Fictional cities of television commercials


Source: eBay.com

While writing this post, I’ve been trying to recall past examples of where imaginary cities were created as a part of a product’s television advertising campaign. Thus far, I have struck out – any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Yes, there are many depicted in television shows, movies, and books; but remembering and/or finding examples of fictional cities in specific television commercials is a little tougher.

The closest examples to date are City of Tomorrow that was displayed during the 1939 World’s Fair and Futurama displayed during the 1964 World’s Fair.

Meanwhile, today, there are two very clear examples of imaginary cities being regularly broadcast on television – Fansville and Peytonville. For those of you wondering about the new Bud Light Seltzer commercials, there is a real town of Seltzer in Pennsylvania.

FANSVILLE – Dr. Pepper

Fansville – Source: campaignlive.com

PEYTONVILLE – Nationwide Insurance

Peytonville – Source: legallysociable.com

It is interesting that both of these imaginary cities include the suffix of “ville” in their name. There are a couple of hypotheses for this coincidence:

  • “Ville” is a very common place name suffix in the Southern and Appalachian United States – Nashville, Asheville, Louisville, Jacksonville, Greenville, Knoxville, Hunstville, and many more. This region is where Dr. Pepper is very popular and it is also where Peyton Manning grew up (New Orleans). Throw in country singer Brad Paisley, who hails from West Virginia and the use of “ville” makes a lot of sense.
  • When trying to sell a product, most advertisers want to create a wholesome image that sticks in the customer’s mind. What better way to do just that than by creating a fictional wholesome and safe place where potential customers can escape to during their stressful lives.
This entry was posted in advertising, branding, cities, civics, commerce, consumerism, culture, entertainment, geography, history, marketing, place names, placemaking, planning, spatial design, technology, Television, toponymy, urban planning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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