How did he do it?
In the 1920s, a new shaving product was born called Burma-Shave. It was different from other shaving creams because, now, men didn’t have to lather up some cream or soap with a brush and apply it to their faces for a shave. They simply used this new cream that came in a tube. But the product did not catch on. The company was in trouble.
Then along came Allan Odell with a brilliant marketing scheme. Allan revolutionized advertising by posting little signs along well-traveled highways with catchy advertising jingles on them. Each sign was only one piece of the jingle or poem, so each ad had five signs, like this:
Within this vale
Of toil and sin
Your head grows bald
But not your chin
The signs were posted at eye level and far enough apart so folks easily could read the whole jingle as they drove along. This form of advertising was very popular in the United States from the 1930s through the 1950s, when family cars were a new thing and the interstate system of higher-speed roads had not yet been built. “See the U. S. A. in your Chevrolet” is an advertising jingle that came out of that era of travel.
Now it’s your turn: Advertise some product you have in your house or one that you would like to buy. Write a short, rhyming poem, just like the Burma-Shave poem, to entice people to buy this product. Think about where you would like your ad to appear. Set it to music if you would like it to air on TV or the radio. (Note: If you have an animal for sale, now would be a good time to advertise it!)
To enjoy a fun High School Prompt on L. Frank Baum, click here.
Copyright © 2015 by Sharon Watson
Photo credit: Igor Mojzes / dollarphotoclub.com
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