I stumbled upon this old Rocket Richard television commercial today:
Great stuff! Of course, this reminded me of another product promotion involving Rocket Richard - Rocket 9 Tomato Soup.
Most people know about the infamous Rocket Richard Riot of 1955. NHL president Clarence Campbell suspended the Rocket for the remainder of the season and the playoffs for attacking the on ice official. The suspension cost the Rocket his only legitimate shot at the NHL scoring championship, and very possibly cost Montreal the Stanley Cup.
Needless to say Mr. Campbell was not a well liked man in Montreal, hence the riot. But in addition to the mayhem was a call for the boycotting of Campbell's Soup, even the NHL president had no ties to the legendary soup empire.
Some enterprising young Quebecker was quick to jump in on the soup void, creating Rocket 9 tomato soup, complete with the striking bleu, blanc et rouge labelling. This allowed for the soup boycott. People who did not want to buy Campbell's soup now had an alternative worth supporting.
As hard as it is to believe nowadays, that's just how seriously Montrealers took Rocket Richard back in the days of Quebec's Quiet Revolution.
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