« Back

America’s Favorite Fitness Expert Re-Creates Famous Potato Sack Photo Immortalized by Marilyn Monroe Half Century Ago


1950s Pose Staged to Prove Actress Would "Look Good, Even in a Potato Sack!"


BOISE, ID, Feb. 11, 2005 – The familiar phrase “you’d look good even in a potato sack” originated from a stunt pulled off by 20th Century Fox in 1952:
Marilyn Monroe was under contract with the movie studio then and the studio wanted to showcase Monroe’s beauty and prove that she didn’t need to be dressed in gowns, furs and jewels to look good. The resulting photos – a series of shots of the beautiful 26 year old posing in heels and an Idaho Potato sack – are probably one of the most enduring photo sequences of the famous blonde.

Fast-forward fifty-two years later: To celebrate it’s affiliation with Denise Austin, the most well-recognized fitness expert in America, the Idaho Potato Commission decided to re-create the famous photo featuring Austin as a modern-day “role model.”

Denise Austin has served as the IPC’s health and fitness spokesperson for the past year and a half and she is a vocal supporter of the role of potatoes in a healthy lifestyle. Along with sponsoring her daily workout show on Lifetime Television Network, the IPC has partnered with Austin on numerous initiatives, including media events, television and radio tours and other strategic ventures.

The Marilyn-look alike photo will be integrated into the IPC’s ongoing marketing campaign to promote America’s favorite spud. For instance, life-sized blow-ups of the photo will be posted in supermarket produce aisles. In addition, the IPC’s sales force will incorporate the photo and news of other Denise Austin initatives into sales presentations — as testament to the willingness of the IPC to invest in credible high profile celebrities to promote the healthy potato.

“Denise is a wife, mother and fitness icon and we think she epitomizes how to take the necessary measures in life to ensure good health,” said Frank W. Muir, President, CEO, IPC. “She doesn’t just ‘talk the talk’ she ‘walks the walk’ too. Denise understands that a regular exercise routine and good eating habits are critical building blocks toward ensuring a healthy life. She also knows that complex carbohydrates, such as those found in Idaho Potatoes, fuel working muscles.”

The modern day Idaho Potato sack photo was shot in Los Angeles in August. Austin was in town to shoot the IPC’s newest television commercial, which stars Austin knocking anti-carb diets and touting complex carbohydrates, such as those found in Idaho Potatoes.

“A healthy diet is a matter of balance, so the idea of eliminating an entire major food group, like carbohydrates, just doesn’t hold up,” says Austin in the commercial, as she knocks down a replica of the food pyramid on the kitchen counter in front of her. “The fact is complex carbohydrates are a critical source of energy.”

Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don’t realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the “Grown In Idaho” seal. Both Idaho® Potatoes and the “Grown in Idaho®” seal are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 11th, 2005 at 2:13 pm and is filed under Consumer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Bookmark and Share