(I just read a lighthearted column in the paper about how this week is "the week that nothing happens." Speak for yourself, missy. The show goes on where I am, only with less people because of vacations, and more basketball scores to take over the phone. It should be the week that nothing happens. But it's not. ... Anyway, let's appreciate some cardboard. This is the 130th in a series):
Not a lot of time again today, so let's see if I can squeeze in some half-brained thoughts before I get interrupted.
This is the card to which I was referring in the previous post. It is about as obvious an advertisement for a product that I have ever seen on a baseball card. Advertisements on cards are a lot more common than they were 10, 20, 30 years ago. That's mostly because advertisements at ballparks are much, much, much more common than they once were. And, I think it's also because Topps now has little problem with showing ads on its cards. Although it's not like it has any choice.
But I've written about that all before. The aspect that I wanted to address is how ads featured in cards have become "cool." They've become cards that collectors think are the best in the set. They draw our focus (like any good advertisement or logo should) and we instantly consider them desirable cards. Colorful cards. Awesome card.
I'm one of those collectors. I have no idea who Rene Tosoni is. And I don't have any time to do any research to figure it out. But he is instantly memorable to me now because his card features the official beer of major league baseball. Look at all that red and gold and bubbles! Who wouldn't like that card? Other than a Budweiser competitor, I mean?
It didn't used to be this way. Companies like Topps would go out of their way to avoid advertisements in their photos. Movies and other media not related to advertising would do the same. Later, during the '80s, it became fun to point out the product placement in movies, because it was a new phenomenon.
It's not new anymore. One look at an auto race will tell you that.
I still don't know whether Topps is getting any kind of cash for showing ads in the background of its cards. I'd tend to think they were.
And if that's the case ...
Exactly how much did they get for this photo?
(Project '62, if you're still around, I've still got this card for you).