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Using some popular superstition, stereotype or prejudice to your advantage.

This expression is used in marketing and stems from 1874 when industrialist Andrew Carnegie paid a circus to walk their elephant across his new bridge. Since there was a popular supersition that elephants will never cross unsafe structures, Carnegie used this popular belief to "prove" to public that his bridge is safe.

Fast food restaurants and stands selling Gyros often decorate themselves with Greek flag colors and Greek key patterns even though neither the owner nor the employees are of Greek origin.

Every pizzeria tries to give itself an Italian image/name/theme even if no employees nor the owner are of Italian origin.

Fortune cookies are used to advertise Chinese restaurants and served in them but are not of Chinese origin.
We photoshopped glasses on our model for the new software ad. It's Carnegie's elephant. Glasses give that "smart" look.
by anotherpasserby October 25, 2013
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