Captain Cartoon's Greatest Cartoon Ad Campaign Sold New & Used Cars: Meet

super swede

ROCKFORD, IL — For 19 weeks in 1978, a new/used car dealership was said to be brimming with "record numbers of walk-in customers," all because of a weekly super hero newspaper cartoon advertisement featuring a caped car salesman!

It all began after local ad legend Terry R. Gossell approached the Captain with this unique, one-of-a-kind project, for a specific car dealer. Within days, VA-ROOM! "Super Swede" was born!

The title character represented "Swede" Clark, the dealership owner, who transformed into "Super Swede" by inserting a car key into his magic belt buckle.

Drawing on his comic book story-telling knowledge, Captain Cartoon plotted and wrote each strip — up to the last panel — where Ms Gossell added the all-important sales message.

The entertaining cartoon story, combined with those sales messages, worked, and Super Swede's newspaper comic was the talk of the town! Kids and families gravitated to the super hero, who was portrayed in real life by a 7-foot-tall costumed actor.

Billboards, T-shirts and TV/radio commercials were produced, launched and aired — all culled from the actual strip. A "circus atmosphere" prevailed during the entire ad campaign.

But there's even more to the story: "Super Swede" went on to be named "Best Newspaper Ad Campaign in 1978" by the Northern Illinois Ad Council.

Why did Super Swede work so well? "It stood out on a classified ad page, where it appeared in the local daily each week," says the Captain. "I intentionally focused on a good, entertaining story 'with payoff,' while Terry wrote the final ad message," he says.

"Super heroes are universally seen as "good guys," says the Captain. "Even today! They'll always be great tools for ad campaigns, because folks not only love them -- they trust them too."

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About the Captain

Captain Cartoon is an illustrator, cartoonist, caricature artist and entertainer serving Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Boca Raton and cities throughout South Florida

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An Illinois city used a Captain Cartoon comic book as part of its campaign to land the GM Saturn plant. It didn't get the plant, but it DID generate a ton of headlines around the country! The state's grateful department of commerce and community affairs also handed the city a $950,000 revolving jobs grant program. This effort was also featured in USA Today back in 1991.

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In print since 1986, the Captain's Gangbuster comic book is distributed by police and youth agencies around the country. Download the free comic book here.

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Putting his money where his mouth is, Captain Cartoon won an election with this comic book-style cover for his campaign literature.

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Captain Cartoon even has his own coloring book adventure! Download the free book here!

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NEW: Digitally-Drawn Comic Strips for Advertising

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A colorfully-creative and cost-effective way to generate attention for your theme, product or campaign without the need of an expensive set or photo-shoot! Written and drawn (totally produced) by Dick Kulpa.

web animation for advertisingComic Strip & Cartoon Ads Get Lots of Attention!


Bet THIS got your attention -- animated and drawn digitally for the web. Recognize that wide-bottomed chick? Minimal frame animations like these are relatively inexpensive to produce as compared to videos --- but boy do they get attention!

BELOW: Award-winning "Super Swede" comic strip appeared weekly in a daily newspaper's classified car ad section. He'd activate his powers by turning an ignition key inside his belt buckle saying..."VA-ROOM!" (See story at left click image below for clearer view.)
Super Swede won the prestigious NIAC award for Best Newspaper Ad Campaign, generating billboards, t-shirts, radio and television commercials. Afetr all, each strip also served as a story board. -- a side bonus!

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Check out the Captain's Greatest Comic Book Characters!

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Pete Rose animated
Performers, cameras, a director, art director and casting would cost a bundle were this little cartoon produced as a video commercial. Yet the message is the same. It also serves as a handy storyboard should a commercial actually be made.
A number of the Captain's strips have been turned into TV/Radio commercials. This particular strip appeared in the Pete Rose Ballpark Cafe restaurant's "newspaper flyer," also written and designed by the Captain -- with major input from savvy restaurant manager Dan Harvie.

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THESE really get attention! Drawn digitally.

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Ancillary Benefits from Cartoon Campaigns

Characters created for comic strip advertising can be used in a variety of colorful ways! T-shirts, signs, circulars, billboards, TV ads and more can be generated through the imagery from these strips. Who knows, you could be the owner of the next 'Joe Camel' — well, better yet, 'Tony the Tiger!'

Want to know more? Contact the Captain!

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