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Alka-Seltzer’s ‘Speedy’ Sings, ‘Oh, What a Relief It Is!

Early slogans and taglines boasted Alka-Seltzer as a “new drink for health” and encouraged customers to “Listen to it fizz!” to know it was working. But, it wasn’t until 20 years after the effervescent tablets were introduced by Wade Advertising that they started to stick in American culture.

In 1951, Wade commissioned commercial artist Robert Watkins to produce a “Mr. Alka-Seltzer” to help sell the product’s rapid acting nature. He came back to the agency with Speedy, the embodiment of fast relief. Speedy was a redheaded, baby-faced mascot who sang “Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is!” (as voiced by actor Dick Beals) appearing in magazine ads, point-of-purchase store displays and stop-motion TV spots. He originally existed as a puppet, insured for over $100,000.

Over the years, many more classic campaigns for Alka-Seltzer made a big impact on pop culture with taglines that entered the vernacular, like, “I Can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” Advertising for the brand was created by Jack Tinker & Partners; Wells, Rich Greene and Doyle Dane Bernbach, respectively.