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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Non-public backup directories and photos - don't DELETE - you will lose the good photos and directories too! >> Old Advertisements 12/18/07 >> TEMP - DELETE when you figure it out right >> Old National and Miami Area ADVERTISEMENTS - All Years - click on image to view >> Old National Advertisements > Old Coppertone sun tan lotion advertisement
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1950's and 60's Original Artist: Pete Porter

Old Coppertone sun tan lotion advertisement

Miami, Florida

Thank you to George Young for contributing this great old image. There used to be a traffic circle on Biscayne Boulevard just to the south of the Sears Tower and Coppertone had a large elevated billboard with this image on it. The bathing suit bottom and dog were motorized so the bottom and dog would move up and down and was visible to all traffic going southbound on Biscayne and around the traffic circle. More people remember the Coppertone billboard at the Golden Glades interchange that was just south of the NW 167th Street exit.

For the record, I believe that Robyn Porter from the Palm Springs section of Hialeah, Florida, was the original model for Coppertone from 1953/54 through 1959 when a very similar ad was recreated in 1959 using a different artist and model. Robyn's father Pete Porter was an artist for the Tally Embry ad agency that received the contract from Coppertone to create the ad and Pete used his daughter Robyn as his model. There is more discussion and comments from people about this matter in the comments section at:

Robyn Porter - Original Coppertone model

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Sue 11-May-2017 02:12
A friend of mine, Margie, was their neighbor and friend years ago. She is hunting for them now. Her father Pete Porter took the original photo of Robyn and her dog.
Don Boyd14-Aug-2016 05:53
Guest, thank you for the news about Tommy Thompson's death and funeral service. This Miami Herald article was written about him and his career and further cements my opinion that Robyn Porter was indeed the original model since Tommy's daughter was too young at the time. Pete Porter is mentioned as being the artist for the final ad:

Guest 11-Aug-2016 16:22
I just came from Tommy Thompson's funeral service. He was 91. WWII veteran. Great man with a wonderful family.
Don Boyd17-Mar-2016 18:14
Burl! It's great to hear from you again after so many years. I'm glad to hear that you're still alive and kicking. Thank you for posting. I sent you an e-mail to your e-mail address but if that's a fictitious address send me an e-mail to: Thanks!

burl grey 16-Mar-2016 23:09
This is march of 2016 and my Dad designed and built the animation for Webster Outdoor Adv. Company and I painted several of these signs. Amusingly, I'll be 92 next month.
Rencontre moto04-Jun-2015 09:20
More beautiful photos like that please:)
coffre fort23-May-2015 18:12
More beautiful photos like that please:)
Guest 04-Feb-2015 17:19
Thank you Laura...Tommy Thompson now 90 years old never gets credit for this...Robyn Porter came after Tommy Thompson's daughter
Lara 04-Feb-2014 21:52
I am so glad to see Tommy Thompson get credit for this iconic ad! He was the Art Director for Talley Embry Art and is the artist who originally came up with the concept and sketched it first of his daughter. He worked for my father years later and never got the credit he deserved for creating this ad.
Pat Gunning 08-Jul-2013 13:55
I went to school with Robyn in the 60s in Hialeah, Florida and I heard the same story from her... At that time she had nothing to gain by telling it so there is no reason to believe otherwise...
Don Boyd07-Jun-2013 05:33
Thank you for posting that, Curtis. I need all the backup I can get to support my opinion that Robyn was the original Coppertone model.

Curtis 06-Jun-2013 21:06
I know that Robyn Porter was the original Coppertone Girl because I was married to her for a short while in the 80's. Her father, Pete Porter who lived in Hialeah, showed me the original drawing of Robyn and her dog that was used for the advertisement.
Curtis G.
Steve 29-Apr-2012 18:16
There use to be a late 1960's early 1970's Coppertone billboard in St.Petersburg Fla that was on the NW corner of 34St and 5 Ave No. It was located where the Taco Bell is now.
Guest 09-Apr-2012 00:02
My sister & I were in a contest for Coopertone. My mother, Gloria M Fecht was a
Model for Coronet Modeling Agency in Miami Beach. My sister & I also, did some work for Coronet . Modeling. They told us of this contest. My sister won but they decided to have someone make the picture into a drawing. We still have that original picture, from where the artist drawed by hand. They can give you all the right answers but we know the truth.
Don Boyd27-Aug-2011 02:17
Larry, I remember that building now that you mention it. Thanks!

Larry 25-Aug-2011 13:44
I recall an animated sign in which the dog pulled the shorts down. It was located on top of the Coppertone Building which was on the east side of LeJune Road at about NW 22nd Street. It was a low rectangular flat roofed building with the facade of the building covered with copper colored glass tiles from Italy. I believe it was built in the 1960s for administration and warehouse use.
Linda Parks 01-Jun-2011 23:53
There was actually a newpaper article published on January 10, 1971 outlining the story of the original coppertone ad. It begain in November 1953 when Tommy Thompson, then art director for Talley Embry Art Agency, who handled the Coppertone Account was asked to create an effecitve sales campaign. Thompson, with pencil in hand and two year old daughter Linda at home, drew the original layout and the Coppertone Cutie was born. Anxious to implement the project after approval from the executives, Thompson commissioned artist Peter Porter to complete a finished illustration. Coinciding with these events, the agency began a search for a young girl to model in the overall campaign as the copperton model for the ad. Kjell Falkey was the young girl chosen to do the live modeling for the ad Peter Porter, who was working on the finished ad thought Kjell was too pixie for the ad and used his daughter Chloe for action poses and skin tones for the original ad. The mysterious cutie is really a 3 in 1. I have a copy of this article
danny 11-Mar-2011 21:17
i remember there was one on flagler or very close near gvment center station
Don Boyd22-Jun-2009 04:21
And the beautiful Robyn Porter's sixth grade photo from DuPuis Elementary school in Hialeah is now up at:
Jeffrey Alman30-May-2009 10:38
I remember the motorized sign in the Golden Glades, that stopped moving sometime in the 70s I think, The billboard for milk was at 27th Ave and the highway, it was for Foremost milk, and it was above a Royal Castle. On the back side of Royal Castle was a Gulf station where we would get gas, ice and bait on the way to Crandon boat ramp for a day of fishing.
Don Boyd23-Feb-2009 04:35
I wish Robin Porter would someday visit the site and confirm that she was the original model for her father Pete Porter who worked for the Tally Embry ad agency as stated by folks in the comments at . Don
Terry 23-Feb-2009 01:47
The young girl on the billboard: her name is Robin, and the artist was her father.
She works for FKEC in Tavernier. And still adoreable....
Ann 08-Sep-2008 13:33
John, I remember growing up in Miami and hearing that Kjell was "the Coppertone Girl' too.
BetsyR07-Sep-2008 18:56
Another country heard from....
My husband, Dick Riebling, helped create the coppertone ad at Tally Embry Advertising Agency some time before Thanksgiving, 1953.
I am sure it was that year as he returned to Pittsburgh PA in November of 1953 to work at another company, where I was also employed.
The original bottles and ads had a profile of an Indian chief with the slogan "Don't Be A Paleface."
This image was politically incorrect, so the agency was challenged and came up with the little girl and the pup.
In 1959 Joyce Ballantyne Brand was commissioned to re-create the illustration - not "CREATE" it, as she and her daughter claim. There was a contest to find a new illustator since the original art work was lost in a fire.
Yet another child was supposedly the model - the daughter of the company owner.

"recreate" is the important word here. Not "create."
Don Boyd28-Jul-2008 19:39
Stingaree Fred Darwick states that the old Coppertone sign was moved from the Sears traffic circle to the side of the Parkleigh House about NE 6th or 7th ST facing north on Biscayne Boulevard. He also says that Dr. Paul George confirmed this today on WLRN's "Tropical Currents" radio show.
Jojo 24-Mar-2008 02:33
I lived in North Miami beach in the 60's & 70"s and I remember the motorized billboard on 163rd. Street (actually 167th st.) As a little kid I used to love that little girl, she was so cute. I think there was a lawsuit by a woman who sued Coppertone saying that the girl in the picture looked just like her daughter, I think Coppertone won the lawsuit.....Jojo
ana 16-Mar-2008 02:10
There used to be another sign just like that one on Miami Beach. This was located
between 22nd and 23rd Street and Collins Ave, There used to be a drug store
and the sign was on top,, Across the street was a Holiday Inn. Anyone remember?
RON LOFTIS 29-Oct-2007 16:00
Jeff 22-Aug-2007 04:07
Dave was thinking of the Foremost Dairy sign, located above the Royal Castle on Biscayne Blvd. (with the boy licking his lips). The Coppertone sign on what I believe was the Miami Colonial Hotel or the Everglades Hotel was NOT the animated billboard... it was a fixed sign that ws installed and maintained by Bengis Associates
(formerly Tropicalites).

What everyone else has overlooked was the "Dino the Dinosaur" animated sign above the Sinclair station on NE 4th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. "Dino" bobbed his head up and down...

Prior to my moving down here (around the time of the traffic circle aformentioned) was the Big Pabst Blue Ribbon sign on the top of the Singer Building (next to the Royal Castle on Biscayne). William Singer was the owner of Royal Castle...
Dave 27-Jul-2007 16:48
The original artist, Joyce Ballantyne Brand, created this iconic image using her daughter Cheri Irwin as the model. Cheri is presently employed as an aerobics instructor in Ocala, Florida. Later, Jodie Foster made her acting debut as the Coppertone girl in a television commercial, when she was 3 years old. All this info was from Wikipedia
John 17-Jul-2007 23:54
I seem to recall that one of the models for this ad was a Miami resident named Kjell Falkey. I learned that while living in Miami in the early 60's.
Ronman 27-Jun-2007 19:21
At The Golden Glades Interchange(The Cloverleaf) there was a motorized Coppertone sign with the dog pulling down the girls bottom. It was on the south side.
Guest 20-Jun-2007 19:47
Guest 14-Jun-2007 14:39
When we first came to Miami (1955), that billboard is the first thing I remember seeing.
Dave 01-Jun-2007 12:10
I think the sign was just before you got to the Everglades Hotel. I saw it millions of times as my dad was a sea captain on one of the cruise ships at the old seaport. There was also the MacArthur Dairy animated sign where the little boy had an animated tongue that licked his lips as he drank. I can't remember where that one stood, but I think it was South Dixie Highway.
Guest 24-May-2007 00:31
That coppertone animated sign was built by the company I worked for. Webster Outdoor advertising.
I actually repainted that sign myself one time.
I painted perhaps a dozen or more of that picture all around south Florida for that Company. In 1946 it was called Franklin Webster Outdoor but then the owner dropped the name Franklin.
Guest 19-May-2007 13:30
I seen that sign 6 days a week going to work
Guest 17-May-2007 13:54
There used to be a billboard similar to this back in the 1980's by the Golden Glades, where Mercedes Benz of Miami is now.