Mar 24, 2013

SPEEDY ALKA-SELTZER and other retro ads

The Massachusetts Observer

Plop,plop. Fizz,fizz!

Posted: 23 Mar 2013 09:13 PM PDT

Advertisement slogans are catchy, and they are meant to be remembered.  I imagine most people would recognize the one that is the title of this blog post:

Yes, it's Alka Seltzer™, and the familiar product character is Speedy.  To those of us who grew up with Speedy, the jingle is quite unforgettable.

Old Time Radio

During radio's "golden age," it was common for sponsors of programs to put their products' names up front in the title of the show.  For instance, the announcer, Don Wilson, on one popular program would announce, "It's the Jello™ program starring Jack Benny."  Or you might hear something like "Texaco™ Star Theater brings you Milton Berle."

Sponsors in those days funded an entire show exclusively rather than simply buying time slots for advertising as is the practice now.  It was quite common for product commercials to be integrated right into the program.  The Johnson's Wax™ Program with Fibber McGee and Molly made it an art form with its product spokesman and announcer Harlow Wilcox whom Fibber often referred to as "Waxy."

In my view, better programming probably resulted when advertisers put their names out front.  Many tried and true products that had been a staple in the homes did this.  Alka Seltzer™ was no exception.

The show they sponsored was called Alka Seltzer™ Time.  It was truly a wonderful program and a delightful way to spend 15 musical minutes with the hosts Curt Massey and Martha Tilton.  This radio show from 1953 is an excellent example of the one-product sponsor.  It certainly must have worked too!  Alka Seltzercontinues to be a highly respected and popular product even today.


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