As part of my “research” if you will, I’ve been buying up a lot of old magazines and books to look through. One of the neat oddities with many of these purchases is the random page you come across that has a nice square cut right out of it. There you are reading a good article, you turn the page, and then realize part of the article is gone. Several of my old personal magazines suffered the same fate though. So today’s post is in memory of those little cut out pieces of magazine, the “special introductory offer”.
It seemed most apparent around the early 1980’s, but long before there was an online presence or multitudes of specialty tackle shops, good old snail mail was the way you got things done. So if you were an advertiser wanting to get new product into some angler’s hands, you added an incentive into your magazine advertisement. It was the dashed cutout that you filled in and mailed direct to the manufacturer, and in return for some small bit of money, they’d send you a couple of the new lures to try in the hottest local colors, perhaps a patch and their newest catalog, and if you were really lucky, maybe even a hat or a T-shirt.
I’m guessing many a tacklebox was started or at least added to in this way, and it was a simple and fun endeavor that allowed you to try a new bait without much out of pocket expense. I myself filled my tackle boxes at the time with Knight’s Tube Worms, Strike King products of all sorts, Bomber Model ‘A’ and Long ‘A’s, and naturalized Rebel crankbaits to just name a few, all courtesy of the ‘special introductory offer.’ The bigger question is why did manufacturers stop this marketing tactic? With the advent of the Internet, mobile hand-held devices and social media, it would be easier than ever to have people sign up and wire you a few bucks via PayPal or some other such means in order to get your newest product. Perhaps it’s just my old nostalgia kicking in. Regardless, I do miss those low cost offers.
While I could fill a post up with hundreds of pics from most every manufacturer of note from the time period, I’ll just include a couple more pics of such offers that I snapped this morning from the pages of some 1980 Bassmaster back issues. I’m guessing I’m not the only angler who misses these once prolific pieces of marketing goodness.