Ivory Soap Commercial: "Healthy Looking Skin" circa 1970 Procter & Gamble





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Published on Nov 1, 2013

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"Can you pass the healthy looking skin test? "

NEW VERSION with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etY-c...

Public domain film from the Prelinger Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).


The name "Ivory" refers to a series of products created by the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), including varieties of a white and mildly scented bar soap, that became famous for its pure content and for floating in water. Over the years, the bar soap has been altered into other varieties. P&G research revealed in 1992 indicated work in progress to create other varieties that do not float as the original and would sink due to the altered ingredients but avoid dissolving too fast. New varieties of Ivory soap contain glycerin, do not dry the skin as quickly, and do not float, either. In October 2001, P&G tested the sinking bar soap as part of an advertising campaign to see if people would notice the sinking bars, even if given a cash reward...


As one of P&G's older products (first sold in 1879), Ivory has seen P&G sometimes called "Ivory Towers" and its factory and research center in St. Bernard, Ohio called "Ivorydale".

Ivory bar soap is whipped with air in its production and floats in water. According to an apocryphal story, later discounted by the company, a worker accidentally left the mixing machine on too long and the company chose to sell the "ruined" batch, because the added air did not change the basic ingredients of the soap. When appreciative letters about the new, floating soap inundated the company, P&G ordered the extended mix time as a standard procedure. However, company records indicate that the design of Ivory did not come about by accident. In 2004, over 100 years later, the P&G company archivist Ed Rider found documentation that revealed that chemist James N. Gamble, son of the founder, had discovered how to make the soap float and noted the result in his writings.

Ivory's first slogan "It Floats!" was introduced in 1891. The product's other well-known slogan, "99 44⁄100% Pure", was based on the results of an analysis by an independent laboratory the founder's son, Harley Procter, hired to demonstrate that Ivory was purer than the castile soap then available.

Ivory soap had been more caustic in comparison to some milder bars, such as Dove, a non-soap synthetic detergent bar. Plus, some consumer investigations had found that Ivory's antimicrobial activity was better than that of other skin soaps, even those containing antibacterials such as triclosan.[citation needed] A postulate for this effectiveness is the ability of the soap to lyse bacteria efficiently, and to rinse cleanly. The drawback to the soap was its drying effect on the skin, as it had easily dissolved natural oils. Of all the commercial soaps, Ivory has been considered the best by holistic health people,[citation needed] but was criticized for what it did not contain, glycerin. One reason is that glycerin was expensive and would raise the cost of the bars, which had the value of being one of the least expensive soaps available for people of modest means...


The Ivory soap bar (classic) had contained: sodium tallowate, sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernelate, water, sodium chloride, sodium silicate, magnesium sulfate, and fragrance. The soap bar had a determined pH value: 9.5.

New varieties of Ivory soap contain altered ingredients, such as in "Simply Ivory" (or "simplement ivory"): sodium tallowate and/or sodium palmate, water, sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernelate, glycerin, sodium chloride, fragrance, one or more of the following: coconut acid, palm kernel acid, tallow acid or palm acid, and tetrasodium EDTA. The additional ingredients primarily are to reduce the harshness of the soap, since additional glycerin and fatty acids are typically used for that. Tetrasodium EDTA is primarily to reduce soap scum formation. Bars of Ivory now come without the words soap or float on the packaging, and they are made with the latter formula.


Ivory is a small brand by P&G standards. The Ivory brand includes the classic bar soap, liquid hand soap, body wash, hair & body wash, dish liquid, and a mild laundry detergent (not a soap) product called Ivory Snow. Research in 2001 by Lehman Brothers revealed that the U.S. sales of all Ivory products, including the liquid soap and dish detergent, represented less than 1% of P&G's total worldwide sales in the 52 weeks ended September 9, 2001.


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