The City That Sold America


Saturday, Nov. 10 at 5:30pm

At the threshold of the 20th century, a melting pot of adventurous immigrants, creative mavericks, and freedom-seeking African Americans shaped consumerism as we now know it. “The City That Sold America” explores how Chicago introduced ground-breaking, behavior-changing ideas like fast-food chains, orange juice, soap operas, African-American beauty products, late-night talk shows, toothpaste, and Kleenex, and uncovers the origins of such beloved icons as Tony the Tiger, the Jolly Green Giant, Charlie Tuna, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Chicago’s centralized location and Midwestern approach helped expand the reach of advertisers, giving rise to the enduring practices of product placement, spokespeople, market research, and conscious branding. With access to a wealth of rare archives, “The City That Sold America” goes behind the scenes of Chicago’s advertising revolution and tells the untold stories of the creatives whose ingenuity and industry had the rest of the nation swooning to their rhythm.

69 min.

Directed by

Ky Dickens



Film Category

Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Women in Film Spotlight


With producer Mary Warlick.

Shown with

Hula Girl

Hula Girl

Amy Hill & Riess Hill

In the late 1950s, a newly minted American mother saw a bamboo hoop being used by friends in her native country of Australia, but she was denied credit for the Hula Hoop and the fad it started.

11 min.