Charmin is a popular brand of bath tissue
developed circa 1928 by the Hoberg Paper Company, Green Bay, Wisconsin. The name came about when an employee of the paper company pronounced the design to be charming. The packaging was light blue and featured a silhouette of a lady's head from a cameo
pin. The name is pronounced 'shar-min', not 'char-min' as some might suppose.
Changes were slow in coming during the product's first few decades. In the 50s Hoberg changed its name to Charmin Paper Company, capitalizing on the name recognition and popularity of their hallmark product. The company also continued to produce paper towels, paper napkins and other paper products in addition to bath tissue. The 50s also saw the replacement of the Charmin Lady by the Charmin Baby. The decade saw the sale of Charmin Paper Company to Proctor & Gamble, who discontinued producing all other products except Charmin bath tissue. P&G continued to distribute Charmin on a regional basis.
The 60s saw the introduction of grocer George Whipple, the advertising icon who couldn't keep his hands off squeezably soft Charmin. He appeared for more than 20 years in tv, radio, and print advertising for the product. The 60s saw Charmin become the first single ply bath tissue to have perfume.
The 70s saw the addition of other celebrity endorsers to aid Mr. Whipple. The brand became a nationally distributed product with extremely high consumer recognition. In testing, 8 out of 10 consumers identified the jingle please don't squeeze the Charmin as belonging to Charmin bath tissue. Mr. Whipple became the 3rd most recognizable American, following former President Richard Nixon and Billy Graham.
The 80s saw Mr. Whipple (portrayed by actor Dick Wilson) squeeze his last roll of Charmin, then roll his grocery cart off into the sunset. Charmin responded to consumer demand by introducing unscented Charmin (bringing them full circle to the original product). They also introduced Charmin Free, a product with no ink, dye, or purfume for those who sought an environmentally friendly solution to their bathroom dilemmas.
The 90s saw the introduction of Charmin Ultra as well as Charmin Plus with aloe and lotion to make the bathroom experience even more satisfying. The brand introduced different offerings as to size of roll and number of rolls per package to satisfy consumer desires. The decade saw Charmin celebrate 70 years on the bath tissue roll holders of America.
The new millennium saw the introduction of the Charmin bear to promote the tissue. Everyone knows a wild bear goes in the woods, and what better way to remove those pesky berries than Charmin's softness? Also joining the line-up were the bear cubs who, strangely enough, prefer Charmin. P&G honored Mr. Whipple with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on behalf of Charmin.
Charmin and its many competitors are ubiquitous in the bathrooms of the USA. There are any number of contenders of varying degree of softness, strength, and affordability vying for your patronage. The lower grades are sometimes called John Wayne toilet tissue
, because they don't take any crap off of anyone. This seems to be the type preferred by governmental facilities such as rest area
s and prison
s. I suppose beggar
s (and thieves) can't be choosers. The better grades of tissue are just that, dramatically better. Charmin holds its spot among the best. As long as wild bears go poo in the woods, Charmin will be around. Now, if the bears just weren't so cussedly cutesy!