Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Whiter Than White

Posted by Admin on October 26, 2010

Cleaning one’s clothes “whiter than white” has oftentimes been promised by laundry detergent manufacturers in all sorts of print and broadcast commercials over the decades.

In 1903, Professor Herman Giessler and Dr Herman Bauer from Stuttgart, Germany created the world’s first soap powder with a bleaching agent -– Persil.  It was launched in the UK in 1909 with the a slogan that made the most of the fact that it was an ‘Amazing Oxygen Washer.’  Persil went on to become the first laundry detergent to feature a man in TV advertising and it kept claiming that it would make your whites “whiter than white.”

But Persil didn’t coin the phrase.  That honour seems to go to a poem written by William Shakespeare in 1593 entitled “Venus and Adonis.”  One of the stanzas reads:

Who sees his true-love in her naked bed, 
Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white
But, when his glutton eye so full hath fed, 
His other agents aim at like delight? 
Who is so faint, that dare not be so bold 
To touch the fire, the weather being cold? 

And so, it was William Shakespeare, once again, who coined a phrase that has made its way into today’s English.

Posted in Advertising, Idioms from the 16th Century, Slogans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Package Deal

Posted by Admin on October 8, 2010

In The Times-News newspaper published in Hendersonville, North Carolina the following article was published on November 13, 1963:

PACKAGE DEAL SET FOR JACKSONVILLE – A big weekend football package involving three Southeastern Conference teams and Navy is now in the works for Jacksonville, Fla., area next fall, it was reported today.

But this wasn’t the first time the phrase “package deal” was used.  In an article entitled “Democratic Candidates Wary of Package Deal: Top Bourbon Nominees Trying to Shake Loose as Signs of Dissension Evident” published in the Los Angeles Times on August 22, 1946 the article stated:

Weevils of dissension seem to have crept into the Democratic “package deal” for candidates in the coming election.  It Was Bob Kenny who, in the late lamented primary wrapped Democratic candidates in a package deal, hailed it as a novel idea and put it out in California’s political show windows as a leader in campaign merchandising.

But as far back as 1887, the phrase “package deal” was in use.  When Nikola Tesla applied to the U.S. Patent Office for a single patent covering his entire electrical system, the U.S. Patent Office informed him in writing that he was to break his application into seven parts rather than submit the “package deal” he had submitted.  By April of 1888, Tesla had applied for five patents which were granted and by the end of that year, he had submitted another 18 patent applications.

However, Thomas Cook, the first tour operator is actually responsible for the first published “package deal.”  Thomas Cook was a strict Baptist and prominent member of the local temperance society.  In 1841, he arranged an excursion to a temperance meeting in Loughborough, taking advantage of the newly opened Midland railway line from Leicester.  He advertised a “package deal” where, for one shilling (5p), his customers got their rail ticket and lunch on the train.

The concept proved to be such a popular one, that the Association for the Protection of Immigrants in Texas began offering a package deal to Europeans in 1846 that included as part of the package deal:

1,000 francs, passage and meals from Bremen, German to Castroville; transport of 300 pounds of luggage; a small log cabin; two oxen and yokes; two milk cows; twelve chickens and a rooster; a plow; and a “Mexican” wagon.  In return, the settled agreed to live on, and work, the land for a minimum of three years.

Were there package deals before this?  There have been package deals throughout history.  However, the phrase itself only came into vogue after Thomas Cook.

Posted in Advertising, Idioms from the 19th Century | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Outside The Box

Posted by Admin on October 4, 2010

Think outside the box ” originated in America in the late 1960s and is based on the nine dots puzzle.  The concept is that limiting one’s thoughts is like thinking inside a box that can hold a finite number of ideas. 

By reaching outside the box, the assumption is that one will find other — perhaps more exciting — ideas that are not found inside the box.  It is believed that these new ideas from outside the box will invigorate the creation process and bring fresh  meaning to some of the ideas still in the box.  In the end, the final product will look and feel innovative.

Various authors from the world of management consultancy claim to have introduced it. The earliest citation that I have found comes from the weekly magazine of the US aviation industry entitled Aviation Week & Space Technology.  On July 1975 the magazine reported:

We must step back and see if the solutions to our problems lie outside the box.

The concept of thinking outside the box, as mentioned before, comes from the nine dot puzzle.  It appears in Sam Lloyd’s  Cyclopedia of Puzzles published in 1914. 

The nine dot puzzle is an intellectual challenge where one has to connect the dots by drawing four straight, continuous lines that pass through each of the nine dots, all the while never lifting the pencil from the paper.  It’s difficult to achieve and yet achievable however only by thinking outside the box.

Posted in Idioms from the 20th Century | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »