A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 09, 2005
“Get Met. It Pays” (Metropolitan Life)
Metropolitan Life (or, Met Life) has been in New York City for about 130 years. Its most popular representation is the Met Life building at 200 Park Avenue (formerly the Pan Am building).

"Get Met. It Pays" is an advertising campaign that started in the mid-1980s using characters from the Peanuts comic strip. Snoopy still plugs the product, and it looks like those kids haven't aged a day!

http://www.metlife.com/Applications/Corporate/WPS/CDA/PageGenerator/0,1674,P266,00.html
The origins of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) go back to 1863, when a group of New York City businessmen raised $100,000 to found the National Union Life and Limb Insurance Company.

The new company insured Civil War sailors and soldiers against disabilities due to wartime wounds, accidents, and sickness. In 1868, after several reorganizations and five difficult years, the company decided to focus on the life insurance business. A new company was chartered to sell "ordinary" insurance to the middle class. The founders chose the name because they had been most successful in New York City, or the "Metropolitan" District.

This new venture also faced difficulties. A severe business depression that began in the early 1870s rapidly put half of the 70 life insurance companies operating in New York State out of business. Only very large, long-established ordinary life insurance companies remained strong. Policy lapses over successive years forced the company to contract until it reached its lowest point in the late 1870s.

In 1879, MetLife President Joseph F. Knapp turned his attention to England, where "industrial" or "workingmen's" insurance programs were widely successful. American companies had not bothered to pursue industrial insurance up to that time because of the expense involved in building and sustaining an agency force to sell policies door to door and to make the weekly collection of five- or ten-cent premiums.

By importing English agents to train an American agency force, MetLife quickly transferred successful British methods for use in the United States. By 1880, the company was signing up 700 new industrial policies a day. Rapidly increasing volume quickly drove down distribution costs, and the new program proved immediately successful.

25 January 1985, New York Times, "Advertising: Peanuts Gang Helps An Insurer" by Philip H. Dougherty, section D:
Metropolitan Life, which has been adding to its services so frequently in the last decade that it has been difficult for its advertising to stay current, now thinks it has a campaign for the ages.

It stars Snoopy and the rest of Charles M. Schultz's Peanuts gang, who previously worked in adland only for kids' and pets' products.

The new Young & Rubicam campaign that will be a $20 million effort is the result of a year and a half of work on the part of three creative teams under George Watts, creative supervisor.

The theme is ''Get Met. It pays.'' And it replaces ''Metropolitan Really Stands By You,'' which followed such promises as ''Come to Metropolitan and Simplify Your Life,'' and ''Where the Future is Now.''

28 January 1985, American Banker, "Metropolitan Life Signs Up Snoopy for its Sales Force" by Philip T. Sudo, pg. 3:
Snoopy fans may cry "Good Grief!" But it's true: The dog of a thousand personas is now a salesman for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. He and the rest of the gang from the Peanuts comic strip -- Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus among them -- will soon be on the airwaves and magazine pages everywhere urging consumers to "Get Met. It Pays."

The campaign, developed by Young & Rubicam and unveiled at a press conference on Friday in New York, "underscores Metropolitan's aggressive new approach in marketing and communications," according to John Creedon, the firm's president and chief executive officer.

3 September 1992, The Associated Press, "Bye-Bye Pan Am, Hello Met Life":
NEW YORK (AP) - New York's skyline isn't changing, it's just getting rechristened.

The Pan Am Building, like the RCA Building before it, has been renamed by its corporate owners - drum roll, please - The MetLife Building!

MetLife bought the building in 1981 for $400 million.

P-A-N A-M, the familiar letters atop 200 Park Ave. since its 1963 debut, are coming down, with M-E-T L-I-F-E replacing them across the facade of the 808-foot, 59-story building.

(Trademark)
Word Mark GET MET. IT PAYS.
Goods and Services IC 036. US 101 102. G & S: PROVIDING UNDERWRITING AND ADMINISTRATION SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP LIFE, HEALTH, HOMEOWNERS, AND AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE, ANNUITIES, AND PENSION FUNDS; RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE LENDING SERVICES; REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES; INVESTMENT SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19851231. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19851231
IC 035. US 100 101. G & S: HEALTH CARE COST MANAGEMENT SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19851231. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19851231
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73719459
Filing Date March 24, 1988
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition June 27, 1989
Registration Number 1557174
Registration Date September 19, 1989
Owner (REGISTRANT) METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY CORPORATION NEW YORK ONE MADISON AVENUE NEW YORK NEW YORK 10010
Attorney of Record STANLEY A. SPIEGELMAN
Prior Registrations 1381773;1433231;1433232
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
Posted by Barry Popik
Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Monday, May 09, 2005 • Permalink