Monday, January 08, 2007

Comic Book Ad: Become almost invisible!

Fantatsic Four #29 ad
From Fantastic Four #29 (August 1964)

Here's what was going on in the world of 1964. Political events, cultural fears of the Red Menace and the escalation of events in Vietnam and China are very likely the the reason the advertisement featured what is clearly a Caucasian G.I. attacking an Asian soldier in what looks like the American Heartland. The ad is offensive in that it uses the often successful tactic of demonizing an entire group into being an enemy.

In using heroic and scare imagery to target kids who would have been exposed to the massive media and parental opinions of Communist China testing a nuclear bomb and escalation of hostilities in Vietnam the advertiser was shrewd. Being presumably less critical in their thinking than adults are supposed to be and because of their age usually do not assign a depth to their play scenarios beyond Good Guy vs. Bad Guy, children could be excused from responding favorably to the advertisement.

However, as this 2005 testosterone-soaked ad featuring an assault helicopter hovering over a Mosque reveals, advertising tactics have not appreciably evolved. The only things that have changed is the price of the toy and that the little boys playing soldier in 1964 are now the demographic in charge of this country.



  1. AT least with the cartoon ad, it's not really realistic and the enemy just kind of looks like a generic, somewhat cartoony, Asian commie.

    You'd think the makers of the Osprey would want to have the GI's drop down into something else. The mosque makes it an obvious Middle Eastern location and it may be an errand of mercy, like a medevac but the audience is left to determine that on their own. Many people seeing this could easily think "Yeehaw, go get them A-rabs!"

  2. I'd think the phrase 'unleashes hell' would be a clue that it isn't an errand of mercy.

  3. Oh yeah, I suppose you're right.

    Although from what I'v heard about the mechanical problems of the Osprey, perhaps the only ones who should be worried about having hell unleashed on them are the pilots and the guys sitting in the back...


Moderation enabled only because of trolling, racist, homophobic hate-mongers.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.