This week for Throwback Thursday, Boost Media uncovers 3 new digital marketing insights from the historical Miss Pears competition. Pears Soap was key to shaping modern marketing and advertising techniques. Back in 1959, they launched the Miss Pears competition: An annual beauty pageant in which young girls competed to be featured on the soap’s packaging for a year. The competition brought substantial publicity and notoriety to the brand. So what can marketers takeaway from the Pears Soap story?

Build your brand identity by association

Nobody who is truly cool or trendy needs to wear a t-shirt that says, “I’m cool and trendy.” They just are cool and trendy. Similarly, brands like Pears don’t come right out and say, “We are the epitome of beauty.” They established themselves as leaders in beauty by association via the Miss Pears competition. Importantly, this let consumers draw their own conclusions assigning meaning to the Pears brand. What meaning do you want consumers to assign to your brand and how can you develop this by association?

Build your customer’s identity by creating a story

Not only did Pears create an elite association with beauty by featuring beautiful young girls on their packaging who often went on to become famous models and actresses; they made beauty accessible to customers in the form of soap. They created a story that people who use Pears are refined, civilized and beautiful. Therefore, consumers who want to think of themselves in this way can validate their own identities by using Pears. What is the underlying identity consumers buy when they buy from your brand?

Involve customers in advertising

Miss Pears involved contestants as well as a broader audience of those following the contest. Though many of the girls featured on Pear’s packaging went on to become models, at the time, they were amateurs. Putting their faces on the packaging and allowing the general audience to watch them throughout the competition gave consumers a sense of buy-in, ownership and involvement with the brand. How can you facilitate a sense of consumer involvement and ownership with your brand?

Miss Pears demonstrates that consumers have wanted to be involved in brand advertising for at least 65 years if not longer. With the high participation of online contests and prevalence of consumers mentioning brands in tweets among other online activities, it is clear that consumers still want to engage in the advertising process and today they want to do it online. What is your brand’s version of Miss Pears that can engage consumers as a part of your advertising process?



About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.