across the street. They're almost always on the corners of the major intersection nearest where I live. They seem to be just about everywhere I go.
Perhaps the increase in unemployment has flooded the market with more bodies willing to be human advertising devices. I'm not sure how many new sign twirler employment agencies have opened in recent years, but I'm sure those businesses have been experiencing a boom as they take the desperately unemployed off the streets to put them back on the streets.
I say desperately because to me one would have to be somewhat desperate to take a job of that nature. There are so many downsides I can see to that job. For one thing there's the bathroom issue. That might mean an increase in business in adult diapers. I hope not.
It's good to see the job market opening up and Americans going back to work. You can't outsource sign-twirling or street side waving dressed as an outlandish character. All of the Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam imitators advertising tax preparation services almost makes my heart swell up with patriotic pride. Well, maybe not quite, but it's exciting to see Americans going back to work .
Just another observation for whatever it's worth: Most of the sign wielding folks I've seen on the street corners of late are advertising clearance sales for stores going out of business. Make of that what you will.
Do you see wavers and sign-twirlers in the area where you live? Have you ever done a job like this or known someone else who has? Would you do a job like this for minimum wage?