Alka Seltzer is 75!
Speedy Speedy Speedy Slice

1931 Alka-Seltzer is introduced into the market for relief of heartburn, acid indigestion, upset-stomach, headache, body aches and pains. Comic strip characters are used to advertise the product in serials on buses and subway cars.

1951 The famous baby-faced character Speedy Alka-Seltzer was born featuring an Alka-Seltzer tablet body with hat and “effervescent” wand. Originally known as Sparky, his name was changed by a sales manager to reflect that year’s promotional theme, “Speedy Relief.” The Speedy Alka-Seltzer character was created in 1951 with the original working model standing at just 6 inches tall.

1953 The first television commercial featuring Speedy was taped on March 16, 1953. He appeared in more than 200 commercials over a 10 year period from 1954-1964. Alka-Seltzer invested more than $8.5 million a year on Speedy, which was the largest investment of any single advertising campaign in that era. In all commercials the voice of Speedy was provided by radio actor Dick Beals.

1954 The most famous commercial jingle sung by speedy Alka-Seltzer aired: “Down, down, down the stomach through Round, round, round the system too, With Alka-Seltzer you’re sure to say, Relief is just a swallow away.”

1964 Speedy Alka-Seltzer is retired.

1969 “Mama mia, that’s a spicy meatball,” ad campaign was introduced.

1972 The original “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” ad airs. This phrase became one of Newsweek magazine’s 10 most memorable lines of the decade.

1974 Alka-Seltzer Gold is introduced for aspirin-free relief of indigestion.

1979 “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is” was introduced. The jingle became one of the most recognized in commercial history.

1980 Sammy Davis Jr. starred in three ads for Alka-Seltzer along with Speedy who made a limited return for the Winter Olympics.

1984 Alka-Seltzer was previously used to be in available in glass tubes, which were discontinued to reduce costs and eliminate breakage problems.

1987 Alka-Seltzer Extra Strength is created for extra strength relief of indigestion and pain.

1998 Alka-Seltzer signed on America’s No. 1 husband and wife political pundits – James Carville and Mary Matalin – to tout relief during this heightened time of political heartburn. This marked the first time Alka-Seltzer used celebrities in its ads since 1980. During this year, Alka-Seltzer aired its 100th TV ad campaign and also developed Alka-Seltzer PM to relieve pain and sleeplessness.

2000 Alka-Seltzer Heartburn is brought into the market as an aspirin-free formula that relieves even your worst heartburn.

2001 Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief is introduced for sufferers of aches and pains associated with a hangover.

2005 Alka-Seltzer paid tribute to one of its most famous ads of all time with a remake of “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” starring Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle from Everybody Loves Raymond.

2006 Alka-Seltzer celebrates its 75th Anniversary.

Montage of old Alka Seltzer Memorabilia Speedy Logo Nostalgia

For 75 years, Alka-Seltzer® has been providing fast relief to millions of consumers.

Since 1931,the iconic brand with a long history of relief has been associated not only with overindulgent moments, but with a strong heritage in American popular culture!

Chew on This: World’s Largest Buffet Record Attempt Celebrates Alka-Seltzer’s 75th Anniversary

Comedienne Kathy Griffin Takes the First Bite

Las Vegas, NV, March 28, 2006 – From French Fries to French toast, hundreds of Las Vegans helped Alka-Seltzer®, the antacid tablets known for its effervescent fast relief of indigestion and heartburn, celebrate its 75th anniversary with an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Buffet.”

Kathy GriffinThe 500 item buffet, located at the legendary Las Vegas Hilton, was hosted by actress and comedienne Kathy Griffin and provided the perfect backdrop for Alka-Seltzer to celebrate a rich history of relief through 75 years of relieving generations of Americans from their most overindulgent moments. “I’m excited to host this event. I’ve certainly had many overindulgent moments of my own,” said Kathy Griffin. “Alka-Seltzer is synonymous with relief and humor, two things I enjoy sharing with my audiences.”

Las Vegas Hilton“Alka-Seltzer is one of the most iconic brands in American history, generating great nostalgic imagery, which has kept the brand a mainstay of popular culture for 75 years,” said Jay Kolpon, Vice President, Marketing and New Business, Bayer’s Health Care’s Consumer Care Division. “A brand with such tremendous heritage calls for an anniversary celebration that will be one for the record books.”

Little SpeedyAlka-Seltzer Fun Facts

  • Alka-Seltzer sold over 300 million tablets in 2005, enough of the one-inch tablets to stretch all the way from New York City to Moscow, Russia.
  • The original Speedy puppet was lost en route to the Philippines in 1971, but was found in an Australian warehouse five years later.
  • Speedy is so famous that the puppet was insured for $100,000 and is currently kept in the vault of a Beverly Hills bank.
  • Speedy appeared in 212 commercials from 1954 to 1964.
  • Searching for Speedy’s voice took over 400 auditions to find.
  • Twenty-four year old radio actor Dick Beals landed the role, and Speedy’s voice was created.
  • Father of actress Julianna Margulies (of TV show ER fame), Paul Margulies, wrote the “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” theme song in 1953.
  • Kim Basinger, Morgan Freeman, and Sammy Davis Jr. are a few celebrities that have appeared in Alka-Seltzer commercials.
  • Alka-Seltzer used to be sold in glass tubes, which were discontinued to reduce costs and eliminate breakage problems in 1984.