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How many ads does it take to get you to buy Toosie Rolls and Tootsie Pops? The world may never know.

August 8, 2013


Tootsie Rolls had some of the best comic book marketing going back in the day. Whether we’re talking about the crime-fighting, bear-killing adventures of Captain Tootsie or the Toot Sweet, these folks worked hard for your “excessively tough chocolate candy” dollar. And we’re not even getting into their Tootsie Pop/TV arm, which produced one of the more iconic commercials we’ve ever had. Apparently the Mad Men geniuses had the Tootsie account.

Occasionally in 1960s comics you see a multitude of Tootsie Roll ads crop up in one single comic book, often occupying the bottom third of a page. This was the case in the Lois Lane book discussed here a couple of days ago, which had not one, not two, but three ads. They aren’t that remarkable, but they deserve some brief comment. The first you can see at the top of this post, and it has that grandest of hooks: an optical illusion. And yes, it works just as well when you press your nose to a computer screen as it does when you press it to a printed page.

The second goes with the “other candy sux” angle:


Yes, “chewy chewy” Tootsie Rolls last a long time. That same rigid viscosity is also useful for ripping your teeth out by the roots, which is especially handy for children who still have baby teeth and are in desperate need of Tooth Fairy cash. Knowledge for life.

The last ad apparently shows a nascent stage magician and his pals cutting the old Gordian Knot and getting right to that chewy center:


The kid with the saw — is that his nose or his mouth? Forget the dot in the first ad, this is the real optical illusion.

There you have it. Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops: the one issue ad campaign. I just want to point out, in conclusion, that there were three ads here — three, just like the number of licks it took the owl to get the chewy center back in the day. Cosmic.

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