The dialogue in this health product advertisement for
Sal Hepatica might make the reader nauseous

Sal Hepat­i­ca was a min­er­al salt lax­a­tive mar­ket­ed between 1887 and 1958 by Bris­tol-Myers. Here’s a half page adver­tise­ment in Coun­try Gen­tle­man, Novem­ber 1939. It’s doubt­ful the copy­writer would win awards­for the words he, or she, put into the char­ac­ters’ mouths (and that’s not intend­ed to be a pun about the product).

Firstly, the copywriter asserts the product gets rid of colds and that leads to this incredible dialogue between a husband and wife.

Oh, dar­ling! The day of your hunt cup race. I’ll be in bed! You watch! This cold has me down!

Note her hand to her head in the meaningful manner made popular in silent movies by the damsel in distress. Then he says:

Then I’m going to give you some speedy help, hon­ey. I’m going to mix you up some Sal Hepatica.

Our damsel checks that she understands the meaning of speedy.  Speedy? You mean… it helps fast? He replies to his wife like a radio announcer:

Yes, Sal Hepat­i­ca helps fast – two ways. First it’s quick yet gen­tle in its lax­a­tive action – and speed is impor­tant in fight­ing a cold. In addi­tion, it helps Nature coun­ter­act the acid­i­ty that usu­al­ly accom­pa­nies a cold.

Then we actually see the happy conclusion several days later. He and she and a horse. Got the picture? He won. He just had to win, he claimed, because she flashed a smile at him. To which she replied

Well, I’d prob­a­bly still have been home nurs­ing a cold, if it hadn’t been for you and your glass of sparkling Sal Hepat­i­ca. From now on, my mot­to is “To lose a cold quick­er, take Sal Hepatica.”

Sal Hepatica promoting the product as a cure for the common cold

Many adver­tis­ers used this sto­ry­board design — illustrations/photographs with dis­crip­tive text or dia­logue below. The adver­tise­ments fol­lowed a pat­tern: first there is prob­lem; then the real­iza­tion of the prob­lem; fol­lowed by the appli­ca­tion of the prod­uct and, final­ly, hap­pi­ness for all.

A Google search shows that Sal Hepat­i­ca adver­tis­ing was puz­zling! HERE and HERE