Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sex Sells Barbasol

Today there is a tendency for people to think that sexual overtones are not to be found in any advertisements found before the Sixties. Nothing could be further from the truth, as sex was used to sell products long before the Sexual Revolution of the Fifties and Sixties. Indeed, a perfect example is a series of advertisements for Barbasol that appeared in the Forties.

Barbasol was invented in 1919 by Frank Shields, a professor at MIT. It was revolutionary at the time as the first shaving cream that did not have to be worked into a lather. Barbasol proved to be very successful and remained one of the best selling shaving creams for years. In the Forties they started a campaign that utilised the slogan, "For best results: shave with Barbasol." The ads were always accompanied by pin up quality pictures of scantily clad women, along with verbiage describing how a smooth, Barbasol face will help one pick up women. The message for the ads was pretty blatant: if you want to win beautiful, shapely women, shave with Barbasol!

Anyhow, here are a few of the "For best results...," Barbasol ads from the Forties.

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