There is a great TV show on ABC1 in Australia, hosted by the very funny Will Anderson, called The Gruen Transfer. This is how their website describes the naming of the show; ‘The Gruen Transfer is named after Victor Gruen, the guy who designed the very first shopping mall. The term describes that split second when the mall’s intentionally confusing layout makes our eyes glaze and our jaws slacken… the moment when we forget what we came for and become impulse buyers.’
The show is all about advertising around the world and its tricks to influence the masses, including a segment where two real advertising agencies compete to ‘sell the unsellable’ (whale meat, euthanasia, Australia invading NZ….) It is hilarious and I am happy to hear that the next season starts this week.
In that vein, I was happy to find this ad from 1929 selling us the amazing product that is, the aptly named, Gruen Health Salts. I found a lot of articles advertising Gruen Salts under a variety of headlines, claiming to cure almost everything. Backache and Rheumatism, Deadly Constipation, and that it could ‘Get rid of or prevent colds’. One ad told me I would have ‘healthful cleanness inside’. I am a little afraid of what that might involve. It appears that it is able to remove all the bad things in your body leaving you ‘sparking in all cylinders’.
I use fuel additives when my car fails to spark in all cylinders. I am really hoping that these wonder salts don’t contain any of the same chemicals but, after the posts I have done in the past detailing the things historically used to ‘cure’ people, I am not too sure about that….
The Gruen Salts people were even tricky enough to have their name in bold lettering above an ad for something else they were marketing, subconsciously reinforcing the fact that it could do anything. The one above the ad for hair color could have been a bit more clearly thought out though.
I now realize Gruen Health Salts are a wonder drug and its production has clearly been suppressed by the big pharmaceutical companies. Such an amazing product would negate the need for any others. I want to run out right now and buy a bottle of Gruen as it will clearly make my life better. Quite frankly, after reading the ads for it for the last half an hour I am surprised the lack of it has not already caused my death.