1000054754Marketing was not Clarence Crane's thing.

But it was clearly Ed Noble's thing. Noble's first conversations with Crane were about taking Life Savers to the next level. As a personal customer, he thoughts the mints had potential.

But Crane knew his place: He was an idea generator--he was already ready to move on to the next thing. Even as someone new to the marketing world, Noble was a student of how to grow ideas.

Ad Agencies for Life Savers ⭕

Delivery & Sales Vehicles ⭕

Life Savers for Health

Packaging

Slogans ⭕

Television Commercials

1912

Clarence Crane's marketing plan included several starting components:

Product name: Life Savers 

Product embossing: Crane (emphasizing the inventor) Cleveland (emphasizing the locale)

Packaging: Cardboard tubes

Product placement: 🚧

Imagery: ocean, safety with life preservers, formally-dressed women

1913

Much is made, in articles about Life Savers, of all the early things Ed Noble established In Life Savers brand management. This is consolidated into the following article:

Differences between Crane's & Noble's Life Savers

1917 Life Savers ad1917

This black and white ad is in the public domain. Although I'm not certain that Ayer Incorporated produced it, it clearly has a feel that is quite similar to the 1919 ad.

1919

Ayer (N W) Incorporated's Black & white ad "This is the Life-Saver, This is the Life-Saver" includes hyphens (-) in the product's name and includes an advertising character reminiscent of the 1898 Michelin Man, Bibendum.

Three important things to note this early in the product's brand history:

  • includes hyphens (- / .) in the product's name
  • draws the Life Savers imprint on the candy differently (ie, the word "Savers" continues after "Life," which renders the word "Savers" upside down in the imprint
  • Early on, it was singular "Life-Saver," versus plural.

1000054785 vs Screenshot 20240707 1210082vs 1000043267

Retrieved from https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/ac-component/sova-nmah-ac-0059-ref5145

1920s

This unbranded truck is dated in the 1920s; it features Pep⭕Mint. The wheels have "Life Saver" on them (singular).

https://collection.powerhouse.com.au/object/169103

1925 a Black & White Silent Film Ad

This ad is so exciting just because it is so early. And it's for Cryst-⭕-Mint...demonstrating that other flavors were an emphasis even in the first decade.

https://aso.gov.au/titles/ads/lifesavers-advertisement/clip1/

1935

Life Savers sponsored the radio show, "Life Savers Rendezvous, which played on NBC Blue Network, coast-to-coast. The show was complete, with an eponymous orchestra. The Cigarette Girl above was one of the characters. There was even a related song, "You're a Lifesaver," written by Ed Best and arranged by Lindsay McPhail. Sadly, the music isn't in MusicNotes.com; it appears to be out of production. But several people are selling copies, complete with the Life Savers logo on the front.

c1925-1949

Australia used Duro-Transparencies for advertising. They were designed to be viewed, illuminated by back-lighting. I am fascinated by the fact that Life Savers there is pink lettering. That doesn't match any of the branding I've observed elsewhere.

https://collection.powerhouse.com.au/object/136396

1939-40 New York World’s Fair

1939parachutejumpThe fair's theme was "The World of Tomorrow." Life Savers sponsored a Candy Parachute Jump at the Flushing Meadows event. Advertisements for the events read:

"When you come to the New York world's Fair, we make you this bet: If Life Savers 250 ft. Parachute Jump doesn't take your breath away, a package of Pep⭕Mint Life Savers will!

"Everybody's breath of offends sometimes after eating, drinking, or smoking...Let Life Savers save yours!

"If you're on the look for a tasty mouthful, Cola Life Savers. They're Cola Life Savers. They're Cola at its delicious, most refreshing best.

"When you visit the New York World's Fair, don't miss the Life Savers Parachute Jump. It's a real thrill!"

"Children and adults alike enjoyed The Life Savers Candy Parachute Jump. Adults paid 40 cents a trip; children paid 25 cents, according to the Atlantic." https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/11/color-photos-of-the-1939-new-york-worlds-fair/545087/

Colored pictures are available of the Life Savers ride:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5059525/amp/Rare-color-photos-1939-World-s-Fair.html

Given the World War that was gearing up, the New York World Fair brochure was startlingly prescient--especially as it regarded parachutes falling and the use of machines to accommodate the unknown events of that tomorrow:

"The eyes of the Fair are on the future — not in the sense of peering toward the unknown nor attempting to foretell the events of tomorrow and the shape of things to come, but in the sense of presenting a new and clearer view of today in preparation for tomorrow; a view of the forces and ideas that prevail as well as the machines.' Source: (?https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5059525/amp/Rare-color-photos-1939-World-s-Fair.html

One can only imagine that this was stellar marketing coverage, given that 44.9 million people attended the fair! At the close of the fair, the Parachute Jump was moved to Coney Island (Marzlock 2010).

10000536121940s to Early 1940s

Life Savers did a product collaboration with clothing designer Kirkland Hall:

https://valutivity.com/index.php/research/65-life-savers-100-years-of-sweetness/326-life-savers-suits-by-kirkland-hall

1949

I read a story, and while it isn't fully validated, I sure hope it's true. An individual purporting to be Ed Noble's grandnephew (via his brother's family) has indicated that one of Life Savers' Christmas ads was inspired by his birth. You can read more about this in a 9 May 2016 comment on this page at CollectingCandy.com.

It's a very sweet story. A quick search indicated that there was a person born with the name Edward J. Noble, Jr. in his generation. And, incidentally enough, Noble indicated that his father's friend, Dick Neff, is the individual who corroborated his proof. After doing a little digging, I discovered that Neff is referred to as "a top creative exec" and "top copywriter and author" in the Variety magazine on 7 September 1960. So it is at least plausible.

So Ed, I know it's been 8 years since you wrote this comment, but if you'd like to talk about this--and any other memories of your Life Savers family--I'd be thrilled to chat!

September 7, 1960

Back in the day, Noble sold Life Savers and used his money to buy ABC. So it shouldn't be surprising that television was a huge marketing opportunity for Life Savers. In this one copy of Variety magazine, there are indications that Life Savers sponsored the following shows:

  • Talk Man
  • The Shirley Temple Show
  • Westerner
  • Michael Shayne

Variety, 7 September 1969, retrieved from https://archive.org/details/variety220-1960-09

c1980

The Italian museum Museum de la Marco has a box of rolls of Salvavidas.

http://museodelamarca.com/producto/1980s-salvavidas-dulces/

1982 Planters alters Lifesavers' name

Early in the product's history, there was a shift between using a hyphen and not (Life-Savers versus Life Savers). But Planters broke form by calling their candy division, "Nabisco Foods Inc., Lifesavers Division". This is a real shift, 70 years into the product's history.

1989 - Life Savers in The Berlin Airlift

If you don't know about the US military's "Operation Vittles," sending food to Germany, you should read up on that heartwarming story. Parts of the foods that were sent were called "Operation Little Vittles." Targeted toward children, they comprised of tiny linen parachutes (soon by school children), containing Life Savers and chocolate.

"From the Life Saver Corp. at Port Chester, N.Y., has come 1200 rolls of Life Savers...In all, approximately 18 tons (26,000 lbs.) of candy were airlifted from Chicopee to the needy children in the western sector of Berlin, Germany" (The Chocolate Pilot).

1991 - 80th Anniversary 

1000053625To advertise Life Savers' 80th anniversary, Planters Life Savers Co. published Life's Delicious Moments: A Photo Documentary Celebrating 80 Years of the Good Life in America. Besides highlighting slice-of-life photos, the book highlights key advertisements from each of the following decades:

  • 1910 to 1920 - 5¢ tin featuring a female swimmer
  • 1920 to 1930 - 
  • 1930 to 1940
  • 1940 to 1950 - Life Savers to WW2 soldiers: "Today our armed forces are ordering more and more Life Savers hard candy for shipment out to CENSORED, AND CENSORED, AND CENSORED. So, If you have trouble getting some favorite flavor...you will know that some soldier, sailor or marine is enjoying it somewhere, someplace."
  • 1950 to 1960 - A boy and a girl, breaking a wishbone, both wishing for Life Savers.
  • 1960 to 1970
  • 1970 to 1980
  • 1980 to 1990 - 1986 ad, "Hole Lotta Fresh," featuring a royal blue background and a single white ⭕ mint.

1993 Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Tie-In

  • Sonic 3 Blue Rad
  • Sonic 3 Hot Rings
  • Sonic 3 Tangy Fruits
  • Sonic 3 Wild Sour Berries
  • Sonic 3 Five Flavor - link

Not sure why, but these are all boiled candies, not pressed dextrose. Perhaps they were interested in upping interest in the boiled candies. Alternately, it could be that these jewel like colors showed up better in advertisements.

This graphic is from the notes in my personal collection.

  • The television ad includes Hot Rings, Tangy Fruits, and Wild Sour Berries but not Blue Rad.
  • The back of the cereal box included all but Wild Sour Berries. I believe that these cereal boxes included a 🆓 roll of these tie-in Life Savers. 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog™️ was featured on all of the flavors except Five Flavors, which featured Knuckles the Echidna™️.
  • Our collection actually has all of these flavors, but none of them have the special Sonic 3 labels. The only example could be Blue Rad; we have black raspberry, but Blue Rad may have had an extra ingredient, malic acid, for tartness.

1000055057

©️2024 by north-east-treasure-hunters; used with permission.

2012 - 100th Anniversary 

The Chattanooga offices were featured for the Centennial, as were several special products:

https://www.valutivity.com/index.php/research/65-life-savers-100-years-of-sweetness/302-life-savers-centennial

2018

The Mexican museum MODO Museo del Objeto del Objeto features several rolls of Salvavidas, Veteados (Swirled) and Five Flavors.

https://elmodo.mx/breve-historia-de-los-dulces-salvavidas/

Sources

"The Chocolate Pilot," 1989, PBS.org, retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/airlift-chocolate-pilot/

Marzlock, Ron. "After the first World’s Fair, a world of demolition," QCheon.com, 1 July 2010. Retrieved from https://www.qchron.com/qboro/i_have_often_walked/after-the-first-world-s-fair-a-world-of-demolition/article_9c57fd46-2270-5a1e-9224-8cfc7ea49b79.html

Life's Delicious Moments: A Photo Documentary Celebrating 80 Years of the Good Life in America, Planters Life Savers Co., 1991.

World's Fair. Life Savers parachute tower, Gottscho-Schleisner Collection (Library of Congress), 1939-1940.

 

Other photos ©️2024 and beyond, Karen Smith-Will.