Zen and the Art of Loveliness Maintenance

Woman's Weekly 1940 UK Ban-O-Dor

More fun with one of those weird tiny magazine ads, now up close and all too personal thanks to the wonders of digital editing (well, mine anyway, such as it is). I think I like the tiny ads best of all. They tend to veer into truly inspired levels of strangeness. They seem less self-conscious, no one is really looking too closely at the original. (Oh great, now she is anthropomorphizing the ads. Could it be time for a holiday?)

So here we have yet another ad for deodorant. Can’t miss the idea behind this, it is even called Ban-O-Dor. I get it. And she gets the creepy matinee-idol-wannabe who stands in his own personal Dark Shadows. This would not persuade me to use the stuff. Not if the end result was attracting this sort of guy.

The other things I like about this ad is the found-art aspect of the bottom right corner. You see, I found this magazine in a rather sad state, in the basement of my favorite secondhand bookstore (a wonderful, old-fashioned, rather messy bookstore basement) and it was all crunched up. As you see, another ad (for Onixol)has intruded and turned this into a retro Mad Lib - “Your foot can be famous/ In ask at any Dr. foot expert.”

All this can happen after I apply Ban-O-Dor cream. But I must apply it as if it was a lipstick (more puzzlement there). What does it all mean? Perhaps it is just a rumpled-retro Zen koan: “If you apply lipstick under your arms, will your feet be famous for following fresh and lovely romance?”

And if a tree falls in the forest, will someone make the paper for more weird ads out of it?

And finally - is the guy in the ad the “Dr. foot expert”? He does seem to be looking down at the ground, you know…

About these ads

7 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Loveliness Maintenance

  1. OMG, LOL! I just love these ads about what men “can’t stand” in a woman. Because of course we all just live to please our men and if we..gasp..sweated a bit they might not like us! Sheesh..I mean I’m all for deodorant but I’m pretty sure I do it for myself, not my SO. *rolling eyes*

  2. Rapunzle – I love these ads too. Lucky for us, there are so many!

    Tori – Yes, and she SHOULD be worried. He looks pretty weird to me – Zeppo Marx goes over to the Dark Side.

  3. Maybe he’s got a foot fetish LOL
    And as for the name “Ban – odor” it’s not very um…what’s the word…pretty or interesting, I don’t think it would be the sort of thing that a “lady” would buy, I mean who would want to repeat the name to a friend about what they use to keep fresh?
    Sounds like something my dh would put in his shoes to get rid of the smell.

  4. Amy stole my line! I’m telling Mom!!!

    By the looks of him, I’d say he was in a tragic, horrible fire.

    Ban-O-Dor sounds Scottish. It took a few moments for my mind to slip into the right gear when I first read the brand name, and then I wished it had stayed in Scotland. What an ill-conceived name.

  5. Amy – It IS a terrible name..Someone at the company must have been having an off year!

    Bill – Now then, you and Amy both always write terrific witty comments (you do indeed!) – and there’s plenty of wit to go around for everyone, isn’t there? Ban-O-Dor is the resort in Scotland that you don’t want to stay at – sort of the Motel 6 of castle-resorts.

  6. I totally agree with you regarding these teeny tiny magazine ads. It’s like – the smaller they were, the more they intrigued the woman. Like…whispering, rather than shouting. Imagine what it must have been like to work for the ad agency creating them. Horrors.

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