Brand Advocates and the Phoenix-rise of Networks

When Procter & Gamble’s candle business stopped going up in smoke, they developed Ivory soap for a somewhat upscale mass market. At that time, stores were not self-service. P&G was advertising Ivory, but when the consumer asked for it the clerk would substitute something with a higher profit margin. To get over this hurdle, P&G needed to connect directly with its customers. They did this by mailing samples and inviting women to become an Ivory “patroness.” The copy instructed the recipients to request Ivory soap. If the store declined to supply the brand, then the “patroness” should “demand Ivory specifically when shopping for soap and to reject any substitutes offered by their grocers.” (Rising Tide, 2004)

When supermarkets became standard and radio advertising readily available, Procter & Gamble no longer needed brand patronesses. With television, advertising was yet more effective.

Nearly 20 years ago, P&G realized that TV no longer was an effective vehicle:

The current paradigm shifts are again just as concerned with marketing as with markets. Similarly, a dialogue with consumers will be required. Today, that’s not going to happen through junk mail.

Published by

Anthony Olszewski

Anthony Olszewski has written on a wide variety of topics: cage birds, tropical fish, popular culture, the poetry of Amiri Baraka and a chapter on genetics for a veterinary text book, as a small sample. He worked as an editor at a magazine produced by TFH, the world's largest publisher of pet books. Anthony Olszewski is the author of a booklet on Hudson County history, Hudson County Facts, and a book of short stories, Second Thief, Best Thief, that are sold on Amazon. Anthony Olszewski established in 1996. A pioneer on the Web, the Site continues to provide unique information on a range of companion animals, focusing on birds and fish. As a community service, he operates Jersey City Free Books. Anthony Olszewski was born in Jersey City, NJ (Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, 1956) and is a member of Mensa. Email at

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