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The initial active ingredient was the first synthetic pyrethroid, allethrin. Raid derivatives aimed at particular invertebrate species can contain other active agents such as the more toxic cyfluthrin, another synthetic pyrethroid. Currently Raid uses, Tetramethrin, Cypermethrin and Imiprothrin to kill insects.
"Raid Kills Bugs Dead" slogan
The product's advertising tagline, "Raid Kills Bugs Dead," was created by the advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding. The phrase itself is often attributed to the poet Lew Welch, who worked for the agency at the time.
The line was first used in commerce in 1966 and was trademarked in 1986. Animation director Tex Avery was the producer of the first "Kills Bugs Dead" commercials. Artist Don Pegler developed the bug characters used in the US and continued animating them for forty years. Pegler "codified the look, feel and animation" of the weird insects that run in fear of Raid, said Steve Schildwachter, executive vice-president at Draftfcb.
The slogan has been part of a successful, long-running advertising campaign. Conjuring up images of an Eliot Ness-style raid on an illegal bar during Prohibition, the television spots have featured the cartoon bugs plotting some silly scheme like invading a kitchen, only to be foiled by the magical appearance of the product which swiftly dispatched the bugs to various giddily horrible deaths. The bugs would scream the brand's name ("RAAAIIIID!"), and then a huge cartoon-style explosion would occur.
Similar campaigns have been run in other countries, either by dubbing the US cartoons or by producing local versions.
- Saroyan, Aram. Genesis Angels: The Saga of Lew Welch and the Beat Generation. New York: William Morrow, 1979.
- Minovitz, Ethan (6 January 2012). "Don Pegler, 82, created bugs in "Raid" campaign". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved 6 January 2012.