The Burma-Shave Story with Clinton B. Odell
Burma-Shave was a popular brand of brushless shaving cream, made famous by a brilliant advertising campaign that featured a series of witty rhyming poems appearing in a sequence of roadside signs that would entertain the motorist driving down the road.
In this episode of The Route 66 Podcast, Anthony Arno interviews Clinton B. Odell, grandson of the founder of Burma-Shave. This episode begins with over twenty Burma-Shave jingles professionally recorded to give the listener a brief background of some of the earliest jingles, the most humorous, those promoting road safety, and even those that were released during the war years to unite the country.
Mr. Odell talks about the creation of the Burma-Shave company, which was originally created as a liniment product for burn victims. When the founder switched products in 1925 to brushless shaving cream, he gave his son $200 to create a marketing campaign. The result was the Burma-Shave rhyming campaign.
Arlyss French, a grocery store owner in Wisconsin enlists the help of his customers to bring in empty Burma-Shave jars to send him to Mars as promised by the campaign. French did collect 900 jars and Burma-Shave sent him to Moers, Germany.