There’s that particular type of laundry commercial involving a single swatch of pale fabric, usually in the form of a youngster’s t-shirt, sullied by stains of every sort. The commercial showcases some magical preparation (Tide), which when applied to the sullied shirt, removes all traces of the stains, and leaves the swatch sparkling. Little Timmy will certainly be the hit of the Little League game now!
Before-and-after commercials are one of my very favorite forms, and strike a similar note as the “We’ve secretly replaced Jane’s fancy-pants coffee with Folgers crystals,” and Billy Mays’ booming about Oxy-Clean.
This proof is in the pudding type of advertisement is nothing new. In fact this great 1950s commercial for Dorothy Gray Salon (pronounced sa-LON) Cold Cream uses this approach, in a pretty peculiar way.
The commercial begins with Pack-a-Day-Margaret greeting “Busy You!” explaining that you’re in and out doors all day, and where on earth are you going to find the time to clean your face of all the dust and dirt and makeup that have stuck to your face? Well, you’re going to use Dorothy Gray Salon Cold Cream to clean it in a jiffy.
But, we don’t have to take the announcer lady’s word that Dorothy Gray Salon Cold Cream will do this for us. Instead, we’re introduced to a model, whom I’ll call Barb. Barb’s face is covered in dust that has been made “just radioactive enough to register on a Geiger counter.” Wait—what? Yep—you read that right, radioactive (but just). They covered poor Barb’s face in radioactive dust just to prove the merits of a silly old cold cream.
The Dorothy Gray Salon Cold Cream’s deradiationizing (?) capabilities are put up against “cleansing creams and complexion soaps,” and according to the announcer lady, “the Geiger counter proves that Dorothy Gray Salon Cold Cream cleanses up to 2 ½ times more thoroughly than any soap or other cleansing cream tested!” I guess this means that the Geiger counter beeped at a slower pace when Barb’s radioactive dust covered face was covered with a layer of Dorothy Gray Salon Cold Cream than other goop? Maybe it’s acting more as shielding, did you think of that announcer lady? And maybe we shouldn’t have purposely put radioactive dirt on a lady’s face? Call me crazy, but this seems like kind of a bad idea.
Disappointingly, we don’t get to see any of the actual “tests.” I was really hoping for some face-washing action here. All in all, I’d say they jumped on the radioactive bandwagon, without any real reason, other than trying to be one of the cool kids by somehow linking their dippy cold cream to something atomic.
Now if Dorothy Gray Salon Cold Cream contained some uranium, we’d really be on to something.