Tag Archives: marriage

Lysol will Save Your Failing Marriage, You Filthy, Filthy Woman

Gather ’round, Mature Adults, for another moment in Aunt Mary’s Advertising Storytime! Fluff the cushions on the fainting couch and prepare to clutch your pearls, because we are about to get personal.

From roughly the turn of the century to the 1960’s the makers of Lysol touted their product to not only clean your house, but to also save your marriage.

Ladies, are you having issues with your husband? Is he staying out too late? Withholding affection? Perhaps that last pregnancy made him a bit jumpy? Lysol is here to help! Not only does it clean your sinks, but is the key to marital harmony if used as a feminine douche. (I’ll let you take a moment to breath through that)

lysol door

Yes. The folks behind Lysol told women that the problems in their relationships are likely due to pregnancy and/or the crotch rot. The language used in the ads was a brilliant combination of negging and subtext. Evidently everybody knew the term “feminine hygiene” meant birth control, but thanks to strict moral laws prohibiting even the discussion of contraception, they couldn’t just come out and say it, but boy howdy did they get close!

lysol calendar

“We can’t tell you it’s birth control, because birth control is illegal, but…yeah…it’s birth control.”

Forget that most of these men were suffering from shell shock due to two world wars and a crippling economic depression. You are obviously the problem and if you really cared you would hose acid where the sun don’t shine.

The makers put out years of print ads encouraging women to use it as a spermicide, and (in my opinion) a combat to STIs. This practice was likely worse than nothing. Used as a contraceptive it was useless and obviously also harmed women’s bodies.

lysol lady

It all ended when the pill came out.

A Diamond Ad Campaign is Forever

With Valentine’s Day in the recent past the feed of your favorite social media outlet may be crammed full of photos of engagement rings posted by would-be brides who are already scrounging Pinterest for the next big thing in wedding trends (it’s Boho). Obviously love and diamonds go together like a horse and carriage.

Or craft beer and brownies.

Or Adele and singing in your car.

But how did a rock become the symbol of love? Well, Son, you’ve been played.


In the late 1800’s a large cache of diamonds was found in South Africa causing the groups of British mine owners to band together to create De Beers Consolidated Mines. This created a monopoly that controlled all aspects of the diamond trade. Their new mission was to create the supply AND the demand for their products.

The goal was for couples getting engaged to consider a diamond ring part of the matrimony package. But how? How do you brand a product as both wildly needed but also precious and rare? Investigation had found the practical folks who had lived through the Great Depression and then WWII were far more interested in procuring useful items such as household appliances than in jewelry.

diamond ad
     Because of Anti Trust laws, ads could not mention       De Beers or even show jewelry. Instead they featured dreamy artistic images and sentimental copy. 

De Beers hired a fancy New York City ad firm to get the job done. The campaign was handed over to the “Women’s products” copywriter, Frances Gerety.

In a hurry, Gerety scribbled down the only tag line she could think of. She didn’t love it and her cohorts weren’t that impressed, but no one could think of anything better.

The slogan: “A Diamond Is Forever”

Yep, one of the most enduring slogans ever came about because, well…why not.

De Beers began papering ads everywhere and spreading the idea that a diamond not only proved the man’s love, but the amount of his love. A bigger diamond was not only proof of adoration but also showcase the success of the husband-to-be.

At the same time, De Beers began loaning jewelry to celebrities to wear to noteworthy events, such as the Academy Awards, further cementing the idea that diamonds were a sign of success and elegance.

Today, over 75% of American couples, and an increasing portion of the world, consider a diamond ring to be an indispensable part of starting their life together.