Often a Bridesmaid, But Never a Bride!
Here is one of the 100 greatest advertisements in the history of advertising, which can help us understand in defining a problem and find a creative solution to achieve uncommon success! It’s the famous Listerine advertisement – Often a bridesmaid, but never a bride… and the story behind it.
Fred Leigh wrote the lyrics for a song sung by the Victorian singer, Vesta Victoria (1864-1952). The Lyrics are:
Why am I always a bridesmaid
Never the blushing bride
Ding! Dong! Wedding bells
Always ring for other gal
But one fine day –
Please let it be soon –
I shall wake up in the morning
On my own honeymoon.
Gordon Seagrove and Milton Feasley (wrote the copy) in 1923 created a campaign that would last for decades together tackling the difficult, sensitive, delicate and challenging subject of halitosis (bad breath) to the public. They created the fear of bad breath and its consequences in a social situation. They used a case study approach and built a story around a character, Edna, who has always been a bridesmaid, but never a bride. The picture was that of a lonely, forsaken Edna, who was unable to find love because of halitosis.
The solution: Listerine mouthwash.
This ad is a revised version in the 1950s of the original ad of 1923.
Listerine repeated its own successful campaign in the 1950s with a more contemporary look. Edna is changed to Eleanor, but the problem was the same.Although men were attracted to her, their interest soon turned into indifference. Poor Eleanor did not have a clue why they dropped her so quickly… and even her best friend would not tell her.
Why risk the stigma of halitosis, when you have Listerine?
The Response? In just seven years since its original campaign in 1923, the company’s revenues rose from $ 115,000 to $ 8 million.
As the advertising scholar, James Twitchell wrote about coining of the word ‘halitosis‘ by the Lambert Company, ” Listerine did not make a mouth wash as much as it made halitosis!”