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Gorilla Marketing

Saturday, November 29th, 2008
Posted in Uncategorized by Joel Gross

Today, I’m going to talk about one of my earliest childhood lessons in the advertising field: gorilla marketing.‚  Literally, gorilla marketing… you thought I misspelled guerrilla marketing didn’t you?

Ivan the Gorilla lived for 27 years in the now shut down B & I Shopping Mall in Tacoma, WA.‚  I remember visiting the mall and watching Ivan the Gorilla in his enclosure.‚  The B & I Shopping Mall had brought Ivan in and kept him for 27 years in a concrete enclosure inside their retail area where people could watch him as they purchased goods.

Displaying Ivan the Gorilla was a smart marketing stunt- as a kid I loved to go visit him and watch the huge silverback amble around and look at the visitors.‚  Unfortunately, it was not such a great thing for Ivan and after being sued, Ivan the Gorilla was sent to a much better atmosphere at a zoo in Atlanta.

Below is a picture of Ivan the Gorilla in his original enclosure at the B&I Shopping Mall in Tacoma:

Ivan the Gorilla from Tacoma, WA

Ivan the Gorilla from Tacoma, WA

A more recent picture of Ivan the Gorilla in his new home at Zoo Atlanta:

Ivan the Gorilla in ZOO Atlanta

Ivan the Gorilla in ZOO Atlanta

I’m glad that Ivan the Gorilla has a happy retirement home in Zoo Atlanta after serving for 27 years as an unwilling retail salesman!

5 thoughts on “Gorilla Marketing

  1. sorry joel, i visited ivan a few months back. he is now in a much better place gorilla heaven. yes, he is dead. but the b&i will live on forever in the hearts of many! Grim

  2. The B&I is still open. And as far as i know they were never sued. A grouo called paws rallied for his release for over seven years. Finally they won the rally and Ivan was gifted to a zoo by the owner.

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