Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Comic Book Advertisements!

This week's ads come from Gold Key's Hanna-Barbera Fun-In #9, and it will start off looking like there's a theme!
First up is this ad for the Sales Leadership Club, which as you can see offers fabulous prizes, and all you have to do is sell their Christmas Cards door-to-door! Man, these kind of ads used to be in about every single comic book, so obviously some kids were responding to them, and were also successful enough that these companies could stay in business and keep paying for the ads. You'll note the rather prominent rocketship at the top of the ad... yet there is really nothing like a rocketship being offered as a prize!

Next, here's Olympic Sales Club's ad, which is pretty much the same kind of deal, you sell their cards, they give you prizes... or cash! I must say, it looks like Olympic had better prizes to win!

And now, the theme is broken! Here's a full-page ad for Hawaiian Punch (remember when their TV ads were near omnipresent, especially during children's programming? Pretty much followed the format of the strip on the top half). I'm not sure what they figured they'd accomplish with this ad, though... sure, they'd get the kids to talk mom into buying three containers of Hawaiian Punch in order to respond to the ad, but then they have to mail off the half dollar in return! I wonder if they were trying to figure out if there was a correlation between actual sales and what the kids preferred, or were merely generating a mailing list?

Now, the first three ads obviously are supposed to appeal to children, long considered the main comic book market... and then there's this one:
I think I've noted before that jewelers liked to advertise in comics, too -- especially Gold Key titles, for some reason -- targeting the military market. When I was in the Navy, I recall we once received a few boxes of comics (all relatively vintage), every one of which had a jewelry catalog originally bound into the center. I think that most of them were Gold Key books, but one of them was Wally Wood's Heroes, Inc. #1! Needless to say, since I had access to these, I snapped up all the Heroes, Inc.'s and later sold them when I was a civilian and selling at comic book shows. I figured that nobody else was likely to appreciate them as much as I would. Yeah, it was probably unethical, but you know, it was the '80s...

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