Pitch perfect: Prize-winning slogans

In Preston Sturges’ classic comedy (did he make any other kind?) Christmas in July (1940), Dick Powell plays an average schmoe who is tricked by pals into thinking his entry in a coffee company’s slogan contest (“If you can’t sleep at night, it’s not the coffee—it’s the bunk”) is a winner, which would, in theory, garner him $25,000 in cash.

And then the comic mayhem ensues.

As we’ll see in this collection of prize-winning slogans from William Sunners’ 1949 effort, American Slogans, $25,000 was not your typical award for a prize-winning slogan in the 1930s and ’40s—not even close.

It’s interesting to see that a couple of products, Crisco and Cheerioats (the original name of the cereal we know as Cheerios), seemed to believe strongly in the idea of slogan contests. And public safety slogans, too, were apparently often created by members of the public looking for a prize.

This particular collection of slogans is a long one, so this week, we’ll share with you the slogans from A to D. More to come next week.

Abroad CHEERIO, at home, CHEERIOATS (won $25).
Abundance on a budget (won $50), Crisco.
Absence of accidents depends upon presence of mind (safety).
Ace of the eights (Marmon).
Accidents begin when caution ends.
Accidents don’t prove who is right, but who is left.
Add your name to America’s might (Defense Bonds).
Adds fame to a famous name (Schlitz Beer).
Adds pleasure to your life and life to your pleasure.
Admiration for being careful is better than sympathy after you are hurt ($15).
Advertising is the fertilizer in the Field of Commerce.
After all, they produce results (won Ford), Omaha World Herald classified ads.
After meals, try this suggestion: take Pep-O-Mints to aid digestion ($250).
After the wreck comes the reckoning.
Ale that fits the name of Schiltz, The.
Alert today, alive tomorrow ($500), L. I. newspaper safety contest.
Alive to the bottom bubble (sparkling water).
All out now or all in later (War Bonds).
All that the name implies ($250), Golden Cup Coffee.
All’s well. It’s a Chevrolet.
ALL-READY, the nation’s winning nourisher ($25), Cheerioats.
Although sugar is rationed, Freedom is sweet.
Always alert, nobody hurt.
Always in demand, always at hand (National Lumber Manufacturers).
Always Be Careful (ABC of safety).
Always pure and fresh with just-right creaminess.
America fights hardest when its hardest to fight.
America has never been licked, except by flames.
America is the light that will keep civilization from having a blackout.
America was “conceived in liberty” and we must guard her heritage ($25), Bonds.
America’s at war. Are you? ($25), War Bond drive.
America’s most popular “candy-date,” Cryst-O-Mint ($100).
America’s outstanding moulder off fascinating personality.
America’s Wash-Words ($1000), Rain Drops.
America, where it’s BONDS, not BONDAGE.
An adventure in breakfasts (Kellog’s Corn Flakes).
An army of kernels (Sperry Wheat Hearts).
An ounce of precaution saves tons of wreckage.
Arch Preserver Shoes give you more styleage, more mileage, more SMILEAGE.
Arrest Cancer, it’s wanted for murder (won $25,000 home), Damon Runyan Cancer Fund.
As we give so shall we live ($25), War Bond drive.
Ask the fellow who has been hurt, he knows (safety).
Asset test, The
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Pitch perfect: slogans from the British Empire, pt. 2

As our long march continues through the final few remaining categories of commercial slogans collected in Williams Sunners’ 1949 tome, American Slogans. This week, slogans beginning with the letters M through Z from the chapter entitled “Slogans from the British Empire.”

Machines that put the rings in springs, The (Universal Spring Coiler).
Machines that you will eventually buy (Alfa-Laval milker).
Made especially to prevent sore throats (Craven “A” cigarettes).
Magazine from farm and home, A (The Grain Growers Guide).
Makes your hair beautiful (Sta-Blond Shampoo).
Man who knows wears Drescott Clothes.
Mark that means that “little more” in quality, The (Johnson & Phillips cables).
Martin Winns again (M. Martin Winn Co.), Bolts.
Melt in every mouth (Mayfair), Toffees and chocolates.
Metal that never gets fired, The (Telcon metals).
Mighty insect destroyer, The (Secto DDT).
Mildest of all (Petite cigarettes).
Milk that is milk, The (S. Caulfield & Sons, Ltd.).
Millions use it (Simpson’s foot ointment).
Mine’s a Minor (De Reszke Minors), cigarettes.
Modern sanitary towel, The (Luna Inserts, Ltd).
Modern treatment for indigestion, The (Stomatex), powder and tablets.
More than a good soap (Lifebuoy).
More than a set, it’s a service (Ultra radio).
More than a shade better (Hartley shade headlamp mask).
Most Delicious (M & D Biscuits).

Name speaks for itself (Clarke’s blood mixture).
Name speaks for itself, The (Whiteway’s British wines).
Names that carries weight, The (Brockhouse Sprinklers, stokers).
Name to remember, The (Invecta radio).
Name to remember in dredging, The (Lobnitz dredges).
Name with a meaning, The (Kleen-e-eze brushes).
National beverage for health, The (Ovaltine).
National industry with an assured future, The (Mines).
Nation’s family cereal, The (Welgar), Shredded wheat.
Nature’s only rival (Callinan hair dresser).
Nature’s partner (Plesox), Stomach medicine.
Never say DIE, say Ardox (dies).
Newest in men’s watchbands, The (Estrades).
Next to myself I like Vedonis (underwear).
Niagara to the sea (Canada Steamship Lines, Ltd.).
No better food (Fry’s cocoa).
No boil, no toil (Brobat), non-poisonous disinfectant.
No pain or no pay (Shadforth tablets), Sciatica.
No problem can “floor” us (Great Metropolitan Flooring Co.).
No sooner VIM than done (cleaner).
Noble Scotch, A (whiskey), Train & McIntyre, Ltd.
Noble Scotch, gentle as a lamb, A (Old Angus).

Old favorite with the fine flavor, The (Mazawattee tea).
Old man’s brain in a young man’s body (Carlson), Wine cellar machiner.
Oldest purely fire office in he world, The (Sun Insurance Office).
100 years’ test, still is the best (Borwick’s), Baking powder.
One of Britain’s fine cars (Rover).
Only the choicest is good enough (C W. S. jam).
Original and the aristocrat of cocoa, The (Van Houten’s).
Original gin sling, The (Pimm’s No. 1).
Owned by the policy holders (Mutual Life Assurance of Canada).

Peer of the whiskey realm (House of Lords).
Perfect pen, The (Wyvern), Fountain pen.
Perfect spread, The (Sunny Spread).
Perfection in saddlery (Whippy Stegall & Co., Inc.).
Perfection of confections (Palm toffee).
Perfection of old Scotch (Teacher’s).
Perkins for particular people (H. Perkins & Sons, Ltd.).
Physicians remedy, The (Cephos headache tablets).
Pick of Canada’s burley tobacco, The (Picobac).
Pine disinfectant that smells good, The (Sanpic).
Pioneer farm journal of western Canada, The (Nor’ West Farmer).
Pioneers of scientific filtration (Vokes).
Playground of the air (Canadian Westinghouse Co., Ltd.).
Points the way to success (Vernon’s football pool).
Policies “good as gold” (London Life Insurance Co.).
Power in plenty (Wolseley engine).
Pram with the floating motion, The (Osnath).
Protection with profit (Great West Life Assurance Co.).
Protects profits (Trumeter).
PUBLIC and CIVIL service, A (Yates taverns).
Published to promote good farming and right living (Nor’ Wet Farmer), Canada.
Put wings on weight, fly your freight (Air India, Ltd.).
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Pitch perfect: slogans from the British Empire

As our long march continues through the final few remaining categories of commercial slogans collected in Williams Sunners’ 1949 tome, American Slogans. This week, slogans beginning with the letters A through L from the chapter entitled “Slogans from the British Empire.”

Above them a’ (Lang’s Scotch whiskey).
Abroad without crossing the seas (Montreal Tourist Bureau).
Adopt it now, adapt it later (Flowline conveyer system).
Afore ye go (Bell’s old Scotch whiskey).
All-purpose electric hammer, The (Kango).
All that’s best in coffee (Red White and Blue).
All work is eye work, eye work is my work (Burgham & Croydon), Opticians.
Always a good companion (Tata’s cologne).
Always the choice of connoisseurs (Adams 15 port).
American technology, British engineering (Head Wrightson processes).
Andrews for INNER cleanliness (liver salt).
Approved by a thousand million thirsts (Clayton’s fruit squashes).
As silent as the G in diaphragm (Saunders diaphragm valves).
Aspirin with a difference (Alasil).
Astonishingly good (soap), South African Oil & Fat Industries.
At any time of strain or pain Genasprin sees you through (aspirin).
At its old-time best (Curtis Gin).

Babies love it (Cow and Gate milk food).
Background to every lovely hair style (Eugene waver), Machine.
Be-fitting pride (B. B. Parkes pipe fittings).
Beer of superior quality, The (Castle).
Bell-dyed is well dyed (Bell dye works).
Best can never be surpassed, The (Clubland white post).
Best cement in the world used all over the world (Ciment Fondu).
Best company is the company that does the most good, The (Mutual Life Ins. Co.).
Best for you and baby, too (Albert Soaps Co.), Montreal.
Best in any measure, The (Grant whisky).
Best in the trade (Wright’s biscuits).
Best-known name in fire-protection, The (Pyrene Co.).
Best of taste, The (Poyner’s tea and coffee).
Best possible, The (Senior’s fish and meat pastes).
Best you can buy, sweet or dry, The (Vanour vermouth).
Better balanced bread, The (Hovis).
Better beer, The (Ansell’s).
Better methods, better marketing, better milk (Dairy Farmer), Magazine.
Bienvenue a’ Quebec (Canadian Pacific Steamship & RR Co.).
Born 1820, still going strong (Johnnie Walker whiskey).
Brand that puts flavor first, The (Del Monte fruits).
Breeder’s choice, The (Ful-O-Pep feeds).
Bright future (Science polish for shoes, floors, etc.).
Britain’s best-known makers of rope (British Ropes, Ltd.).
Britain’s best-known brassière (Kestos).
Britain’s leading oil journal (Petroleum Times).
Builders of better ships from every angle (Batram Sunderland).

Canada’s greatest newspaper (Montreal Daily Star).
Canada’s national air service (Trans-Canadian Air Lines).
Canada’s national farm journal (Family Herald & Weekly Star).
Canada’s national magazine (Maclean’s Magazine), Toronto.
Canada’s national newspaper (Toronto Globe).
Cares for your skin (lotion), Irish.
Centre of the world (Addenino’s), Hotel and restaurant.
Choice of champions, The (A. G. Spalding & Bros.).
Choice of the connoisseur, The (Gem cigarettes).
Cigarette of distinction, A (Embassy).
Cleans as it polishes (Karpol), Car polish.
ConfiDENTALly it’s Kolynos (dentrifice).
Constant in performance (Ford).
Cooler that does everything, The (Signet range).
Connoisseur’s favorite, The (Palomino & Vergara).
Connoisseur’s port, The (Clubland).
Correct-shape toothbrush, The (Wisdom).
Corset that fits like a glove, The (My Lady).
Count the stars who use them (A. J. Reach sports equipment).
Countless chins are comforted (Palmolive shaving cream).
Covers the country (Ratin Service), Exterminators.
Craftsmen in keeping things new (Langley’s, Ltd.).
Crawford’s biscuits are GOOD biscuits.
Creme de menthe with character, The (Vanryck).
CURRENT way of telling the time, The (Temco), Electric clocks.
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Pitch perfect: printed pearls, pt. 3

We’re continue our long march through the final few remaining categories of commercial slogans collected in Williams Sunners’ 1949 tome, American Slogans. Sunners entitled this week’s collection “Printed Pearls,” and he described them as follows: Pithy phrases picked from printed advertisements because they possess particular qualities such as alliteration, rhyme, contrast, comparison, repetition, lilt, or just plain good sales points.

This group’s an exceptionally long one, so we’ve viewed it in three installments. This week, Q-Z.

Quality beyond the call of duty (Nunn-Bush Shoes).
Quality in tires is the key to safety (U. S. Rubber).
Quality tells, economy sells (Red & White Food Stores).
Quality you can taste (Adhor Dairy).

Racy, embracy story of a gal who lived and yearned, The (movie)
Ralston’s puts the B-1 in breakfast (cereal).
Red and blue make white (Gilbert Paper).
Red by chance and READ by choice (Redbook Magazine).
Refresh! Rejoice! Remember! Pabst gets the call (Beer).
Refrigerator you hear about, but never HEAR (Electrolux).
Regal guy deserves a Regal tie, A (Regal Ties).
Regal scent to center attention on lovely you (Anita of Paris Perfume).
Repair ’em and wear ’em (O’Sullivan’s Heel and Soles).
Resilient as a reed (Wyler Incaflex shockproof watch).
Rest cure for tired faces, A (Yardley’s Cream).
Revive tired colors (Sanitone Cleaners).
Rhythmic as rain on the roof (Eleanor Powell), Dancer.
Rich perfection that only nature rivals, A (PM Whiskey).
Ride and know (Plymouth).
Ripe ‘n’ ready for smokin’ steady (Dr Grabow “pre-smoked” pipes).
Road proven by millions of motorists (Kendall Oil).

Safety for your daintiest garment (Missouri Dye Establishment).
San Francisco discovers a Golden GAIT (Chrysler).
Santa Fe all the way (railroad).
Satin-finish lipstick, petal-finish face powder, The (Tangee).
SAVE, from the bottom up (Cat’s Paw Rubber Heels).
Save to build, build to save.
Save to educate your child, educate your child to save (Savings Bank).
Save wandering and wondering. Give Walnut this Christmas (Walnut Tobacco).
Save yourself two rubs out of three (P & G Soap).
Scents-ible Christmas, A (perfume ad).
Scotch price that helps every budget, A.
Season’s eatings brings season’s greetings, The (Dole Pineapple).
Second-helping flavor.
SEE story of the year, The (Body by Fuller).
See twice as much for half as much (Southern Pacific).
See us at your earliest inconvenience (pawnbroker).
Seen in the smartest places where the smartest car belongs (Oldsmobile).
Send-off breakfast of flavor-packed whole wheat, The (Shredded Ralston).
Serve this feast for four in a thrifty jiffy (Armour’s Treet).
Serve up meat as a succulent stew, a robust roast or a glorious grill.
Service beneath the surface (Todd Shipyards).
Service to transportation is a service to the nation.
Service with a smile (Ford Trucks).
Set it—and forget it (Silex Coffeemaker).
Shapely as an hour-glass, slim as a cigarette (Taylor’s).
Shave the surface and you save all (Schick Shaver).
Shave of your life for the rest of your life, The (Eversharp Schick Razor).
She gave me BRIDE ideas (Kleenex).
She was beautiful in her sleep because her skin was wide awake (Woodbury’s).
Sheer make-up for sheer beauty (Houbigant).
Sheer veil of scented mist, A (Cheramy Perfume).
SHEET music to sing about (Pepperell Sheets).
Shine is the sign of a healthy, A (Shinola).
Shiny nose is a thorn in the heart of a charm, A (Primrose Powder).
Ships of the AIR can’t stop for REPAIR (Wolf’s Head Oil).
Shop early, and easily (Bell Telephone).
SHORT on work, LONG on flavor (Del Monte Fruits)
Short course in driving longer, A (Dow Chemical Co.).
Shorter days mean longer odds—against you (National Safety Council).
Shortest distance between two hearts, The (Indiscreet Perfume).
Shortest word for longest mileage, The (General Tire).
Silent as a Christmas candle (Electrolux).
Silex makes “Merry Christmas” last all year.
Silhouette smooth (Sitroux Hair Nets).
60,000 owners drove it to success (Mercury).
640 trips to the moon (Oldsmobile).
Sizzling is silly (Duo-Therm Cooling).
Sky-high style, down to earth comfort (Winthrop Shoes).
Sleep going to keep going (Pullman).
Sleep like a log, wake like a lark (Telechron Electric Blocks).
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Pitch perfect: printed pearls, pt. 2

We’re continuing our long march through the final few remaining categories of commercial slogans collected in Williams Sunners’ 1949 tome, American Slogans. Sunners entitled this week’s collection “Printed Pearls,” and he described them as follows: Pithy phrases picked from printed advertisements because they possess particular qualities such as alliteration, rhyme, contrast, comparison, repetition, lilt, or just plain good sales points.

This group’s an exceptionally long one, so we’ll view it in three installments. This week, G-P.

Gay and spirited as young laughter (Skylark Perfume).
Gay as May (Textron Summer Blouses).
Gentle dental care (Teel).
Gentlemen, be treated (P. O. N. Beer).
Get an inCENTive, then put in the CENTS (Savings Bank Assn.).
Get more, get Kelvinator.
Get more go from every gallon (Oldsmobile).
Get your furnace off your mind (General Electric).
Get the DROP on that COUGH (Dean’s Cough Drops).
Gets at the core of every cleaning chore (Softwash Cleaner).
Gift she’ll open every day, A (G. E. Refrigerator).
Gift that keeps on giving, The (RCA Victrola).
Gift that really remembers, The (Kodak).
Gift with a lift, A (Paris Garters).
Gifts men like to give and gifts that men like to get.
Give his neck a break (Van Heusen Shirts).
Give them ALL a good time (Telechron Clock).
Give your car an extra year of youth (Cities Service Gasoline).
Give your child a CAREER for Christmas (Royal Portable).
Gives your smile breath-taking beauty (Calox Tooth Powder).
Gleaming silver on your gown, but no shine on your nose (Woodbury’s).
Glorifies every dish it touches (Heinz Ketchup).
Glorifying the world’s fare (Heinz Ketchup).
Glue without goo (Casco Cement).
Good eyesight is the gateway to better living.
Good flour is the foundation of good baking.
Good for everything you bake and everything you bake with it is good (Gold Medal Flour).
Good name to go buy, A (Old Hickory).
Good taste in a remedy (Alka-Seltzer).
Good to be in, good to be seen in (Pontiac).
Good to the last luscious left-over (Swift meats).
Goodbye to the bugaboo of boil-away (anti-freeze).
Gracious gift to a house you love, A.
Grapefruit drink that gives you GO (Squirt).
Great American family car, The (DeSoto).
Greatest invention since the FACE, The (Vestpok Dry Shaver).
Grime does not pay (A-C Spark Plug).
Grime does not stay (Koroseal Curtains).
Gripes of wrath, The (Pepto-Bismal).
Guardians of good grooming (Owens Brushes).
“Guest-quality” margarine, The.

Hair relief without the grief (Gilbert Vitalator).
Has that knack for meal or snack (Delta Cocktail Onions).
HAT ease on the home front (Champ Hats).
Have a dish of sunshine and have the laugh on winter (Del Monte Pineapple).
Have fun, be gay on the Santa Fe (Pullman Coach)
Have teeth that shine like the STARS (Calox Tooth Powder).
HE builds a house, SHE make a home (McCall’s Magazine).
He has “hayfield” hair (Kreml Hair Tonic).
Head-spinning, heart-winning perfume, A (Frolic).
Headway for Spring (Ladies’ Hats).
Heart to heart fragrance, A (Coty).
Hearts in harmony until she smiles (Ipana Toothpaste).
Heart-winning, head-spinning (Frolic Perfume).
Heats the room, not the chimney (Duo-Therm Oil Burner).
Heavenly aroma that hangs like a fragrant halo ’round your coffee pot (Wakefield Coffee).
Heinz make YOUR soup YOUR way.
Help RCA help USA (production drive).
Help your beauty bloom this spring (Ivory Soap).
Here’s arch relief beyond belief (shoes).
Here’s riding at its LEVEL best (Oldsmobile).
He’s a man after my own hands (Hind’s Lotion).
He’s stone deaf until you say RITZ (crackers).
His duty to serve, hers to inspire (Coty Cosmetics).
Holds your foot like a gentle hand (Selby Shoes).
Home Tweet Home (name for a bird house).
Home with a smile is the home with a Hoover, The (vacuum cleaner).
Hot, but NOT bothered (Havoline Motor Oil).
How is your Vitamin “see”? (Oculist’s ad).
How many kisses in a cake of soap (Cashmere Bouquet).
How to be happy though harried (Miami Beach).
How to get a Pike’s pique (Montague Fishing Rod).
How to give a budget supper a banquet air (Stokely’s Finest Canned Foods).
How to hold youth and retard old age (Florida Grapefruit Juice).
How to make a bright child brighter (Royal Portable).
How to make a man’s face glow on a dark morning (Pillsbury Pancake Flour).
How to make light work of heavy meals (Del Monte Canned Food).
How to put the lovelight in her eyes (Whitman’s Chocolates).
How to RING a wedding belle (Kreml).
How to TREAT guests (Campbell’s Tomato Soup).
Hug you love, The (Holeproof Luxite Girdles).
Hungry for sunshine? Have it sliced (Del Monte Pineapple).
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