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The 'Did You Know' Thread

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The 'Did You Know' Thread Empty The 'Did You Know' Thread

Post by espíritu del lago on Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:34 am

Listerine was invented in the 19th century as powerful surgical antiseptic. It was later sold, in a very distilled form, as both a floor cleaner and a cure for gonorrhea. But it was not a runaway success until the 1920s, when it was pitched as a solution to "chronic halitosis", the faux medical term that the Listerine advertising group created in 1921 to describe bad breath. By creating a "medical condition" for which consumers now felt they needed a cure, Listerine created the market for their mouthwash. Until that time, bad breath was not conventionally considered a catastrophe, but Listerine's ad campaign changed that. As the advertising scholar James B. Twitchell writes, "Listerine did not make mouthwash as much as it made halitosis." Listerine's new ads featured forlorn young women and men, eager for marriage but turned off by their mate's rotten breath. "Can I be happy with him in spite of that?" one maiden asked herself. In just seven years, the company's revenues rose from $115,000 to more than $8 million.

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