Monday, September 05, 2011

Don't Be A Wimp!

Comics advertisers knew that most comics buyers were young boys and adolescents, and they tailored their ads accordingly.  This particular ad would be appealing to kids who really didn't want to put in the effort to actually build their bodies.  Just think: No exercise at all!

Probably the most famous ad of this type was the Charles Atlas pitch:
If I recall correctly, there was a later, extended version of the ad that had Mac remarking ruefully that he noticed how his girlfriend had referred to the bully as "that man", while scornfully calling him "little boy".

Of course, in the all-too real world of childhood and adolescence, bullies were a regular problem, and so this fantasy presentation of getting even was quite powerful and, I suspect, effective.

Sports heroes were often used to push these body-building courses:

Although often the personal testimonial of a normal guy who had been turned into a hunk was favored:
Before and after pictures were often featured. I believe this one is probably my favorite:
They made sure to specify that you would be a hit with the gals if you followed the regimen:
Not to mention successful in "all sports":
Incidentally, the George Jowett books that were marketed using the last few ads are all available online here.


Whalehead King said...

Times change. The adds promised weight gain in the past. Not much need for that nowadays, though there are still bullies.

Mark Ginocchio said...

I miss seeing these kinds of ads as well as all of the cutouts and coupons for 3-D glasses, decoder pens and the like. You want evidence of print dying look no further... outside of candy, video games and 7-11 is anyone buying ad space in comics anymore?

Hube said...

Love that last pic! WTF is he doing -- kicking a field goal or doing jumping jacks? And totally diggin the classic leather helmet.