6. Pure, clean & simple.

My 84-year-old grandma swears by it.

Ivory soap, that is. She has used it for as long as I can remember. When my mom and I would do her shopping, we always had to pick up a bar of plain, white, Ivory soap. That’s what soap should be after all: plain and simple. This is probably one of the Ivory print ads my grandma would have seen when she was a teenager.

Ivory’s newest campaign is taking the little bar of soap back to its roots of simplicity. The “Simplicity” campaign, created by Wieden + Kennedy, highlights the fact that Ivory may be simple, but it works. Dirt has remained the same all these years, so why should soap change? There’s no need to fix it if isn’t broken.

I saw this ad, Identity Crisis, the other day while I was on hulu.

When the ad first started, I thought, “…that’s soap, right?”  Some of the soaps look like they should be decorations instead. What’s with the bacon and eggs?! I wouldn’t want to wash with something that represents a food that’s greasy (…even if it is delicious), and I know I’d much rather use a plain bar of white soap than a brain.

Wieden + Kennedy’s creative director, Karl Lieberman, says that the Ivory brand “has remained the antithesis of the overly complicated—from its ingredients, packaging and advertising—it’s a throwback to an era where there wasn’t time for such things.” In today’s society of glitz and glam and busy, complicated lifestyles, having something be advertised as the complete opposite is quite an attention-getter.

As a side note, I found the choice of music rather interesting. It sounds exactly like something from the soundtrack of the hit show, Glee. With Glee being such a new cultural phenomenon, this could have been Wieden + Kennedy’s attempt at grabbing the consumer’s attention. People watching Glee online could be fooled into thinking the show is back on. This particular a capella song is also very speedy and has a busy, nervous feeling, which could be playing into the idea of our overly-busy lives. While the music is congruent with the strange and complicated soaps, it’s very incongruent with the simplistic idea Ivory is selling. When the montage of obscure soap ends and we see the Ivory soap, the nervous music stops as well, leaving just the Ivory soap.


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