From the "only in Jersey" files…
Pathmark is a regional grocery chain in the NYC/NJ/Philly metro areas. They’ve been running an advertising campaign lately promoting their use of local produce. It features the words "Go Fresh. Go Local" imposed over what appears to be a produce crate. These ads have been appearing on TV and in the newspaper fliers. I think this is a great campaign. New Jersey is the "Garden State" after all, and our tomatoes are some of the best in the world! (I can’t wait for Jersey sweet corn to show up at the grocery markets later this summer!)
The problem is, most people don’t think of New Jersey being a place with farms like the image to the right from Hunterdon County. As mentioned in my recent post about this blog’s new theme, New Jersey is, unfortunately, often associated with its gritty industrial areas in the northeastern part of the state.
I know the marketing folks at Pathmark have the best of intentions in mind with their "Go Fresh. Go Local" campaign, but someone should refund them their money for this scene between Exits 12 & 13 on the Turnpike:
I noticed this billboard a couple of weeks ago while driving north on the Turnpike. It can be viewed as you travel north approaching the world famous gritty Exit 13. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony of an advertisement for local produce juxtaposed with power lines, billowing smoke stacks, and oil refineries. I’m sure the average non-Jersey passerby is probably thinking "Go local?! Uh… NOT!"
I don’t know why, but this billboard has been bugging me for a while. I’ve been wanting to get a picture of it to post here for a while now. I finally snapped this picture while heading to PodCampNYC over the weekend. The trees are green now which makes the photo lose some of its priceless-ness. (Those ARE the smoke stacks of an oil refinery in the background behind the trees.) But I thought you’d all enjoy anyway. The ironic juxtaposition shouldn’t be lost on anyone who passes the billboard in person though.
[Update 4-30-2008:] I totally forgot that I took a shot of the billboard a couple of weeks earlier using a Samsung Blackjack II smartphone from my car. After connecting the phone up to the computer to transfer the photo, I was surprised to discover that the picture came out pretty good! It’s taken from a wider angle, so you can clearly see the "beautiful" surroundings of the billboard. You can click the photo to zoom in to a larger view.