By Cory Doctorow at 1:56 pm Wed, Nov 2, 2011
From the annals of poorly considered marketing campaigns, this ad for Schick razors, which touts the fact that the product is so gentle it was used to keep the horribly burned flesh of the survivors of the Hindenburg nice and smooth.
Great idea: get people to associate your product with hideous disasters, terrible loss of life, and third-degree burns.
Was good enough for Grandpap, it’s good enough for me. I use a Schick every time I’m nearly burned alive in a Nazi zeppelin crash.
“How much Better for a Normal Face!” …than a burninated one!
Oh, the huge Manatee!
When President Kennedy was killed, they knew they had a big mess on their hands. So where did they turn? Lysol, of course!
Oh, the close-shave-ity!
“So badly burned were they that there was a thick crust of tissue on their faces through which their beards grew”. How’s that for a second sentence in your product description?
I wonder what their take on “Lemon” would be? Close-ups of the mangled bodies in a car wreck?
“…many of the poor souls that survived the horrible vanguard duty during the run on the enemie’s trenches were left with gaping holes in their lower bodies, though. in a process of trial and error which cost many more lives, this ragged company eventually found out that our patented SWEET & SOUR SAUCE seems to slow the peristalsis, thereby….”
ack. could it be that irony is utterly wasted, here ?
Said one survivor who barely managed to dodge the falling wreckage: “Boy, that was a close shave!”
I’m going to disagree. Yes, it’d be a bad marketing idea by 21st century standards for being a bit too graphic, but how would it have played in the 1930s? Even now, we still see lots of ads trying to convince us that products used in hospitals must be good enough for us, different from this only because the graphic injury description is omitted. Or, is it really that far from Dawn detergent ads showing oil-soaked waterfowl from an environmental disaster (sufferer is animal instead of human), or Duracell ads showing emergency medical rescue responding to horrific accidents while using their product (with presumed injuries obscured)?
Good point. When I see that Duracell ad, I think to myself about the reliability those batteries must have to have to be chosen by professionals in that field. It’s almost an informal version of the “Dermatologist tested”-type stuff we see, and think to ourselves that if an expert approves of it, it’s better than the rest.
This angle is as close as a razor company can get, to this regard.
And, yes, pun intended.
Fact: All survivors of 9/11 used Burma Shave. Coincidence? Absolutely not.
A tasteless analogy, Lobster.
How does one make a tasteful analogy to a tasteless ad?
It’s not like anybody, anywhere has ever used the events of 9/11 for power or profit.
Here’s a fun one from the “case studies in the careers of ad school dropouts” bin:
Bad taste, good find.
Extraordinary conditions: men with broken right arms! Oh, the humanity!
All the survivors of the Vogon Constructor Fleet shave with Schick.
Nice reminder that this generation did not invent poor taste.
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