*NOTE: This review is going to be a CAPSULE review, which means it’ll be a tight, quick critique of the film as opposed to the more in-depth reviews I usually do.
On paper, a documentary about the history of Chicago advertising sounds rough. Half the people who read that first sentence probably fell asleep while reading it. But Ky Dickens latest documentary is a fascinating, compelling documentary and a small love-letter to the city of Chicago.
Ever wonder where the idea of the Marlboro Man came from? How about the idea of orange juice? These are just a couple of the topics covered in this quick-paced documentary. Dickens digs deep into the history of Chicago, showing the importance of the city throughout the 20th century, from being a national hub for trains, to the importance on the African-American community and their products. Watching the old school ads and seeing how product was advertised in the papers in the early half of the century are truly amazing.
Most people think of New York City and Time Square, or Los Angeles and Rodeo Drive when they think of advertising. But Dikens, born just outside of Chicago, made sure that her city got represented. The City the Sold America shows how important Chicago was, and still is, for advertising innovation.
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