Alka Seltzer’s Speedy, 1951
Speedy, the cheerful spokes-character for Alka-Seltzer, entered American households via the new medium of television in 1951. Created by Wade Advertising, the red-haired sprite reminded consumers that the antacid provided quick relief for a host of problems. Speedy was not the first of his kind. Spokes-characters have been an effective part of promoting national brands since the 1910s. Recognizable characters create brand identification by giving the product a face, they speak to young consumers, and they can live long lives, lending continuity to advertising.
This photograph of the stop-motion animated character is part of the Alka-Seltzer collection in the National Museum of American History’s Archives Center. For other advertising characters from the collections, stay tuned!