Birth Of An Icon
IT MAY BE A SIMPLE FORMULA, BUT STAYING TRUE TO A PROMISE HAS KEPT IVORY PURE, CLEAN AND GENTLE FOR SEVEN GENERATIONS.
It isn’t an overstatement to say that Ivory soap – one of P&G’s iconic brands and very first products – changed the world. Today, we may not think about the benefit of having soap that floats. But in the late 19th century, when people were still bathing in the murky waters of local rivers and streams, a soap that floated was revolutionary. Since we are now bathing in tubs/showers, a floating bar is no longer necessary.
So Harley Procter and James Gamble got creative to get the word out. As the story goes, Harley was distracted in church one Sunday morning, trying to come up with what to call the new white soap of exceptional purity that James had invented. He’d been struggling over a name for months when, legend has it, someone started reading aloud the 45th Psalm. When they reached verse eight, Harley was inspired:
All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
Ivory soap it would be.
In hopes of getting some expert recommendations, Ivory was shipped to college chemistry professors and other scientists who were asked to analyze and compare it with the finest soaps available. The reviews were glowing, including one study showing only a miniscule amount of impurities – 56/100 of a percent – far less than is castile soap competitors. That sparked one of the most popular advertising slogans of its time:
For 133 years, we have continued to innovate Ivory to remain an effective, yet gentle everyday cleanser for the entire family at a great value. It may be a simple formula, but staying true to this promise has kept Ivory pure, clean and gentle for seven generations.