Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sunoco dealers plan bombing of Northern Lights

So, yesterday I was skimming some old issues of The Beaver County Times* when I came across this ad:

Sunoco ad
advertising "bombing" of Northern Lights,
Beaver County Times, January 31, 1969

On February 1, 1969, Sunoco planned to "bomb" Northern Lights by dropping 3,000 Styrofoam balls from an airplane onto, I presume, the shopping center's parking lot, to draw attention to "The New Sunoco Antique Car Coin Game."

Nothing for kids to do except catch the balls--and try to scramble for the higher coin-value blue or yellow balls--and then nag their parents during the following week to take them to one of the listed Sunoco stations to redeem the balls they'd collected for New Sunoco Antique Car Coin Game coins. And maybe they'd win dinner with Romper Room's Miss Pat.

Because nothing says "Antique Car Coins" and "Dinner with Miss Pat!" from Romper Room like bombing a shopping center with Styrofoam balls.

Romper Room. So targeting pre-schoool age kids.

Young kids trying to catch balls.

3,000 Styrofoam balls.

Dropping from a plane.

In the Northern Lights parking lot.

What could go wrong?

I was away at college at the time, so I didn't know about this promotion until yesterday, but I assume that nothing awful happened since there was nothing about the "bombing gone wrong; what were they thinking?!" in the next issue of the Times.

I wonder how well a similar ad promoting a "bombing" of a shopping center would go over today. Even back then, the U.S. was in the increasingly unpopular Vietnam War, so perhaps a plan for a "bombing" via a plane was not the best image for promoting a game.

Does anyone remember the "bombing"?

*Yes, that's what my life has come down to recently, skimming old newspapers and surfing websites to find information for this blog.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love the Northern Lights "bombing"! I moved to Pittsburgh after college in 1968, so I don't remember anything about this, but I really enjoyed reading it!


    lynda guckert