Radio Sponsor Adversaries
Tries To Share Its Misery
With Radio Listeners 


“Guard against ‘Throat Scratch!’”
Lincoln, Me. (DG)—

In other articles I have written, you noticed some products had adversaries who tried to make life miserable for anyone who was considered a human being.  If the radio commercials were to be believed, if someone didn’t use the product, he/she was guaranteed to suffer the consequences the adversary happily dished out.  It was the worst of all worlds if someone had the awful combination of “B.O.” and “Coffee Nerves.”  To avoid this double-whammy, that person should bathe with Lifebuoy Health Soap and drink Postum instead of coffee.

You might have noticed I selected “B.O.” and “Coffee Nerves.”  Not only were these 2 adversaries famous on the radio, I have already written about them in other articles.  Since I have already done this, you won’t be reading about them any further.  This article will focus on other famous adversaries heard over the airwaves. 

IpanaWe begin with the color pink.  As a rule, pink is a nice, cheery color.  Since it is nice and cheery, pink is a welcomed color for everything, right?  Sorry!  There was an exception where pink wasn’t a particularly pleasant sight to see.  This exception was also an adversary to take very seriously--- the infamous “Pink Tooth Brush.”

To set the record straight, Pink Tooth Brush doesn’t mean the color of the tooth brush handle.  It referred to the pink tinge on the bristles after a person brushed his/her teeth.  If pink was present after brushing, there was big trouble inside that person’s yap.  What that person had was tender, bleeding gums.  Unless something was done to solve this problem, that person had to hunt for false teeth in the Sears-Roebuck Catalog (just kidding). 

Luckily, Pink Tooth Brush was easily solved.  All it took was Ipana Tooth Paste and gentle massaging of the gums.  When the brushing and massage was completed, the teeth were a brilliant white, and the gums had a refreshing tingle.  These were all good signs, as the teeth and gums were making a strong comeback to health.  Not only did brushing every day with Ipana conquer Pink Tooth Brush, it also protected the teeth and gums from other unpleasant and disgusting oral ailments like Gingivitis, Pyorrhea, and Vincent’s Disease.  An Ipana Smile was both a beautiful smile and more importantly, a healthy smile.

Colds and flu were 2 very annoying adversaries--- and ones the radio sponsors didn’t necessarily conquer.  Since the only cure was to let them run their course, the best the products could do lessen its discomforts.  Despite this “no win” situation, a large number of radio sponsors were more than willing to do battle.  On the radio, the listeners heard  Vicks VapoRub, Hill’s Cold Tablets, Kriptin, Tabcin, Anahist, Bayer Aspirin, and Dreft participate in the fight against colds and flu. 

You should already know Dreft is a washday detergent, but you might be wondering why I mentioned it with the other cold relieving products.  No, Dreft didn’t exactly relieve the discomforts of colds and flu, but it did protect healthy family members by doing what it does best--- wash dishes “Healthfully Clean.”

During cold and flu season, Dreft aired some sobering and shocking commercials concerning washing dishes and health.  These commercials featured a grim reality on why soap products should not be used for washing dishes. 

After washing with soap, the dishes looked clean, but were they really clean?  In this case, appearances were very deceiving.  While the dishes looked clean to the human eye, there were breeding cold and flu germs on the glasses, dishes, and silverware just waiting for someone to catch them.  Although soap is associated with cleanliness, there was a health risk for every member of the family who ate or drank from (supposedly) clean dishes.  The source of the problem was the soapy layer on the surface of the dishwater.  When the dishes were submerged into the dishwater, they were actually free of germs for that moment.  Unfortunately, when it was time to rinse the dishes, they had to go through that soapy layer again--- with the cold or flu germs going along for the ride.  Even vigorous rinsing of the dishes didn’t get rid of the germs. 

A possible solution to this problem was to leave the dishes submerged in the dishwater for life.  They wouldn’t have a single germ on them, but since they were permanently submerged, they couldn’t be used in the future!  In about 30 years, the dishwater might be a little disgusting--- but the dishes were still free of cold and flu germs.  Not very practical, is it?  

The practical solution was to wash the dishes with Dreft.  Since it wasn’t soap, Dreft didn’t have that nasty soapy layer on top of the dishwater.  When the dishes were washed, they could be taken out of the dishwater without any germs clinging on.  In other words, what was clean and germ free under the dishwater was also clean and germ free out of the dishwater.  Washing dishes with Dreft helped to protect the family’s health.  If any family member was to catch a cold or flu, he/she had to do this elsewhere.  Sadly, it wasn’t very hard to do this!

Fels-NapthaThe term “tattle tale” wasn’t exactly a very nice name to associate with people who intentionally got a friend, acquaintance, family member, and even adversary in trouble.  It also wasn’t a very nice name for the laundry, either. 

Husbands immediately knew their wives were washing the laundry with inferior soap.  How did they know?  Their (supposedly) white shirts were an awful shade of “Tattle Tale Gray.”  When this happened, husbands weren’t bashful in letting their wives know about the error of their ways--- in a less than happy manner.  Although Tattle Tale Gray wasn’t the major reason for divorces back then, it sure did make life miserable. 

This dingy looking color was awful, but it could easily be dealt with.  Actually, there were 2 possible solutions for the wife.  First (and it’s an excellent thought), let hubby wash his own shirts.  Guaranteed, it prevented him from complaining further on this subject, but it didn’t exactly solve the overall problem of Tattle Tale Gray.  The practical solution was to wash the laundry with Fels-Naptha.  It didn’t matter if it was the original Fels-Naptha Soap Bar or Fels-Naptha Soap Chips--- as long as it said Fels-Naptha on the wrapper or box.  When Fels-Naptha was used, the white clothes were actually white.  That meant white shirts and happy husbands.  With Tattle Tale Gray an unpleasant, but distant memory, husbands and wives were getting along very well, thanks to Fels-Naptha.     

If “Cigarette Hangover” had an advantage over the hangover from drinking too much, the person didn’t suffer the ill effects the following morning.  However, Cigarette Hangover was anything but pleasant.  The cause of this unpleasant adversary was the smoking of a harsh cigarette.  Instead of giving its smokers pleasure, the harsh cigarette was really making his/her life miserable.  To begin, the taste was hot and bitter.  When the smoker finished the cigarette, his/her throat was sore and scratchy, and his/her nose was painfully sensitive.  With the exception of not smoking at all, the obvious solution of curing Cigarette Hangover was switching to Philip Morris.   Since harshness wasn’t in Philip Morris’ vocabulary, its smokers noticed a huge difference from the old brand they used to smoke.      

The makers of Pall Mall Famous Cigarettes introduced “Throat Scratch” in its radio commercials.  It was similar to Cigarette Hangover in its effects and for making life unpleasant.  Not only was Throat Scratch awful for cigarette smokers who suffered with it, the very name sounded awful to every radio listener who heard about it.  Like Cigarette Hangover, Throat Scratch was self-inflicted by smoking an inferior quality cigarette.  According to the Pall Mall radio commercials, it made a difference not only in the quality of tobacco used, but also the cigarette’s longer length.  This unbeatable combination gave its smokers pleasure, while gradually eliminating that awful Throat Scratch.

Glass WaxJust like colds and flu I mentioned earlier, dirt was an adversary all the cleaning products heard on the radio took on and conquered.  For most people, dirt is dirt --- there aren’t different variations of it.  Guess what?  The Gold Seal Company, the makers of Glass Wax, begs to differ.

According to the Glass Wax radio commercials, there were 30 different kinds of dirt.  Each type of dirt either laid on or stuck on all surfaces around the house.  Since there were 30 kinds of dirt, Glass Wax eliminated all of them in 30 seconds.  As Arthur Godfrey stated on his morning show, “Wipe it on!  Wipe it off!”  As quick as saying that, the dirt was gone and the surface was clean. 

Although the product said Glass Wax on the can, it was a versatile cleaner.  In addition to windows, Glass Wax cleaned away those 30 nasty forms of dirt from mirrors, silverware, metal, porcelain, metal lamps, and venetian blinds.  You name it--- Glass Wax cleaned it!   

We conclude with an adversary women could easily do without--- Dry, Lifeless, Middle Aged Skin.  Despite its name, this adversary did its dirty work with women of all ages.  Dry, Lifeless, Middle Aged Skin was the result of washing the face with soap.  Although the soap was mild to the complexion, it also had an uncanny ability to dry up the face.  Instead of a soft, smooth, and glowing complexion, it was dry, tight feeling, and rather blah.  The solution was to switch to Palmolive Soap.  Yes, Palmolive was a brand of soap, but it was also the only soap made with olive oil.  This bland olive oil combined with a gentle soap and washed away the dryness on the face.  The result was Palmolive’s famous “Schoolgirl Complexion Look.”  In other words, a soft, smooth, and younger looking complexion.  Women of all ages could have the same result by using Palmolive instead of the soap they were using.  

Although the product and the adversary were bitter enemies, they both had a common goal in selling the product on the air.  The adversaries were usually defeated, but they were winners as far as classic radio advertising was concerned.  For Pink Tooth Brush, Tattle Tale Gray, and the rest, they would happily settle for that.