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How The Red Carpet Came To Be

Aug 7, 2008
If you think about the red carpet, then you probably think of celebrities at movie premiers. That is usually the place where red carpets are seen. That wasn't the original intent though. These long, carpet runners actually had a long journey before they got to that elevated state.

The idea of putting a carpet out for important people to walk on probably started in medieval times. Because the roads were virtually non-existent, large puddles and pot holes were always present in the path of visiting dignitaries and royalty.

A carpet would be put down on the ground so that these important people would not have to drag their expensive clothing through the mud, or worse materials, which might be in the streets. This is basically the same idea as someone putting their coat down for a princess to walk on.

These practices carried on until the roads were substantial enough to negate the need for such practices. However, with the invention of the passenger railroad, came the resurgence of the idea of placing a carpet for passengers riding the trains.

The New York Central Railroad used to place a red carpet on the floor to direct passengers to their right compartments. It is believed that this was the start of placing a red carpet for important and famous people.

The use of the red carpet in today's society means more things than in older days. Royalty, celebrities and other VIPs still expect to have one of these carpets rolled out for them at social functions, but now there are more meanings to the expression.

The "red carpet treatment" means that something extra special is being done and many businesses use the term red carpet in their marketing ploys to increase the perceived value of their products and services. Businesses also use red carpets on the floors in their buildings to make their businesses seem more expensive and upscale.

Of course, sometimes this works and sometimes it backfires because so many companies are using this method of marketing. For the most part, if a red carpet is used in a place other than for important people to walk on, then it is seen as a poor marketing scheme.

So now you know how the red carpet came to be. It started with the beginning of the road, and has been around ever since. Now the idea of red carpets have dwindled to cheap marketing ploys, except when one is rolled out for VIPs. When used in this way, it is still a big deal. Learning about the story of the "red carpet" and how it has changed over the years is interesting.
About the Author
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