Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brylcreem - A Little Dab'll Do Ya !

Switch off that idiot box. Take a break from Lord's because India has lost the match anyway. Now switch it back and for a change pay a visit to the long forgotten Cartoon Network. Watch a refreshing episode of Flintstones. Resuscitate your funny bones with that effervescent cackle-rendering phrase that became a trademark for a hurried & exuberant Fred Flintstone. What was it again? Yeah! "Yabba Dabba Doo"... Ever wondered where the zany phrase came from? 

It is believed that Alan Reed, the voice for Fred Flintstone was told to go with a plain "Yahoo" but his creative sentiments couldn't stand such banality and he instead came up with a spontaneous "Yabba Dabba Doo". And the inspiration for the same was Brylcreem's (Men's Hair Cream) first ever marketing campaign conceived by Kenyon & Eckhard during the early 1950s. The campaign was titled 'A little Dab'll Do Ya'. So, for Reed, that's precisely where the 'dab' in 'yahoo' came from.

 Brylcreem advertised their maiden campaign on TV  through a jingle which became an instant hit. The  rhyme sounded something like this :

 "Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya,
 Use more, only if you dare,
 But watch out,
 The gals will all pursue ya,
They'll love to put their fingers through your hair"

 And when the fad for a dry look descended in men's  salons, they twisted the jingle with finesse to make it  sound like :
"They'll love the natural look it gives your hair.
Bryl-creem, a little
dab'll do ya,
Bryl-creem, you'll look so debonair.
Bryl-creem, the gals will
all pursue ya,
They'll love to RUN their fingers through your hair."

As a brand that catered to hair styling requirements of men folk, Brylcreem set its first foot in market-space in 1928. Pomade, a concoction of water and mineral oil stabilized with beeswax, was the introductory product from the brand's fob. And while the inception took place at Chemico Works in Bradford Street, Birmingham, England; the advertising campaign that was put out two decades later, was equally popular in both Europe and America. Such was the level of popularity on Brylcreem's barometer that they stayed with the same campaign till 1970 when they revised it to :"A little dab of Brylcreem on your hair gives you the Brylcreem bounce."

The 'dab' effect was vividly evident on their soaring top lines, bottom lines and brand's worth.
No wonder every time one comes across that well-moussed 'boy next door', the instant thought is of the little dab that must have done it all. And how!

If anagrams hath their wish, they would have firmly stated that dabbling with 'dab' wasn't a 'bad' deal at all! Not for Brylcreem at least...