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Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: Ban Roll-On
Ad Title: Granny
Business Category: Personal Products
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America
Agency: unknown
Year: 1952
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Michael Collins
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Theme(s)

Camp/Gay Drag

Dude Looks Like a Lady

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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The ad appears to star either Billy De Wolfe or Will Greer in drag. (De Wolfe, with a similar trademark mustache, was a vaudeville performer and played the voice of Professor Hinkle on the animated favorite "Frosty the Snowman." De Wolfe occasionally appeared as an old woman in drag for other performances. Greer was a gay actor who was partnered with gay activist Harry Hay in the 1930s. Known for his radical politics and being blacklisted as a Communist, Greer later played Grandpa Zeb on "The Waltons.")

Sitting in an elaborate rocking chair next to an old lamp, an "older woman" in granny glasses, shawl and hat, speaks to the camera, "Pa says this Ban Roll-On deodorant is good for what ails me. But I don't feel sick!"

The narrator adds, "Maybe he does." She (with a thin mustache) scowls in appalled insult. "You devil!" she replies.

The tagline: "Ban won't wear off as the day wears on."

At the end, granny now has a flowery blouse on and says, "Kiss me quick!" with a smack of her lips.

This is the earliest example of drag in the Commercial Closet archive.

In 1952, Bristol-Myers introduced Ban, the first deodorant of its kind -- an anti-perspirant deodorant made in lotion form. While other lotion and liquid deodorants were already on the market, it was the packaging that made Ban a pioneer: a bottle with a plastic applicator that rolled deodorant directly to the underarms. Ban’s was the first roll-on deodorant.

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William Sommerwerck , Renton, WA
It's Billy de Wolfe, not Will Geer. Geer had a deeper, rougher voice. I remember seeing de Wolfe do his "old lady" sketch on TV.

Robert , Santa Rosa, CA
It's Billy DeWolfe

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Diversity Success
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Brand: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2003



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Brand: One Life
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Year: 2009



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Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
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Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Brand: Reyataz
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2004



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Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Brand: Reyataz
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2004



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Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Brand: Reyataz
Country: United States
Region: US National
Year: 2008


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