Intimidation Sells

Bath Soap

 "Lifebuoy really stops B.O." 


Lincoln, Me.  (DG)---

Lifebuoy Stops B.O.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 Health Soap.

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 ever.