Saturday, July 09, 2011

Greatest Ad Ever?

This one's slightly outside my bailiwick, as it was published in 1954 on the inside front cover of Wings #123, the penultimate issue of that long-running Fiction House title. But it's just so delightfully goofy that I couldn't resist. For starters, let's consider that galloping fellow up top:

He certainly seems happy, but he also appears to be dashing full-tilt to make a train. I suppose the idea is that he's going on a vacation with his well-deserved prize winnings, but why didn't he get to the station on time?

And check out the gal down below:

She looks like she's ready to do anything for that fistful of tens. But all she has to do is solve some exceedingly simple rebuses:

Now, I'm guessing most of you know that Indiana is the Hoosier State, so you wouldn't even need to work out the puzzle. But it's easy to do that as well; SINK + DIAL + ONEA - SOLE - K = INDIANA. It's a breeze!

HAM + CHAIN + ET - HAT - CH = MAINE, which is indeed the Pine Tree State.

That fistful of tens is as good as yours, young lady!

One clear difference between those days and now; note the complete absence of disclaimers and fine print. Back in my younger days I would have been all over this kind of contest, certain that I was going to win the big bucks. Now I look at it with a skeptical eye and assume that either the actual puzzles are much harder than shown or that there would be so many correct entries (and purchases from the National Book Club) that the winners would end up being drawn from a hat.


Anonymous said...

The guy running for the train puts me in mind of O. J. Simpson in those old rental car ads. -- Jim

Michael Jones said...

My first thought was that he looks like Frank Gorshin.

Diane said...

I remember seeing a "consumer advocate" on the Johnny Carson show once (and if that dates me, oh well) talking about a puzzle contest like this. There were four pictures. You wrote the names in appropriate spaces where certain letters were circled, and if you correctly filled in the spaces you had the name of a "mystery object". The object was a pipe, and the last picture was a bed, giving you the 'e'. He decided it was a cot, so he identified the mystery picture as a 'pipo'. He was told that he had found the one, only, true answer to the puzzle. Just send $5 for the tie-breaker puzzle and he'd be on his way. I suspect this worked similarly.