In 1971 one of the greatest commercials in the history of American commercial was released. The commercial was popularly referred to as “the crying Indian,” and lasted one minute. It shows a Native American man paddling down a river that is polluted with all kinds of junk. The river banks is also covered in smog, trash, and other forms pollution.
He then reaches his destination and decided to alight to the plastic infested shore. As he does so, a plastic full of thrash is thrown at his feet from a car window. It explodes to reveal the trash inside. The camera shifts to his cheerless face. A single tear can be seen rolling down his cheek.
This ad was meant to fight pollution and was quite successful; it even earned awards apart from reducing litter by over 88%. Advertisers believed that the man’s face had been seen over 14 billion times. This made him the most known Native American figure.
Hollywood profited greatly from the image of this an. This man however had a secret that few people ever got to know during that campaign. The man was not a Native America, he was in fact Italian.
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