Sears appliance circular does strange things to the Chicago skyline

It is not too unusual for cities to be misrepresented in movies or television shows but this takes place in other areas as well. A Sears advertising circular from Friday, September 9, takes some interesting liberties with the Chicago skyline. Take a look:

Perhaps this looks fairly standard: the Sears logo in the top left, a “big price drop” balloon coming down from the sky in the upper right corner, six appliances on sale, and then a picture of the Chicago skyline at the bottom. While this may be just pandering to this metropolitan region, it also hints at Sears’ history: the first Sears store opened in Chicago in 1925 and their headquarters are still in the region.

But if you look more closely at the skyline picture, two strange things pop up. The first: a green lawn. Here is a close-up of the bottom left of the circular:

This green view is pretty much impossible. To get a wide view of the skyline from this angle, one needs to be at the Adler Planetarium promontory. From there, one needs to stand either on a hill sloping down, meaning the lawn is difficult to get into the shot, or from the concrete steps or walkway that go around this point. Plus, the grass is pretty high here relative to the height of the buildings. So why include the grass? It would make some sense if the circular was advertising lawn mowers – but it is not. Perhaps the “big price drop” balloon needs a safe place to land. Or the circular needs a touch of pleasing green. Or a focus group suggested the green lawn invokes images of home life, the need for beautiful appliances, and the American Dream.

In addition to the strange grass, there is something odd going on at the right (east) side of the skyline. Here is a closer view:

Even looking closely at the circular, I have a hard time figuring out what is going on here. It appears to be a hill sloping up from the lake with some buildings on the hill. Why was this added to the picture? I really have no good idea – to fill up space?

Here is what the view of the Chicago skyline looks like from my own camera near Adler Planetarium, sans verdant lawn or black hill:

If this was the starting point for the Sears image, one could crop and play with it in such a way that the added blue from Lake Michigan could be removed but adding the lawn and hill is not necessary. It would still be a very nice and useful shot.

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