Adscape 1: Captain Tootsie vs Nature

Oh how I enjoy the advertising mascots of the past, with their one-page adventures and monomaniacal outlook on life ("Only Grape Nuts can effectively stop those robbers, Timmy!") and so: Adscape, a place to discuss ads of the past.

Today, the first of what will probably end up being five or six looks at former Tootsie Roll mascot Captain Tootsie, the man who knows that a brief sugar rush is just the thing for any emergency. Specifically, we'll be looking at the Captain's troubling relationship with the beasts of the forest.

Here we find Captain Tootsie in the woods with the group of young children that constituted his Secret Legion of minor crime-fighters. Suddenly, an old man dressed like an 1800s frontiersman bursts into their campsite and tells them that there's a killer bear on the loose. Shortly thereafter, there's a disturbance at the local girls' camp - turns  out that the bear has stolen some food. Captain Tootsie has a couple of Tootsie Rolls for quick energy and then:

Bear: gunned down. Candy: distributed. Mountain Man: impressed.

I'm all for respecting the opinions of the elderly and the marginally insane, but did this bear - this fleeing bear - just die because Coon Tail Charlie called it a killer? Because the bear only really gets up to two things in this ad, stealing food and growling, and I'm pretty sure that those are half of a bear's job description, along with swiping salmon out of streams and riding the occasional tiny motorcycle. I guess that it's somewhat possible that Charlie had a scrapbook full of mauling-related newspaper clippings with him, but as far as I can tell this is a case of the good Captain really wanting to hang a large animal from a tree.

Another day, another camping trip. Oops, a rattlesnake. What's a Captain to do?

That's right, it's the old rock-to-the-brain maneuver.I guess that I'm not condemning this as much as I do the wanton bear-slaughter above. Rattlesnakes plus children often ends in tears after all. Still, this is a bit of a troubling pattern that is emerging (especially taking into account Tootsie's ability to capture a similar snake using only a stick, seen in the latter part of the same ad).

What really cements my opinion that Cap Toots should just stick to the cities and leave the fauna alone is this next one:

Another day, another nature hike. Note that they have not seen a bear. They have found fresh tracks and Captain Tootsie doesn't have a gun. What to do? Rapidly retreat in the opposite direction?

Not a chance.

Yup, that's right. Captain Tootsie hates nature so much that when he found himself without a way to kill a bear, he went out of his way to make sure that it was deprived of its freedom. They spent hours on that pit, folks. They could have been two counties over if Cap hadn't insisted.

And he does it all while staying on-message.

Truly a complex and fascinating man, Captain Tootsie.

Here, by the way, are the original ads: 1 2 3