The Sensation Of 1948
something new. The sensation of
It’s the new, the amazing Black Flag Super Insect Spray.”
Lincoln, Me. (DG)—
In my work on radio commercials and
radio advertising, I have found the majority of radio sponsors relatively easy
to write about. Unfortunately,
there are some products that are now embroiled in controversy long after
radio’s golden age ended. Although
these products are now controversial, they were popular radio sponsors during
the golden age. Since it is my job
to inform you of the radio sponsors and commercials during radio’s golden
age--- no matter how controversial they are now, these products will be included
with the others. I leave it up to
you if you want to continue reading this article.
When I say controversial, tobacco
products immediately come to mind. With
that thought, you might be surprised this article doesn’t concern any type of
tobacco product. It’s a product
that is totally different.
Since the dangers of this product
were made public, the people’s emotions were as strong as they have been with
today’s tobacco controversy. If
you’re wondering what this infamous product is, it’s a handy household
product that is still made and sold today--- although it’s made completely
different from what it use to be. During
radio’s golden age, this product (as it was made back then) was considered
safe to use. This product, you ask?
Why household insecticide is
considered controversial has to do with 2 of the era’s most effective bug
killers--- the infamous “D.D.T.” and “Chlordane.”
Although these 2 insecticides did its job in killing insect pests,
they were also considered dangerous to the environment--- and in D.D.T.’s
case, lethal to the population of the American Bald Eagle.
For their trouble, D.D.T. and Chlordane were eventually
banned from further use (for the record, D.D.T. was banned in
1973; Chlordane in 1988).
you know the bad side of D.D.T. and Chlordane, let’s go back to
the year 1948. Back then, D.D.T. and Chlordane were seen in a
completely different light. They
were the most effective and popular insecticides in the elimination of annoying
insect pests. Many bug killer
brands in 1948 included either insecticide in their respected formulas.
One such product, and the featured subject of this article, contained
both of them. At the time, it was a
revolutionary new brand of insecticide--- Black Flag Super Insect Spray.
Radio listeners heard announcer Ed
Fleming talk about this amazing insecticide on NBC’s FRONT PAGE FARRELL
serial program. Fleming referred to
Black Flag as “The Sensation of 1948.”
He also stated the product was the most effective insecticide ever
made for home use.
There was a reason why Black
Flag Super Insect Spray was more effective than other insecticides.
That reason was strength in numbers.
Instead of just one bug-killing ingredient, Black Flag Super Insect
Spray contained 5 different insecticides in one blue can.
They were Lethane, Pyrethrum, Piperonyl Butoxide, and of
course, D.D.T. and Chlordane.
In the commercial, Fleming stated that Chlordane was “the
newest insect killing agent.”
All by its lonesome, Chlordane was more effective in killing
crawling insects than any other insecticide--- including D.D.T.
Since Black Flag Super Insect
Spray contained 5 different insecticides, it did away with just about
any insect pest known to mankind. It
was sprayed with the handy Black Flag Sprayer both
in the air and on a surface, wherever the bug problem originated.
In a matter of seconds, insects within the immediate area were kicking
the bucket with astonishing speed. It
didn’t matter if the insects flew, crawled, or stood on their heads, Black
Flag Super Insect Spray was an equal opportunity bug killer.
It took great delight in killing them all.
If the insects thought Black
Flag Super Insect Spray wore off over a short period of time, they were
in for a little surprise. Once it
was sprayed, Black Flag kept on killing bugs.
For those insects entering a sprayed area long after it was originally
applied, they also met with their doom. With
dead insects all over the place, the people who used Black Flag Super
Insect Spray enjoyed the summer months free of insect pests.
However, they may need a broom and dustpan to clean up the dead bugs.
the commercial, Fleming stated Black Flag was made in 3 different
forms--- liquid, powder, and a new device known as the aerosol can.
Instead of mixing and/or pouring into the Black Flag Sprayer, Black
Flag in the aerosol can was ready to spray.
Fleming also mentioned Black Flag was safe to use---
provided it was used as directed on the can.
All Black Flag users had to use caution in the mixing,
pouring, and spraying of the insecticide.
grim realities of D.D.T. and Chlordane stirred up a hornet’s
nest long in the future. In the
meantime, the biting, stinging, flying, and crawling insects were finding life
difficult and very brief, thanks to Black Flag Super Insect Spray.
No other insecticide brand came close to its impressive track record of
killing insect pests.