Friday, July 27, 2012

Baseball In Advertising (134 Years Ago)

I think it's hilarious how companies feel the need to use baseball in their ads, as if baseball fans don't understand any English other than baseball terms. "This donut is great" means nothing to us, apparently, but "this donut is a HOME RUN" makes us lose control. I always imagine a boardroom with twenty people talking about their mustard ad going into the baseball scorebook: "Should we actually think about this, or should we just go with 'It's a Hit!' and be done with it?" And everybody raises their hand for the latter idea so they can move on. Sometimes they get a little more creative, but they should just tell us about their product and leave it at that. We do understand non-baseball English.

But if you think that idea is new, think again. I found this ad in the Providence Morning Star...from 1878!

I had to break it up into three parts to keep it at a readable size. And I have to say, they really fit in a lot of terms. I like how they worked it into a non-baseball sentence in a way that might actually be believable to a non-baseball fan. Even "home run" refers to an actual trip back home after work, as opposed to just "the ultimate thing you can get."

Also note how Boston was "the enemy" to Providence back then, as each city fielded a team in the National League. And, hey, Westminster and Dorrance! That's right near that bar where the girls stand outside in their underwear that we walk by when going from the outdoor movie back to our car.... I think it's the type of place where singles go out to score. GET IT?


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Location: Rhode Island, United States