Gambling on Advertising

Dell 1st Edition B142












The Maverick TV series, launched in 1957, was immensely popular. It starred James Gardner (in his first major role) and Jack Kelly as brothers Bret and Bart, and Roger Moore as British cousin Beau. The first editions of this Dell book hit the newsstands in 1959 with the back cover shown (top).


But the show had three major advertisers, and each sponsored the book ... resulting in SIX cover variants. 


The back cover and inside cover showing the Jeep variant are both courtesy of Tom Daniels.


The  Kaiser Aluminum cover, showing the price in a bubble and illustrated back cover advertisement, are courtesy of Ron Keesling.  This book also sometimes had a stiff paper advertisement for a local Kaiser distributor tipped in.


A variant of the Kaiser book had a blank back cover except for brief blurb at the bottom. Yet another Kaiser variant displayed the company's logo at the bottom (scan Courtesy of Tom Daniels).


A third sponsor was the Drackett Company, a Cleveland chemical manufacturer that produced such products as Windex, Vanish, Drano, Behold, Endust, Renuzit, and others. (Drackett eventually sold out to Bristol Myers, and then later became part of Johnson & Johnson.)


The Drackett back cover variant and inside back cover illustrations are also courtesy of Ron Keesling.