Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Promotions in pink

As many of you will recall, decades ago D.C. Thomson always used to promote new comics and free gift issues by including four page A4 inserts in the centre pages of The Dandy and The Beano. (An idea also later used by IPC.) These inserts were printed in navy blue ink on pink paper so they always stood out. Their design was a masterclass in how to sell a comic, with dynamic layouts, exciting logos and announcements that were hand lettered to great effect.

Here's one of those inserts that would have appeared in either The Beano or The Dandy in September 1966. (I kept the ad but not the actual comic!) I can't remember if I bought The Hotspur that week. I didn't really follow that comic until 1969, but the advertised stories Test Pilot Z and The Black Hawk sound intriguing.

I understand that these four page inserts (often thrown away) are now more collectable than the issues they appeared in! I kept a stack of them for years then foolishly used them as firelighters ages ago! 
  

7 comments:

John Pitt said...

Do you know if anyone has listed them all anywhere on the internet?

Lew Stringer said...

Not that I know of, John. I think Ray Moore is the person most likely to have most if not all of them.

Irmantas said...

I’ve noticed that the centre pages of the Beano and the Dandy issues that came with pink flyers have a different, bluish colour palette than “normal” issues where the colours on the centre pages are as bright as those on front and back covers. This might be a good way to identify the issues that came with the inserts that often tend to be missing.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes the issues carrying the flyers had blue ink instead of black in the centre page strip. Those issues also had one or two less pages carrying red spot colour, with those pages being printed in black and white instead that week. I suppose it was Thomson's way of saving money due to the extra expense of the inserts.

Hibernia Comics said...

A tradition carried right up into the eighties as well.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, I may have some 1980s ones somewhere. It's a shame they dropped them, but I guess they were running out of comics to promote. I was always excited as a kid to see the edge of a pink supplement peeking out of the pages as it meant a new comic or free gifts. Then there was the anticipation of a few days until the advertised comic was in the shops. Great times to be reading comics.

Steve said...

I used to love the ads for free gifts back in the mid to late seventies comics. They certainly fired my imagination with their well designed quarter or half page panels. My most memorable set were for the launch of Cracker with the ‘Cracker Bang' and ‘Funny-Face-Maker' ads a particular stand-out and I stayed with the comic through it's whole run.

I'm surprised to learn that these flyers were used into the eighties because I just can't remember these at all during the late seventies and I was a regular reader of a clutch of DC Thompson titles. In the Beano, I seem to remember the free gift ads were frequently a quarter page panel on the Lord Snooty page.

Anyway, with today's mass of free gifts in seemingly every issue, I doubt (know!) it doesn't mean the same to kids of today unfortunately.

Steve.

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