A brief history
of facial tissue
This article sponsored by Kimberly-Clark.
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brands are an indispensable part of life for
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of the world’s population—trust Kimberly-Clark brands and the solutions they provide
to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott,
Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend,
Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2
share position in more than 80 countries.
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WHAT HAS BECOME a staple in our lives—facial tissue—started out about
85 years ago. On June 12, 1924, the very first facial tissue, Kleenex,® was introduced. The first ads introduced this new product as a “marvelous new way to
remove cold cream.”
In the 1930s, the Kleenex brand was swamped by letters from consumers
advocating use of its tissues for colds. The company responded with a new
description: “the handkerchiefs you can throw away.” When one of the first
daytime radio soap operas, The Story of Mary Marlin, was introduced consumers heard the very first radio ads for Kleenex facial tissue.
The early 1940s found much of the world at war, and Kleenex tissue was
part of the effort. The material used to manufacture Kleenex tissue was also
used by field doctors and nurses as a sterile dressing.
During those years Kleenex adopted the cartoon character Litt le Lulu
from The Saturday Evening Post, where she reminded Americans to con-
serve to support the war effort. Little Lulu demonstrated the numero us uses
of Kleenex tissue in advertising. By 1949 she was a brand icon and ap peared
on one of the largest billboards ever to grace Times Square.
In 1957, 50 cents and a Kleenex tissue box tear-out strip earn ed cus-
tomers a Perry Como record album. There were 330,000 requests for the
album, which retailed for $1.29.
In the 1960s, American habits, images and icons were changing quickly.
Kleenex moved its advertising on CBS from evening to daytime programming
to capitalize on the new popularity of daytime television. And entertainer
testimonials, popular in the 1920s, reemerged as Harry James tried unsuccessfully to blow through a Kleenex tissue draped across the bell of his trumpet,
proving that new Kleenex tissue was not only softer, but stronger too.
Of course, the product didn’t stay the same over the years, nor does it
today. New lines of Kleenex were introduced in bright, stylish colors and designs to coordinate with modern trends. Also released were scented tissues;
tissues that provide comfort for people suffering from colds, allergies and the
flu; and tissues in various pack sizes.
What’s next? The future will certainly bring more innovations and comforts in a staple that has been around for more than eight decades. A