People’s choice

People’s choice

Karoshi are honoured to have our Brazil Fourteen project awarded People’s Choice for Typography in the Creative Pool Annual.

Selected by a panel of judges that included some of the creative industries biggest names, the Annual showcases the best work that was featured on during 2014.

99 44/100% Pure

99 44/100% Pure

My first encounter with the phrase “99 44/100% Pure” was when Gene Wilder uttered it in the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, as he unlocked the door and admitted five lucky children to his sugar-coated, psychedelic wonderland. 

Procter & Gamble (P&G), however, had used the term since the late 19th Century as one of the slogans for their personal care brand, Ivory.

This essence of purity and wholesomeness was undoubtedly what P&G were trying to capture when, in 1970, they selected Marilyn Chambers as the new cover girl for their Ivory Snow packaging. Posing as a mother with child, Chambers was the fresh-faced, all-American girl next door, whose image was to feature on every box of Ivory Snow detergent in supermarkets across the United States.

Unbeknown to P&G, in the two year period between casting Chambers as their ‘Ivory Snow Girl’ and the release of the new packaging, Chambers had relocated to San Francisco and starred in “Behind The Green Door”, one of the most successful adult films from this golden age of adult cinema. Produced by the Mitchell Brothers, the 1972 film was made on a shoestring budget of $60,000 and went on to gross over $50 million at the box office. The timing of the packaging’s release was serendipitous for the Mitchells as it coincided with the release of the movie and helped contribute to the film’s phenomenal success. The Mitchells even adopted the 99 44/100% Pure slogan to advertise the actress’ appearance in the movie (and boost ticket sales), much to P&G’s undoubted chagrin.

Upon discovering her new career as an adult film actress, and despite a spike in Ivory Snow sales, an embarrassed P&G withdrew the packaging. Judging it to be inconsistent with the image they were trying to portray, our ubiquitous Ivory Snow Girl was replaced with an illustrated counterpartHowever, the purity claims of Ivory Snow were, to a certain generation, forever and inadvertently tainted.

Owning colour

Owning a colour – Karoshi

Colour is a vital element that needs strong consideration when building a visual identity. If applied consistently and effectively it can instantly assist consumers in their recognition of a company or product. Arguably more powerful than a logo when used correctly (think EasyJet), the decision towards chosen brand colours is often made against competitors as a means of greater stand out in a given sector.

The importance for clear differentiation has inevitably led to the search for trademark protection – probably the best-known recent example being Cadbury. Although they may have lost their legal battle against Darrell Lea, they won the war and now have protection against competitors using Pantone 2865 (purple) for chocolate packaging.

Tiffany & Co have a trademark against ‘Robin’s Egg Blue’ for jewellery boxes and bags, and UPS have ‘Pullman Brown’ for parcel delivery but they’re only enforceable within a defined sector. Trademarking therefore does not enable you to truly ‘own’ a colour, but being able to ‘own’ consumers’ associations between a colour and product or service is undeniably more valuable.