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Mennen's Borated Talcum Toilet Powder, 1898 advertisement.
|Previous owners||1878 - Mennen Company
1992 - Colgate
Mennen is a brand owned in most parts of the world by the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Its most notable product, Mennen Speed Stick, with its fougère perfume and green wide stick, was the market leader among deodorants and antiperspirants for men for many years. It was also noted for its Teen Spirit deodorant, which was the leader in teenage girls' deodorants during the early 1990s.
The Mennen Company was founded in 1878 by Gerhard Heinrich Mennen, an immigrant from Germany. His first product was talcum-based powder, an innovation at the time. The company was originally located in Newark, New Jersey, moving to Morristown, New Jersey in 1953, where it manufactured and sold over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and personal products such as the Skin Bracer, Speed Stick, and Baby Magic products. Lady Speed Stick was a foray into the women's market, and was a huge success due to its shape, which fit a woman's hand, and fragrances. His grandson, G. Mennen Williams, served as Governor of Michigan from 1949-1961.
By Mennen was a successful marketing slogan considering its simplicity. The slogan was created by Richard J. Mercer. The associated jingle, written by Doug Katsaros, contained just three notes, and ended each television commercial for Mennen products.
The company was led by several generations of the Mennen family before being sold to Colgate in 1992. Today none of the Mennen family is involved in the company or its current parent.
At Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is a giant advertisement painted on the rock face of Maryland Heights. While faded and indistinct today, it reads "Mennen's Borated Talcum Toilet Powder" and was painted between 1903 and 1906.
Today, the name Mennen is being phased out in some regions and products in many countries are becoming known simply as Speed Stick or Lady Speed Stick. In North America, both products, as well as Skin Bracer and Afta are still being marketed as being "by Mennen," where the name is still well-known and holds positive connotations. The Baby Magic line was sold to Playtex, who has since sold the brand to Naterra; Colgate-Palmolive retained the Baby Magic branding (as Baby Magic Mennen) for the Latin American market.
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