Mark Twain part of 50 States/50 Statues project

The Mark Twain statue on Hannibal’s new riverfront sported a different look with a banana suit on Saturday, part of a “50 States/50 Statues” marketing campaign by sunscreen manufacturer Sun Bum.

STAFF REPORT

HANNIBAL — Mark Twain wasn’t wearing a disguise but may not have been recognizable at his post on the new Hannibal riverfront. The statue was wearing a banana suit Saturday to mark the start of Skin Cancer Awareness month.

In a one-day guerrilla marketing initiative, sunscreen brand Sun Bum outfitted 50 famous statues (one in each state) with a banana suit.

“We look at a banana as the ideal protection messaging,” marketing vice president Russell Radebaugh of Sun Bum said. “It’s covered from head to toe, just like you should be. And since we are not covered head to toe, we need to protect ourselves with things like SPF or shade or sunglasses or other sorts of clothing. So we’ve kind of adopted (the banana) as a metaphor for us to promote education without using scare tactics.”

Representatives from Sun Bum had banana suits to give out on Saturday, along with free giveaways to urge the use of sunscreen to stop skin cancer.

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