Last Friday, during the gut-wrenching (literally) Farrah documentary, we got to see the commercial again. Not Farrah shampoo (a Faberge product), nor her Mercury car ad, but Noxzema Shave Cream. We still use Noxzema, thought the plain medicated kind in the white can is hard to find, and not all stores stock it.
Proctor & Gamble bought Noxema from parent company Noxell, and screwed it up. The men’s shaving cream was seen as an upper-premium brand, but during Proctor & Gamble’s ownership, it turned it into a cheap brand, not advertised at all, and sold it on price. They even outsourced the sale of the famous shave cream to Los Angeles-based Universal Group. P&G did some some correct things with Old Spice, and we don’t know how they messed it up with Noxzema. Thankfully, Alberto-Culver now owns the brand, though it appears that Universal is still running the men’s and women’s shaving group.
Of course, Baltimore-based Noxell, the company that made Noxzema, was a brilliant marketing force, and the shave cream made a name for itself with the Gunilla Knutson’s “Take it all off” striptease ad. But the Farrah ads were just as popular, and helped make Farrah famous, as she was in the commercials with Joe Namath. The product was and is great; it once had on its directions that you could use the cream as moisturizer after shaving.
We do miss the lime flavor!
Farrah herself loves the history of the commercials in her early career. On her website FarrahFawcett.us, she mentions that a CBS documentary a few years ago was looking for votes to decide the BEST Super Bowl commercial ever.
Below, some more Farrah commercials, all part of the creation of the Farrah brand.
Great Balls of Comfort