Retro Dee writes about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s on this site. Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.
Hi folks and Welcome to another new segment of Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever. I call this one “Slogans From The 50’s You’d Never Hear Now”.
The 1950’s were a very different time, and that becomes more and more obvious each day as we struggle forth in the 21st Century. Life back then was far less complicated and people’s goals and ideals were much different from what was to come.
For this second Episode of “Slogans from the 50’s You’d Never Hear Now” I decided to showcase a popular slogan from the must-have hair product of the day, BRYLCREEM (which I mispronounced “bry-ul-kreem” the first time I saw it.)
“Brylcreem: For Smart Hair Grooming”
In the last episode, we were analyzing the retributions of badly behaved cotton– but this time we’re considering the intelligence level of one’s hair grooming skills. Well, I know one thing for sure: both of these concerns are quintessentially 1950’s.
Brylcreem (pronounced “BRILL-kreem” not “BRY-ul-kreem”) was an important part of any man’s grooming routine. A neat, outward appearance was very important in the 1950’s, something that got lost long ago in the transition between eras. Although some people these days still put effort into looking somewhat groomed (perhaps due to their profession, or perhaps for a special occasion that requires it) impeccable grooming is certainly no longer the norm. These days, men in particular, don’t care about neatness as much as they once did, making Brylcreem a necessity of the past.
Starting in the late 1960’s, a rebellion against neatness began as both men and women grew their hair long, wild and free, as if to say “screw you” to the conservative ideals of the 1950’s. I’m not calling it right or wrong, but I think it’s clear which style I prefer. And might I add, that by 1969, I’d hate to have owned stock in Brylcreem.
I found “a ton” of vintage ads featuring Brylcreem. Apparently, it was a big thing. They had various slogans including “For smart, healthy hair,”, but the slogan “For Smart Hair Grooming” was usually found on the tube itself:
One of the ads I found for Brylcreem featured Elvis Presley, one featured Dick Clark and another featured Edd “Kookie” Burns, who was notorious for always combing his hair… I wonder if The Everly Brothers used Brylcreem. I wonder what it felt like. I wonder what it smelled like. I wonder why any of you are still reading this… 😆
All right. So, there we have another item with another slogan that you would probably not hear today, in the 21st Century. See you next time!
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