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1902 Ad Procter Gamble Ivory Soap Complexion Skin Care Edwardian Fashion TOM3

1902 Ad Procter Gamble Ivory Soap Complexion Skin Care Edwardian Fashion TOM3

Regular price $43.95 USD
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This is an original 1902 black and white print ad for Ivory Soap, a product by Procter and Gamble.


This 109+ year old Item is rated Very Fine ++. Light aging throughout. Light wrinkling. No natural defects. No surface rub. No tears. No water damage.

  • Product Type: Original Print Ad; Black / White
  • Grade: Very Fine ++
  • Dimensions: Approximately 5.5 x 9 inches; 14 x 23 cm
  • Authentication: Serial-Numbered Certificate of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Protection: Packaged in a custom archival sleeve with an acid-free black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

Ivory Soap.

The worldÕs biggest advertiser all began with one product: Ivory Soap.

James Norris Gamble, son of cofounder of Procter and Gamble, had aspirations of breaking into the Castile soap market; so, in 1878, he purchased a soap formula from a competitor. After refining the soap, Gamble began selling his ÒWhite Soap.Ó

In 1879, an employee at the factory had accidentally left his soap mixing machine on while he was on a lunch break. This caused an excess amount of air to be mixed into the soap. When the manager decided the soap had not been detrimentally compromised, the boxes of soap were shipped. Just weeks later Procter and Gamble received an influx of orders requesting more of the Òfloating soap.Ó

Some time later, Harley T. Proctor, son of cofounder of Procter and Gamble, changed the name of the soap from ÒWhite SoapÓ to ÒIvory SoapÓ when he was inspired by a bible reading (Psalms 45:8) during church, which incorporated the term ÒIvoryÓ into the text. In 1879, the product was trademarked as such.

In 1882, Procter and Gamble appropriated a vastly substantial advertising budget (around $11,000Ña very large sum at the time) to market the Ivory soap product nationally. The very first Ivory soap advertisement was featured in a religious weekly publication called the Independent. The soap was marketed as a laundry soap with all of the same qualities as a luxury toiletry soap. In efforts to stand out among fierce competitors, the company incorporated purity claims into its advertising. Additionally, Procter and Gamble capitalized on its floating property, which informed consumers of its convenience in being able to locate the soap in the laundry washtub. The company also utilized an interactive advertising campaign, which encouraged consumers to write in about their experiences with the soap, as well as creative and unusual uses for it. The categories were split into two books and published for the masses. Later, Procter and Gamble created a marketing promotion that included a miniature soap cake, which could be attached to a watch chain for convenient access.

During the 1930s, Compton Advertising, employed by Procter and Gamble and later absorbed by Saatchi & Saatchi, incorporated Ivory Soap radio programs into its advertising. In 1938, Life Can be Beautiful made its debut, followed by Against the Storm in 1939, and Brave Tomorrow and I Love a Mystery in 1943.

During the 1950s, Ivory Soap expanded its scope by introducing dishwashing detergent. During the 1980s, the company came out with Liquid Handsoap, followed by its line of body wash in 1996.

Copyright 2016, Period Paper LLC

Keywords specific to this image: Vintage Advertising, Slogan, Beauty, Personal Hygiene