Box Vox

packaging as content

April 1, 2013

Vote Toothpaste

1966 Vote Toothpaste packaging design

Vote Toothpaste is a now defunct toothpaste brand, manufactured by Bristol-Myers in the 1960s.

Offered here as proof debunking the internet myth that we noted on Friday. (That the industry term, nurdle—a toothbrush length extrusion of toothpaste—was “coined by the American Dental Association in the 1990s.”)

While I can’t say whether or not it was the American Dental Association that coined the word, it certainly wasn’t in the 1990s. Use of the word the word goes back at least as far as 1968.

Although no illustrations or photographs of “nurdles” were not included in the design of Vote Toothpaste’s packaging, the word “nurdle” played a key role in its some of its advertising…


Mentioned twice in this 1968 issue of New York Magazine—once in the comic strip and once in the tagline (“A nurdle a day keeps the dragon away.”)

The word is also used in this 1969 animated spot by Rowland B. Wilson


(via: Michael Sporn Animation)

In later 1970s commercials for Vote Toothpaste, there is no mention of “nurdles”…

See also: Vote Soap Box

(But wait, there’s more, after the fold…)

Vote’s award-winning dragon mouth campaign is cited in this 1968 NY Magazine squib above (and the word “nudles” is used.)

Bristol Myers also used an inflatable, toothpaste-shaped hot air balloon  to promote Vote Toothpaste in conjunction with the 1968 GOP convention. (Mentioned in a 1968 Walter Winchell column and the 1968 NY Times article “Advertising: Getting in on the GOP’s Act” on right.) Sorry not to have found a photo of this.

And finally, Vote Toothpaste’s plastic tube, as mentioned on their carton, was new packaging.

The stage has been set for another fight In the toothpaste business Almost every year it seems that dentifrice makers dream up something new to woo the consumer…

This time the war will center on a container Bristol-Myers is introducing nationally. A new toothpaste called Vote is the first to be packed in plastic laminate.

Since several other manufacturers have recently been testing a dentifrice in a similar container, these brands will follow Vote to the national market and with heavy promotion. Promotion will equal or surpass that of competitive brands which have been on the market for some time Bristol-Myers said. Young is the agency.

The plastic tube as a convenience item is certain to be favored by consumers. When squeezed and released the tube returns to its original shape unlike a metal tube which has to be rolled up or otherwise squeezed out of shape.

Kingsport News (Tennessee), 1967

 

 

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