The timpani rolls, Frank De Vol's orchestra begins the opening strains, and announcer John Jacobs lets us know we are enjoying the Tide Show, "T-I-D-E Tide! The Wash Day Miracle!" "Smiling Jack" Smith, along with the lovely Dinah Shore and Ginny Sims will treat us to 15 minutes of popular 1940's music, witty banter, and, OK, a commercial or two.
In 1837, father-in-law Alexander Norris of Cincinnati noted that his sons-in-law, candle maker William Proctor and soap maker James Gamble, were competing for raw materials, and so he proposed a partnership be formed. In the mid 1800's advertising was mostly a practice of disreputable manufacturers. Nevertheless, the company authorized an $11,000 annual budget to promote its Ivory Soap with the sober slogan of "99% pure."
Timely investment, product development, and aggressive but tasteful advertising would build Proctor and Gamble into America's largest producer of household and consumer goods. During the 1930s radio brought P&G's message into more homes than ever. In 1933 P&G became the primary sponsor of daytime serial programs, the birth of the Soap Opera.