Sunday, October 04, 2009

Ivar's Seafood Underwater Billboards

Ivar's Seafood ("Acres of Clams") was opened by Ivar Haglund in 1938 in Seattle. Ivar was an eccentric Seattle character and pulled many stunts to advertise his restaurant. The restaurant has since turned into a local chain and is still a well-known destination for Seattleites (we have taken many visitors there).

A historian recently discovered yet another stunt of Ivar's - underwater billboard advertising (the first of its kind!) - put in during the 1950s and then forgotten. The locations of the billboards were discovered in some of Ivar's old documents in his office and a diving excursion was initiated to go find them - and about half of them were there! At underwater locations all over Seattle, they were cemented into the ground and advertised great deals for underwater divers and submarine riders.

Apparently Ivar's dream was that submarines would become a major mode of transportation for Seattle area residents and he would be the first to catch their attention. Unfortunately, these billboards didn't catch anyone's attention until the map of their location was recently discovered by the historian. But as far as anyone knows they are the world's first example of underwater advertising so even though nobody ever noticed them they are getting some attention now.

Of course, the chain is using this as yet another eccentric stunt to advertise their restaurants. The entire story is on Ivar's website, as well as in local TV ads and the media. They are also advertising some of the deals that were offered on the billboards in the 1950s - you can really get 75 cent chowder for a limited time! Yum!


Uncle KT said...

That's a great story. I'm so not into seafood, but that would make me want to support that restaurant despite that!

Peggy said...

I would have LOVED to see an underwater advertisement. One sees so few of them at depth. :-)