There’s no question that producer Hal Roach knew how to make a buck. The comedians of his studios were extremely popular with the public and Roach knew that there was a great deal of advertising value in them. Of course, taking advantage of his performers’ popularity doesn’t begin to approach the use and over-use of celebrities of the current age when it comes to advertising and merchandising…but you knew that.
What you may not know is that Hal Roach would periodically take photos of his stars endorsing products of the day and then submit them to their various companies to see if there was any advertising value in them.
Case in point: These three photos were taken by Roach Studios photographer Bud ‘Stax’ Graves and submitted to the Studebaker Sales Corporation to see if any could be used by the company. The Our Gang and Boy Friends photos were not (Major Tongo, celebrated movie canine got the part). The Laurel and Hardy shot with the 1932 Studebaker President’s Sedan was published in the May 1932 edition of The Wheel, a trade magazine published by the company.