If you’ve been researching sign campaigns, you’ve undoubtedly come across the Burma Shave sign series of the mid-1900’s. Burma Shave was a brand of brushless shaving cream that was sold from 1925 to 1966. They are famous for, not their shaving cream, but for their innovative sign advertising campaign which included rhymes. Typically, six signs were erected. Each sign contained a line of a verse and the sixth displayed the brand name, Burma Shave. Sales increased dramatically in the areas where the signs were erected and it became a nation-wide campaign. Burma Shave was sold to Gillette in 1963, and the successful signs and campaign soon came down. Two sets of signs can be seen in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
Although the brand, Burma Shave, no longer exists, the term “Burma Shave Sign” is commonly used in the sign industry and we use the same concept today to share features of a product or a community. In the home building industry, we often use the Burma Shave method to share features of a community as seen below.
The innovative Odells, the original owners of Burma Shave, came up with a concept that could be used across all different industries. No matter if it’s 1925 or 2025, this advertising campaign is relevant and a smart way to advertise. For an archive of Burma Shave jingles, check out Burma-Shave.org.