"Lifebuoy really stops B.O."
Lincoln, Me. (DG)---
There were many clever methods used in selling a product on the radio. One of the greatest advertising promotions of all time used a method that
intimidated the radio listeners. The result? The product in question was
the top selling brand for over a decade. Of course, the product was Lifebuoy
The main objective of the intimidation focused on the product's
arch-enemy, the infamous "B.O." (body odor). This nasty
adversary prevented people to achieve success, romance, and other pleasant
things that people do. To rid this problem, people took a daily bath with Lifebuoy. Whether or not people achieved success, romance, etc., they certainly had
a better chance without the human stink to go along with it.
While the subject matter was the same, there was a huge difference
between the Lifebuoy magazine ads and its radio counterpart. In the Lifebuoy magazine ads, B.O. was just that---- B.O.!
The message of B.O. just concerned the people who saw the ads. On the radio, B.O. was enhanced to scare the listeners. To do
this, 2 classic sound effects were created. First, a sinister sounding
foghorn was used, indicating a warning that B.O. was noticeable. Once the foghorn sounded, a nasty sounding "Beeeee-Ohhhhh!!!!!"
was heard. This sound effect was created with the help of a "Sonovox"
device. The device was placed at the throat of the person who was to say
the sound effect. Without actually saying it, the person would mouth the letters
B-O--- and a spooky sound came through to the radio microphone. The listeners
got the message loud and clear--- to use Lifebuoy for their
next bath or shower.
While there weren't mob scenes at grocery and department stores trying
to buy a cake of Lifebuoy, it became the top selling
bath soap. As for B.O., it was a part of our everyday
language. The people automatically know what it meant, and B.O. will
be forever associated with one of the greatest advertising promotions