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Carole Lombard on Ads: How Her Star Power Went Beyond the Big Screen

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2015 10:09 PM

Leading up to her death at the age of 33, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable were Hollywood’s “It” couple and her star power went far beyond the big screen – in Lombard's case, on ads. Individually, they were both stars, but together, they shined brighter than either had on their own. To this end, Lombard was a huge asset to the U.S. in the form of being able to help sell over $2 million in war bonds – at the time, a record by an individual. Her ability to sell extended beyond just rallying support for the troops, however.

Here are three examples of Carole Lombard’s star power being used effectively for ads.

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1. V for Victory Image

Not an ad in the traditional sense, nevertheless the image of Lombard with her arms raised in a V for Victory after stating, “Before I say goodbye to you all, come on and join me in a big cheer! V for Victory!” She died the following day. Yet, her willingness to tour in support of raising money for the war prompted other celebrities to follow suit and her bereaved husband, Clark Gable, to join the war efforts and bring even more support and money to the war efforts.

So, the image became an advertisement of sorts for other celebrities that admired Lombard’s work and dedication to the military.

2. Lux Toilet Soap

One of many ads that Lombard was featured in as her star power could help sell nearly anything, even soap. According to Amazon.com, the ad read, “Daintiness is important! This Beauty Bath makes you sure. It’s so easy to make sure of daintiness just use Lux Soap for a luxurious daily beauty bath. You’ll love Lux Soap’s gentle active lather – the delicate clinging fragrance it leaves on your skin!”

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These printed ads had these statements coming out of Lombard’s mouth in a cartoon fashion, and wrapped up with the statement, “The complexion soap 9 out of 10 screen stars use.”

3. GAP

In a 1993 ad campaign, GAP clothing proved that Lombard’s star power could shine bright 50 years after her death. An image of her in khakis, leaning against a bar out over what could be presumed as the farm she shared with her widowed husband, Clark Gable, was used accompanied by the words “Carole Lombard wore khakis.”

As Dina-Marie Kulzer pointed out on Classic Hollywood Bios, “Lombard’s beauty is timeless. Looking at her today, she does not have the “dated” look of some of her contemporaries. You could pull her out of the '30s and put her in the '70s or here in the 21st century, and Lombard would not look out of place. This may be one reason her photo was chosen for a recent GAP clothing advertising campaign. Slim, with a stunning natural and contemporary look, Lombard’s photo was used to advertise khaki slacks.”

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Leading up to her death at the age of 33, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable were Hollywood's "It" couple and her star power went far beyond the big screen - in Lombard's case, on ads. Individually, they were both stars, but together, they shined brighter.
carole lombard, tv, ads, actress, movies
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2015-09-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 10:09 PM
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