Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Dristan bubbling bag test (Bubble Gum Weekend)

Usually this feature deals with a commercial that either advertised gum or showed a person bubbling - or both. But the ad in this week's installment does neither.

About 30 years ago, the makers of Dristan decongestant ran an ad campaign featuring something called a breathing bag. It was a bag that people breathed into to demonstrate how well the product worked.

In those days, this decongestant may well have worked - at least better than what you can buy now. The War on Drugs wasn't as out of control yet, so it was still a few more years before companies started phasing out many usable products in the name of the failed drug war.

An example of the breathing bag can be found in this Dristan commersh that flourished in 1980 (and which I remember from my youth):

What does this have to do with bubble gum?

Well, much of the cost of a container of Dristan probably went towards its development of the breathing bag. But why did the Dristan peeps need to invent a breathing bag, when a bubbling bag had already been on the market for a half-century?

I'm talking bubble gum, folks. Instead of a breathing bag, it would have been cheaper if the woman in the ad chewed bubble gum, placed the wad over her nose, and tried blowing a bubble that way.

There must be some awfully strong stuff in that breathing bag, judging by the woman's reaction during her first successful attempt to inflate it. Does it have laughing gas residue or something?

Or maybe she's laughing because the breathing bag resembles bubbling - which is automatically funny because it has to do with gum.

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