Selling Sunshine in the Sunshine State: A Colloquium by Prof. Anna Andrzejewski

This paper examines the marketing efforts of the Mackle Company of Miami, Florida, who became the largest seller of vacation and retirement homes nationwide by 1960. Beginning in the mid 1950s, Mackle Coming to Florida?reworked its marketing campaign – previously focused on local newspaper advertisements and gimmicky home shows – to one based on television and radio, national print media, and most significantly, a team of “branch offices” with local salesmen. Mackle’s campaign targeted particular groups in crowded cities in the Midwest and northeast, encouraging their would-be clients to use their newfound disposable income to buy into a vacation or retirement home in the “Sunshine State.”

Using evidence from advertisements and the Mackle family archives, this talk charts one company’s efforts as part of a broader shift in Florida’s homebuilding industry after World War II. In less than two decades, Florida transformed into a modern leisure landscape of vacation and retirement communities. Examining Mackle’s marketing efforts suggest the interconnections between consumption, advertising, and leisure during the postwar period and how their efforts and those of their competitors shaped the modern landscape of Florida.