Wednesday, July 23, 2008

b.o. came between them

Vintage Ad #587: B.O. Came Between Them (A Drama in Five Acts)
Today, a dramatic presentation that combines tragedy, romance and humour in the name of selling soap. If only someone had forcibly impressed the message of this masterwork on my first roommate in university...

Thanks to Lifebuoy, "B.O." became a catchphrase in the 1940s. Radio ads used a foghorn-effect to emphasize the nasty stench of people who didn't use Lifebuoy. This quickly became a stock sound effect for comedians, frequently heard on Spike Jones records from the era.

It appears the young marrieds have greater problems to face than B.O. Notice how the groom is thinking the bride's thoughts in the last panel-does this mean he will be a domineering hubby? Perhaps the marriage will roll along in a stereotypical fashion for the era, with a few affairs in the mid-1950s chalked up to midlife crisis. In 1967, tiring of have all her thoughts devised by someone else, she spends an afternoon experimenting with the drugs her children have hidden in their luggage while visiting. Altered by the experience, she runs out the front door and joins a commune where nobody cares that she has stopped using Lifebuoy for the first time in 28 years.

Source: National Home Monthly, July 1939 

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