IRRITATING TAGLINE RINGS TRUE FOR WISK

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Introduced in 1956 to compete against heavy-duty detergents such as Tide, Cheer and Rinso, Lever Bros.' Wisk fared miserably in the marketplace. Despite excellent results in blind research tests, the liquid detergent faltered through several ad campaigns.

Then in 1968, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn copywriter Jim Jordan (who later co-founded Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor) came up with "Ring around the collar" and changed the fortune of that brand forever.

After research showed that the single biggest problem women had with detergents was the stain they left on the inside of shirt collars, Jordan found his slogan. "It took about a minute and a half after that to write the commercial," he said. "And the rest was history."

The client was initially lukewarm on the slogan, but BBDO convinced Lever to give it a try in a small market. Sales in that region skyrocketed, and Lever agreed to take the slogan national. After the campaign was introduced, Wisk sales tripled with virtually no increase in ad spending. It was the first time a liquid detergent dramatized the product's cleaning benefit.

Wisk became the first Lever brand to sell 1 million cases in a year and eventually became the No. 1 liquid detergent in America and the second-best-selling detergent behind Tide.

For consumers, the slogan was unforgettable -- in part because it was such an annoying TV commercial. But, said former Unilever marketing executive Dave Williams, "as irritating as that slogan was, it was memorable. [Lever

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