Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Virgil Partch for Personna Blades

A 1946 advertisement for Personna precision blades by Virgil Partch, or Vip, takes full advantage of this cartoonist's reputation for zany and oddball gags. The advertising copy seems tailor-made for him. "People who see my cartoons think I'm nuts. But actually I'm crazy in only one respect...." Could it possibly have been written by Vip, "Famous cartoonist," himself?

Personna precision blades advertisement
The New Yorker, November 16, 1946, page 108

Another Vip ad for Personna dates from 1947. It plays off Partch's penchant for grotesque, even surrealistic, gags. The copy is again remarkably good. Might it have been written by Vip as well?

"I really have only one head—" says VIP (famous cartoonist) "...but I sure used it when I switched to super-sharp Personna Blades. Shaving used to be tough as a cartoon editor's heart, but now it's as easy as spending an editor's money. These days I always have my best face forward..."

Personna precision blades advertisement
The New Yorker, March 15, 1947, page 85




Note:  I suppose I could have missed something. Are there by chance any other ads for Personna by Vip? By all means write if you know of any. And always get a close shave.

September 22, 2021 Update:  It turns out that contributor Jeff Nelson is familiar with these ads. He writes:

I also have only seen those two ads for that brand; although I have also seen the same ones run in issues of Esquire and Saturday Evening Post at about the same time as the ones you found in the New Yorker.

I have no evidence, but I have always operated under the assumption that VIP was himself writing the copy for the majority of his advertising work. They have very much the same madcap style of humor, and the same skewed sensibility as his cartoons. This is one reason why I like his ads so very much—they seem to be of one body with his gag panels, in a manner which only [Charles] Addams and [Ronald] Searle seem to share...

High praise indeed for Mr. Partch.


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