In Archetypes, Innocent

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The story of Ivory Soap

Lead by the Innocent Archetype

We’re going to go ahead and say that Ivory Soap, one of P&G’s iconic brands and very first products, changed the world. It may not seem like a groundbreaking concept today, but in the late 19th century this little brand went big. Not only did it float (a life-changing concept for those who bathed in rivers and streams) but it actually had a name and marketing tactics that set the pace for where we are today.

A Branding First

Before Ivory, soap was delivered in giant slabs to corner stores. It was unlabeled and cut off in chunks for customers by weight. No names, just a brown paper wrap. Harley Procter and James Gamble, cousins and sons of P&G’s founders, had a different idea. They got P&G to spend $11,000 on advertising, a landmark first for the company.

Birth of Consumer Packaging

Haley Proctor used the $11,000 to wrap individual bars of Ivory soap in clear, consistent packaging. Each package had the same image and name. A boring chunk of soap was now a giftable item. It was beautiful.

Marketing Firsts

Beyond just the first soap to be branded, Ivory was also the first to place full-color ads for soap in magazines and commercials on the radio. It sponsored the first TV broadcast of a baseball game. And, if you need a fun fact for happy hour tonight, ask someone if they know where the name “Soap Opera” came from? That’s right, Ivory Soap advertised to a very targeted audience in afternoon television dramas.

An Archetype Message

At Allegory, we build brands based on Archetypes because we believe that, with these solid foundations, the messages will remain supported for years to come. As an Innocent Archetype, Ivory soap has stayed true to its messaging since day one. Considering it’s almost been around for 150 years, we’d say they’re on to something.

While technology has changed and consumer perceptions have swayed, Ivory has stayed true to its core archetype. The packaging and advertisements have adjusted with the times but the message has always stayed the same. Ivory Soap is pure, clean and simple.

Curious about your company culture and archetypes? Take our archetype quiz to uncover your organization’s archetypal identity! Want to see other Innocent brands? Check out our Pinterest board!

 

See the evolution of Ivory from the late 1900s to today.

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A depiction of the original
1882 Ivory
 Soap

 Original Ivory Package

1900s 

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1930s

 
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1950s 

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1970s 

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2000s 

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2013

 

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