People do things differently on the other side of the world, things like washing the dishes. Much like the way water swirls one way north of the equator and swirls the other way south of the equator. The daily routine takes on an entirely different method. A new way to do ‘old’ things.
Having washed plenty of dishes, both in Holland and Peru, I feel reasonably qualified to make a comparison of Common Dishwashing Techniques between the two:
||Brush on a stick
||Sink full of hot soapy water
||Wet and soapy scrubber
Ah, yes. Dishwashing Paste.
In my opinion the most notable difference between dishwashing techniques in aforementioned countries and oddly, a substance of some nostalgia for me. Dishwashing paste is yet another one of those items I have come to refer to as “Icons of my youth revisited” (Temblor, Apagon, Sidewalk). A list of items that I remember from my youth in Peru, I missed when I was in Holland, and am now getting re-acquainted with. So without further ado, allow me to introduce:
SAPOLIO Dishwashing Paste
But, wait! There is more.
Sapolio’s history is actually way more interesting than you would initially suspect of something related to washing dishes.
In the 1870’s the soap-making company Enoch Morgan’s Sons in New York, produced a cake of scouring soap. Not a claim to fame, necessarily. What made Sapolio’s name persist was the ingenuity of its advertising, led by their advertising manager Artemus Ward (who coincidentally was George Washington’s predecessor as commander-in-chief during the American Revolutionary War). Artemus Ward was instrumental in making Sapolio the most generally recognizable trade name of its day. Among Artemus’ strategies was the iconic slogan ‘Use Sapolio’. Not very creative on face value, but Artemus introduced the slogan in an ingenious campaign. He circulated the legend that the slogan “Oilopas Esu” had been found in an Egyptian tomb. Very mysterious stuff…until read backwards.
As great as the Egyptian myth was, the “Spotless Town” campaign was the thing that made the brand a household name and earned itself a place in marketing history books. For 6 years, illustrated cartoons about the quaint cobblestoned Dutch (!) village “Spotless Town”, held the public’s attention. People anxiously awaited the adventures of its inhabitants, who all used Sapolio, of course. The cartoons, and accompanying rhymes:
This is the butcher of Spotless Town,
His tools are bright as his reknown.
To leave them stained were indiscreet,
For folks would then abstain from meat.
And so he brightens his trade you know
By polishing with
were such a raging success that at one point four different theatrical road companies had shows called “Spotless Town”. Apparently one community even named itself Spotless Town.
(I strongly urge and recommend you go look at the cartoons: http://goo.gl/JwcIIW )
The “Spotless Town” campaign is still cited as one of the greatest printed ad campaigns. Unfortunately, Sapolio itself is cited as an example of what happens when a brand stops advertising. After discontinuing its successful campaignes, Sapolio went into decline and disappeared from the American market sometime before WW II. Fortunately, the Peruvian company Intradevco Insutrial SAC, bought Sapolio in 1997 and sells it, along with other cleaning products, in Peru and Chile.
Here is the crazy thing: I lived in a quaint cobblestoned Dutch village, I now work in marketing, live in Peru and use Sapolio.
– Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising: http://goo.gl/6PvekU
– The Mirror Makers: A History of American Advertising and Its Creators: http://goo.gl/Y8A2rf
– The 100 Greatest Advertisements: Who Wrote Them and what They Did: http://goo.gl/e64n1D
– Wikipedia: http://goo.gl/IgKJST