Saturday, August 20, 2022

Banners Day

BFF o'the Archive Jeff Shepherd auctioned off a couple of old Bazooka Point of Sale banners recently and while I didn't bid, thanks to the overflowing archives here, they were two things of beauty to be sure.

First up, for the Fall 1949 launch of the penny packs of Bazooka ("tabs" in the confectioner's parlance), Topps created a wonderful banner with the original Bazooka Joe shown, as he often was, blowing a bubble containing the pack.  Given the year and the fact there was a contest to win a pocket knife, it was most likely run by Sy Berger, who was in charge of such things back then.  10,000 knives was likely a number they knew would never be reached as 100 comics was a whole lotta gum packs.

Topps used these knives for premiums over many years and they resemble (or more likely, are) the ones used by the U.S. Military during the war and issued for many years after with bespoke nameplates; the Boy Scouts were one such organization that did that..  Berger had connections for surplus goods, so this all ties in nicely with what I know about such things.

The banner is a beauty:

Jumping forward ten years, 1959 brought a really colorful banner detailing the premium pennants Bazooka was pushing at the time (and for another ten years at least).  Five Bazooka wrappers was a much more manageable amount than the 100 required a decade earlier:

That September 15, 1959 deadline makes me think this banner debuted when the 1959 Major League season opened in April.  Why Blony didn't get more than a passing mention in the copy is beyond me,

Mail in offers were useful for Topps as they could do market research based upon the origins of the redemption requests.  With a product launch in 1949 and the two big league west coast team moves very recent in memory - and notions of expansion more than hot rumors in 1959 - these were both marketing and sales tools.

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