Monday, August 27, 2012

Bazooka Blunder

Everybody is familiar with the classic red, white and blue Bazooka packaging, at least those of you out there in the zeitgeist that read this blog but did you know Topps originally had a different design for Bazooka?

Topps applied for their first Bazooka trademark in April of 1947 but it was radically different than what ended up on the retail wrappers a couple of months later:

This belies the tale that the gum was named for a nonsensical musical instrument played by Bob Burns. In fact, the brand name Bazooka was originally trademarked in 1937 by a firm called the Brock Candy Company and it was for candy, not gum.  Brock Candy was based in Chattanooga, Tennessee and considering Phil Shorin's familiarity with this city from his army days and Topps' acquisition of another Chattanooga candy company called Bennett-Hubbard in 1943, I don't think Topps actually coined the name.  I cannot trace how it ended up with Topps but suspect Bennett-Hubbard bought Brock before being acquired by Topps.

Why Topps would obscure the true origins of Bazooka can only be guessed at but the logo above fit in well with their business at the time, which relied upon sales to the military for both PX's and field ration kits as part of their marketing plan. It's possible this logo didn't test well or was just used for PX's originally. The classic red, white and blue Bazooka livery follows a Shorin family tradition of using that patriotic color scheme going back to the 1920's but it came first in camoflauge.

No comments: