Following on from the my post on Esso’s succesful use of promotional products, I thought I would write another article about an even earlier successful promotional product campaign.
This story takes us back to 1892, and a 30-year-old salesman named William, who looking to increase sales of his baking powder business, decided to give away free packs of chewing gum with cans of baking powder.
Offering the free chewing gum proved a great success, in fact so successful was this promotional product William decided to stop selling the baking powder, and to concentrate solely on selling chewing gum. Soon after making this decision William Wrigley developed his own chewing gum, he called it ‘Juicy Fruit’ and this along with his ‘Spearmint gum’ became a huge seller and Wrigley’s gum was born.
William Wrigley was a great believer in using promotional products to boost sales, having initially switched to selling baking powder, after using it as a promotional item to help sell Scouring Soap.
As well as a believer in using promotional products William Wrigley also understood the importance of advertising and marketing of the Wrigley’s brand. This was to prove especially prudent, when during the world war, ingredients to make chewing gum became in short supply. Wrigley’s not wanting to compromise on quality removed “Juicy Fruit” and “Spearmint Gum” from the civilian market making it available only to American troops. Despite this, Wrigley’s continued with its advertising presence producing adverts picturing an empty wrapper with the strapline “remember this wrapper”.
In 1946 after the war ‘Juicy Fruit’ and ‘Spearmint Gum’ was re-introduced back to the public, and aided by the continuous advertising campaign it quickly once again became the leading brand of chewing gum. The fact that during the war it was only available to American troops, who, perceived by many as looking ‘cool’ whilst chewing gum, further helped to boost Wrigley’s sales.
It’s also worth noting, that not wanting to damage the ‘Juicy Fruit’ or ‘Spearmint’ brand by using a different ingredients during the war-time shortages. Wrigley’s introduced ‘Orbit’ chewing gum to the civilian market in the USA, this was produced using alternative more plentiful ingredients, and marketed as a not quite so good alternative.