Now Little Italy and Lagoon Restaurants have small boards on the streets, which are quite effective and very similar to advertising medium of 25 years ago. Let's take a close look at advertising in the 50's and 60's and see if they were effective.
Funerals: These were very special. A funeral occurred once in a blue moon, perhaps one every 3 or 4 years. For this occasion a very formal invitation would be written and a friend would circulate this invitation from house to house announcing the wake and time of the funeral. Mr. Averiano Rivero, known to all his friends as Don Tach, was an avid volunteer to carry the invitation to all the families, some 50 homes approximately.
Dances: These were advertised in two categories. Very special dances like Christmas and New Year were done in the formal way, with a written invitation carried from door to door or sometimes one would have the patience to write by hand 40 to 50 invitations and distribute them to all the homes. On the other hand, a dance was also advertised with a message written on a 4x4 blackboard and three persons carried the blackboard around the village. Two persons carried the blackboard and the third person rang a bell as they paraded down the 2 streets, which consisted only of 5 blocks from the Primary School corner to Hotel San Pedrano, and Back Street was from Palace Casino to Mickey's Store. There were no houses beyond these points.
Religious Events: Processions, Novenas (nine nights of prayer sessions dedicated to a particular saint) and other special church events were advertised with the blackboard method.
Fairs: These also used the blackboard method. San Pedro High was the first to introduce the banner method for a fair in 1973.
The Public Park Bulletin Board. Another very effective method of advertising or making announcements was via the blackboard which was permanently displayed under a small wooden palapa at the park. It was right by the fence of the police station, in the park, and on Sundays the police officer would play music via a small speaker hooked up under the palapa. All public announcements were written there announcing the government nurses coming with their purge or "purga", or the spraying against mosquitoes, or the showing of a film documentary on health or the United Nations etc. Other events occurring around the village could also be announced at the public park. Would be great to have one there today, ain't it?
Now read carefully. BEL and BTL and all the rest of L's can learn from this one. They all announce a payment date as a deadline or be disconnected or put out of service. How did shopkeepers make public that they wanted to collect arrears or bad debts. Don't laugh, but they wrote a notice with the names of the bad debts and placed it at the front door. A typical notice would read like this:
Malas PagasSo what do you think? Could Lagoon Restaurant hire 2 kids to advertise its board around town? And could BTL paste a computer print out of all its bad debts right on its front door? Whatever you choose today, I tell you the methods used 25 years ago did work and very effectively, especially the "Malas Pagas" sign hung right on the shop door.
Antonio Mathe - desde Mayo, 1955 - $12.00
Ramon Nuņez- desde Julio, 1954 - $13.50
Jesus Gonzales - desde Novembre, 1955 - $9.75
Tienda - Melo Llevo