Friday, January 7, 2011

Mabelline ad in 1942 War Time

Maybelline Ad 1942

Experpt from The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.  Copyright, Bettie Youngs Books, 2010.

Noel phoned Tom Lyle. “We’ve got a production problem, T. L. The President issued a warning to the beauty industry that rationing of certain raw products would begin soon, especially petroleum jelly!” This was still Maybelline’s key ingredient.

“That’s all we need,” Tom Lyle said. “We’ve got to do something fast or we’ll sink along with the enemy battleships.”

Tom Lyle, Emory, and Arnold brainstormed. As in World War I, businesses tailored their ads to fit the war effort. Emory noticed a trucking ad that said, They’ll Never Bomb Us Out! . . . Trucks will always get through!  

“We need to get that kind of spirit into our ads,” he said, “creating a strong demand that will get through to Washington. Remember how well Patriotism Through Beauty worked in 1916?”

Arnold said, “The boys have got the inside of their Quonset huts covered with pinups—including most of our girls. They may say they’re fighting for flag, mom, and apple pie, but their wallpaper tells the truth.”

Tom Lyle agreed. “If we could just ask some of the military brass to consider how many of the girls in the pinups might be wearing make-up, and whether their pinup appeal would be as powerful if they were not wearing cosmetics.”

“That should get their attention,” Emory agreed.

Tom Lyle called Noel the next day and told him to buy up as much petroleum jelly as he could before the rationing went into effect. The first wartime ad to appear showed a housewife writing a letter to her husband at the front.  Naturally, her eyes were perfectly Maybellined, and the slogan read, They’re doing They’re doing their bit by keeping their femininity. That’s one of the reasons we are fighting. Another ad showed an elegant young woman as lovely as a pinup girl with an admiring military officer adoring her as he helped her with her white stole. The caption read, Just as he dreamed her eyes would be, reminding women to be as lovely as the pinups by using Maybelline. One ad simply said War, Women, and Maybelline.

In spring of 1942, the Pentagon warned the White House that the war should not create a glamour shortage. A memo to Roosevelt advised that such a loss of beauty  “might lower national morale.” Suddenly petroleum flowed like water into Maybelline’s vats. Tom Lyle’s campaign had virtually saved the entire cosmetic industry for the duration.

No comments:

Post a Comment