Sunday, November 15, 2009

Li'l Abner -- pitchman!

It's a testament to the popularity of Al Capp's comic strip, Li'l Abner, that clients must've been falling all over themselves to use Abner as pitchman for their products.  Have a look at the variety of ads shown here.  As always, click on the images for larger versions.

 Abner and family want us to buy Fruit of the Loom underwear -- Abner seems to prefer boxers, while the next generation is sporting briefs. 

Abner is knocking back Kraft caramels in this ad.  A previous blogpost on comic ads featured the Daisy Mae version of this advertisement.

Abner hawks laundry soap, while urging you to name this Shmoo!  Heck, I'll name a Shmoo for 20 grand!

Abner plugs the Bob Hope movie, That Certain Feeling -- which, not so coincidentally, features a cameo by Al Capp!

And now we come to the cream of the crop -- literally!  Cream of Wheat ran an ad campaign featuring Li'l Abner for over a decade -- from the early '40s into the '50s. The two full page ads directly below are not typical of the campaign.  Most of the ads were of the comic strip variety -- keep scrolling down to see three examples of those.

The first comic strip ad is an early one -- from 1941.  Early examples all have this "long shot" look to them, but it wasn't long before someone figured out the format allowed for a big top panel - and that panel could feature a big sexy shot of Daisy Mae (or Wolf Gal, on a few occasions) -- and the strips started looking more graphically pleasing (in more ways than one).   Ads usually ran in black and white or two color -- I've only seen a very few full color examples.  I have dozens of these -- and if you folks like them, I'll scan and post more -- just ask.

Alas, all good things come to an end.  After a decade of  selling their product with comic strips featuring a lunkheaded hillbilly and (more importantly) his gorgeous backwoods gal, Cream of Wheat retired the Li'l Abner campaign and brought in a rambunctious kid to pitch their cereal.  Here's Dennis the Menace taking Abner's place.  Dennis' mom is kinda cute -- but I must admit -- she's no Daisy Mae.
Now before anyone takes me to task for forgetting the Fearless Fosdick Wildroot Cream Oil ads -- I do have a few -- and will scan and post them soon.  In the meantime, please let me know if you'd like to see more of these comic strip ads!

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