#41 Whiter & Brighter

This month’s piece for the Advertising Slogans series features a term that described the sheets & shirts & underwear hanging on the clothesline back in 1950 after the joyful washday experience of a happy housewife (with matching daughter) & her beloved box of Rinso Giant Size Laundry Detergent.

Today you don’t see that term used for detergent much anymore, but rather for the “whiter & brighter” smile of celebrities, professionals, students…& happy housewives.

But there’s one more meaning & it’s just for pixel pushers like me. Anything over 92 is considered “whiter & brighter” in a sheet of paper to print a favorite AmperArt edition on.

#21 New & Improved, one of my favorite AmperArt pieces.
First in the Advertising Slogans series.

How does detergent, fabric & paper get “brighter than bright”? Fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) have been used in many industries, notably the makers of laundry detergent since the early 1960s. The blue crystals in laundry detergent are FWAs. The FWAs work by absorbing ultraviolet light, from the sun or fluorescent bulbs, & then re-emitting it as a bluish light to make colored clothes appear brighter & white ones whiter.

Paper mills have been using FWAs since the 1970s, when paper companies found that they could achieve much higher brightness levels than with bleach alone.

In 1992, the world consumption of FWAs was estimated at 60,000 tons, with the detergent industry consuming 50%, the paper industry 33% & the textile industry 17%.*

On the other hand, teeth whitening is achieved primarily with bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide & scrubbing with baking soda — not by spraying your teeth with fluorescent paint.

*Source: Perry J. Greenbaum, a freelance business & technology writer, can be reached at pjgreenbaum@gmail.com. Excerpted from Pulp & Paper Magazine

Vintage ads: vintageadsandstuff.com

Production notes:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed, Brush Script (ampersand)

This edition would have been released a week ago, except I stumbled upon a treasure trove of old magazine ads that are viewable online but also available for purchase. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from these incredible examples of advertising art the way it was done way before Photoshop — ruling pens that leaked, T squares that weren’t square, rubber cement that didn’t stick too well and always kept me in suspense whether a piece of type would fall off the board before it went to press.

These vintage ads are not reproductions; they’re actual printed ads that are clipped from those wonderfully oversaturated color glossy magazines of the past century.

A sad note on the website is told best by the curator’s own words: ” About four or five months ago I suffered a stroke which has caused me to forget much of what I am supposed to do to list ads. I am not able to add scanned images or other things to my site, I just don’t remember how.” I offered to assist and I hope he takes me up on it; his site has given me so much joy.

If you want to see these priceless old ads (some are priceless simply because the original ads were already sold but the digital images are still there) and maybe even own an original, visit his site, vintageadsandsuch.com

If nothing else, please pray for the full recovery of this person so he can once again enjoy adding images to his website. 

#21 New & Improved


Here’s a BRAND NEW series for my marketing friends & colleagues, and just about anyone who remembers the slogans of yesteryear, many of which are still being printed, displayed & broadcast today. This slogan, tagline & adword series will continue throughout the year, along with other AmperArt editions each & every month.

Adding relevance to this edition, AmperArt subscribers (those who receive each edition as it’s released, absolutely free — subscribe here) will notice a New & Improved newsletter design.

This edition, New & Improved, was created to replicate off-register letterpress printing that you’d see on old cereal & sundry boxes, debossed into the soft cardboard from the heavy printing machinery & oozing the ink into adjacent colors. When you enlarge the image (click on the thumbnail) you’ll see the gigantic halftone dots (Benday screen, actually) used when printing was a cruder process & photo shop was a course you took in high school to learn how to use a camera.

New but NOT Improved

Not everything that’s new is improved, even though the obnoxious starburst on the label says so.

Remember last year’s AmperArt series, “My Favorite Things”? One of my favorite all-time flavors is that strong & bitter iron tinge of Ovaltine, especially when crunching into all the undissolved granules that float to the top after stirring & stirring & stirring with cold milk. Those granules had deliciously concentrated flavor that exploded when you bit into them.

Several years ago I noticed a brand new logo & label on some of the shelf’s Ovaltine jars, alongside the old packaging. I wasn’t that impressed with the new look, but it did trigger a yearning for that familiar flavor & crunch. So I bought one & couldn’t wait to get home.

New? Yes. Improved? No! No! No! The packaging certainly had changed, but it did not mention that the contents had also. It tasted flat, like plain old powdered chocolate, no iron bite at all, & NO CRUNCH. The powder completely dissolved in the milk. Upon closer inspection I discovered the “granules” were not actually compressed “rocks” like the old Ovaltine, but rather puffy globules of the powdered stuff–kind of like cat litter when it gets wet. Only that would taste better than this new bastardized pseudo-Ovaltine.

So I grabbed my jar, rushed back to the market, traded in that one for one of the old models, and proceeded to pull every one of my cherished original Ovaltine jars off the shelf & purchased every one. There must have been 20 or so. Now I couldn’t wait to get home again to wash that horrible “new” flavor out of my mouth & replace it with the Ovaltine of Old.

Guess what? Old packaging, new product. No! No! No! I returned every jar & have not tasted the wonderful flavor nor felt the incredible crunch of Ovaltine ever since. I heard there’s a product in Europe that’s like my childhood memories, so I look forward to tasting that deliciously disgusting iron-tinged chocolate flavor once again. Till then, Nestle’s Strawberry Quick…while it’s still not new & not improved.

If you’re an ampersand fan subscribe here for free & fabulous & fun monthly editions.

Original size: 20×30 inches
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Balloon, Franklin