Colgate Introduces
First Soap Serial Sponsor,
First Daytime Serial Program


"Good morning, radio listeners.....

Clara, Lu, 'n Em, brought to you by the makers of Super Suds,
the only soap created especially for dishwashing.
Soap that dissolves instantly and completely.
Protecting the smooth, white loveliness of your hands."
 
                                                       --- Jean Paul King Soundbyte


Lincoln, Me.  (DG) --

Clara, Lu, 'EmProcter & Gamble was the dominant sponsor of the serial programs heard on network radio. The sponsorship of its soap products labeled this type of program the slang term "Soap Opera."  While the company became the dominant sponsor, it wasn't the first to have a soap product sponsor a serial.  That honor belonged to the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company.

On Tuesday, January 27, 1931, the first broadcast of CLARA, LU, 'n EM aired on NBC's Blue Network for Super SudsSoundbyteThere was no real story to this program, but there was a lot of gossip and chatter among 3 women who lived in a small town duplex.  The 3 ladies, Clara Roach, Lu Casey, and Emma Krueger, talked about anything and everything from their families to the high prices at the grocery store to politics.  Each episode concerned what was said among the 3 ladies--- and it made for some interesting listening. 

When the program debuted, it was on the air Tuesday-Saturday at 10:30 PM.  Since most serial programs of that time usually aired from 6 PM-8 PM, CLARA, LU, 'n EM was misplaced in its late night time slot.  Since Colgate-Palmolive-Peet thought the program was worth keeping on the air, it was necessary to move it to a new time.  On Monday, February 15, 1932, the serial was moved to new territory--- daytime radio.  Heard every weekday morning at 10:15 AM on NBC's Blue Network, CLARA, LU 'n EM made history as the first daytime serial on network radio.  Of course, Super Suds continued to sponsor the program.  In doing so, Super Suds was the first soap product to sponsor the first network daytime serial program.. 

If you noticed the enclosed ad, Clara, Lu, and Em didn't mind sharing their dishwashing experiences with Super Suds with the readers (who were also radio listeners).  During the early 1930's, Super Suds introduced a series of print ads starring the chatty trio.  It was a short story on how they informed their friends that Super Suds was the soap to use for dishwashing.

The Super Suds Clara was using in the ad wasn't the same product that was packaged in the blue box in later years.  This Super Suds, packaged in the bright red box, was a soap product that was made especially for dishwashing.  Unlike other soaps, Super Suds' hollow bead content dissolved completely in water.  Instead of leaving a disgusting mess on the bottom of the dishpan, Super Suds had an abundant amount of suds where the soap was needed the most.  From the first glass to the last frying pan, Super Suds was always ready to clean anything and everything in the dishpan.  

CLARA, LU, 'n EM was a successful alternative to the cooking and household hints programs that dominated the limited daytime schedule on network radio.  It was also the opening for other daytime serials--- including the debut of OXYDOL'S OWN MA PERKINS, the first daytime serial on network radio to be sponsored by a Procter & Gamble soap product!