This iconic cake of cleaning soap, invented virtually 150 years in the past, has change into part of Americana largely by promoting its two unusual deserves: “It Floats” and it is “99+44⁄100% Pure.”
The unique product is a no-frills, plain white, mild-scented bar cleaning soap with the identify “IVORY” etched into it in script. Impressively, it has stayed precisely that approach for 143 years — barring the addition of an Aloe scented selection, and can be nonetheless round.
Ivory cleaning soap’s longevity flies within the face of a notoriously fickle marketplace for private magnificence merchandise the place new tendencies can seem and disappear in a flash.
So why has Ivory Cleaning soap stood the take a look at of time? One concept is due to its intelligent promoting and branding. Ivory Cleaning soap packaging famously, and relentlessly, touts the attributes of purity and buoyancy.
“That is sensible execution,” stated David Placek, founding father of Lexicon Branding, a branding knowledgeable who has helped identify such standard shopper merchandise as “Swiffer,” “Blackberry” and “Dasani.”
“Simply give it some thought. What number of different soaps are you able to consider that tout an attribute that is analogous to “It Floats?” stated Placek. “I am unable to consider one other. It makes you keep in mind it as a result of it additionally makes you consider different soaps that do not float.”
As a result of Ivory Cleaning soap’s taglines have remained constant and endured for over a century and thru generations of customers, they’ve seeped into the unconscious, stated Placek.
“Even should you’ve not used Ivory Cleaning soap you realize about it and also you keep in mind it,” he stated.
The want for floating cleaning soap
Ivory Cleaning soap is the brainchild of Procter & Gamble. Not the massive multinational shopper manufacturers conglomerate that it’s immediately, however of two people — Harley Procter (son of P&G cofounder William Procter) and James N. Gamble (son of P&G’s different cofounder, James Gamble).
It was within the late nineteenth century, a interval when river bathing was prevalent amongst massive swaths of the inhabitants. Now think about dropping your grip on a bar of cleaning soap while you’re immersed waist-deep in murky water.
However what if there was a cleaning soap bar that might float?
Gamble, in accordance with P&G’s web site, acknowledged the “floating cleaning soap” might revolutionize the washing expertise in additional methods than one.
He initially thought the floating cleaning soap may very well be used each for laundry and for laundry up. Over time, the cleaning soap bar primarily grew to become a shower cleaning soap.
Naming the cleaning soap was one other story.
In response to P&G legend, Harley Procter identical upon the phrase “ivory” whereas attending church and thought it completely match the brand new cleaning soap’s feel and look and each males adopted “Ivory Cleaning soap” because the identify.
P&G launched the cleaning soap in 1879 hyping it not solely as a cleaning soap bar that floated however for its purity.
That declare, in accordance with the corporate, hinged on a research of the cleaning soap by chemistry professors on the request of the inventors. One research confirmed the cleaning soap had solely a small quantity of impurities — 56/100 of a % — of
a non cleaning soap materials in it.
So that they determined to play that up in Ivory Cleaning soap’s promoting, rounding it as much as create its second iconic tagline — “99 and 44-100% pure.”
P&G maintains that whereas it continues to innovate its Ivory Cleaning soap, the product remains to be made with a easy formulation freed from dyes and parabens meant to softly cleanse the pores and skin.
It has, nonetheless, prolonged the model to different merchandise.
Ivory cleaning soap has change into so iconic that in 2001 P&G donated a group of its Ivory Cleaning soap artifacts to the Smithsonian Establishment, together with its earliest promoting and a bar of unused cleaning soap from the Nineteen Forties.
Lexicon Branding’s Placek stated Ivory Cleaning soap is a product approach forward of its time. “It was ‘pure’ earlier than pure, clear and easy merchandise grew to become as standard as they’re with customers immediately,” he stated.