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Charmin Lady Paper Towel Holder & History

Jul 19, 2011

Debby, from Georgia,recently submitted this picture of a paper towel dispenser with the Charmin Lady on it, asking what type of folded paper towel would fit in. Paper towels? Yes, paper towels were once part of the Charmin family of products! P&G eventually discontinued all the other Charmin products, including napkins and facial tissue.

The Charmin Lady was the original icon for the Charmin brand. The silhouette of the woman’s head was from a cameo pin. I found this ad on the Thirsty in Suburbia blog from circa 1952, which still had the Charmin Lady on the packaging.

At the time, toilet paper was being marketed to women, enticing them with feminine advertising. By avoiding the topic of the actual use of toilet paper, the Charmin Lady ad campaign succeeded in a time when competitors were marketing toilet paper as a medicinal product. The Charmin branding eventually evolved to include babies, the well-known Mr. Whipple, and the Charmin bears.

We recommended that Debby use Signature C-Fold Hand Towels in the holder. Thanks for submitting your photo!

Readers, let us know if you have any questions or submissions! We love to hear from you!

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14 Responses to “Charmin Lady Paper Towel Holder & History”

  1. Daisy @ Therapists Los Angeles - July 19th, 2011 at 10:49 am

    It is interesting that marketing has changed so much in the past years – that before no one would ever dream of creating an ad that actually had something to DO with the use of toilet paper itself. Apparently we can handle more of the “truth” psychologically these days – although they still use cute little bears to get around showing an actual human being using the product… Not that I’m complaining – they’re adorable!

  2. Sara @ Walking Tours Rome - July 20th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Awesome, thanks for sharing! I wonder what the older advertisements for Charmin around the world looked like?

  3. Dentist West Hollywood 15 - July 21st, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Ha! How did we get from this to a big snuggly bear?!? I love vintage ads and this one is beautiful. Great post.

  4. Robotic Palletizing - August 2nd, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Does anyone else find it funny that the toilet paper ad features a women standing in a *kitchen* and not a bathroom? I would think those two ideas would be contradictory!! ;)

    -Sandy

  5. Creator of Charmin Ad Campaign Dies - Don't Squeeze the Charmin! - August 2nd, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    [...] Mr. Whipple, came the Charmin Lady, which we featured a few weeks ago. Now, the Charmin advertising campaign is based on bears in the [...]

  6. Testosterone Treatment - August 3rd, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Wow! What a cool old paper-towel holder. I would love one to find one of those for my vintage decor.

  7. Online Furniture Stores Los Angeles - August 24th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I wonder why all of the other Charmin products got discontinued! I love their TP and would definitely consider buying other items from them if they were still around.

    Kayla

  8. Molly - August 24th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Charmin is great, but I’m thinking about switching to a recycled toilet paper product.

  9. kobe - August 29th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    And look forward to reading more here, really interesting times. Thank you again for all the details.

  10. Air Purifiers - October 7th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Huh, didn’t know that about Charmin. I love seeing old ads, it’s fascinating to see how advertising and marketing has changed over the decades. It also shows how society’s views have changed over time, as well- ie: how Charmin ads were targeted towards women whereas now they appeal to everyone.

  11. Molly - October 11th, 2011 at 5:51 am

    So true! Although many household items advertisements still are primarily targeting women.

  12. Auto Lease Broker Los Angeles - November 9th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I know that this site is about TP (which I LOVE- the site and TP I mean) but since this is a vintage ad thought you might like this site, too. Maybe there’s some other TP stuff on there but I haven’t seen it.

    http://pzrservices.typepad.com/vintageadvertising/

  13. Rug Cleaning Los Angeles - November 18th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I really love the skirt and shoes the model is wearing in the ad…I know, I’m such a girl. Lol. That whole off the shoulder Carmen Miranda look doesn’t really work for me though. I like finding old ads like this.

  14. great advertising - December 22nd, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site accidentally, and I’m surprised why this coincidence didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

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