One Sunday in 1879, Harley Procter, one of the founders of candle and soap firm P & G, heard sermon based on the Forty-fifth Psalm, “ All the garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, an cassia, out of ivory palaces.”
The word IVORY stuck in his mind and became the name of the firm’s white soap.
In December, 1881, P&G ran their first Ivory ad in a religious weekly, stating that the soap “floated” and that it was “99 44/100% pure,” a dual claim which has become one of the most famous ad slogans ever.
The 1920 ad, shows the consistency of the positioning over time. The ad created the imagery – the forest, the barefoot girl, and the clear water.
The purity claim was supported by a chemist, who testified Ivory and found that on 56/100% contained impurities. The floatation property was first created by a production mistake which fed air into the soap mixture, was discovered by the customers – who attempted to reorder the “floating” soap.Ivory was a remarkable product in a time in which most soaps were yellow or brown, irritated the skin, and damaged clothes.
The positioning Strategies IVORY SOAP Followed:
The soap was positioned : the soap that was pure, was mild and floated. (they did not have the need to search for the soaps as this one floated)The claims of purity and mildness were supported by the white color, the name Ivory, the twin slogans, and the association with babies.The soap’s brand name along with its distinctive wrapping, gave consumers confidence that they were getting the mild, gentle soap they wanted.
The aggressive 1882 national advertising budget of USD 11,000 provided a start toward high brand awareness, and the customer confidence that the manufacturer was backing the product and would stand by it.
IVORY, NOW OVER 110 YEARS OLD, IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THE VALUE OF CREATING AND SUSTAINING BRAND EQUITY.