JOHNSON'S BABY POWDER Print Ad. ca. 1972.
It was only in 1956 that the American pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson, set up its Philippine office, but years before that, its flagship product, JOHNSON’S BABY POWDER was already enjoying the good patronage of Filipino mother and their babies.
It was this product that shifted the reputation of Johnson & Johnson from a medical company to a “baby company”.
Invented in 1893, JOHNSON’S BABY POWDER was made from Italian talc that had a more soothing effect than the plasters J&J manufactured earlier. Talc also provided effective relief from diaper rash. The product was a success and was launched in the market the following year.
JOHNSON’S BABY POWDER , in the familiar tin packaging, was initially imported and sold by JOHNSON’s BABY POWDER was known locally as “Talco Johnson”.
|Early Johnson's Baby Powder Ad, 1953|
Availability of the product improved when the local J&J office on Dasmariñas St. took over the distribution of the U.S.-made Johnson’s product. Demand was so great that J&J contracted a local trading firm, Shiro, to manufacture JOHNSON’S BABY POWDER locally, in limited supply (J&J would soon set up its manufacturing plant in Pasig).
Marketing efforts were also stepped up, and J&J turned to professional advertising to support the lead brand. In the next couple of years, JOHNSON’S BABY POWDER was promoted solely for baby’s use—for the effective protection of his delicate skin against rashes and chafing.
|JOHNSON'S BABY POWDER Ad, 1959.|
Though the slogan “Best for Baby. Best for You” appeared in 1959 ads, the message continue to focus on babies’ complexion.
|JOHNSON'S BABY POWDER Ad, 1961.|
For adults, Johnson’s also launched a medicated powder that was advertised in the early 1960s, but this did not catch on.
|A PAIR OF JOHNSON'S BABY POWDER 'Mom & Das" ads. 1964.|
It was not until 1964 that an attempt to expand its usage to adults was made in subsequent campaigns with reference to JOHNSON’ S BABY POWDER’s gentleness as “best for baby, for you”.
It would only be later, in the 70s and 80s, that ads targetting specific audiences i.e. other than babies-- like adults and youths—were produced to create broader appeal, by taking out the “baby-ness” from JOHNSON’S BABY POWDER.
"Ikaw Lamang, Wala ng Iba" was one such campaign that was created by agency McCann-Erickson in the 1980s, which featured the product being used by teens.
WATCH JOHNSON'S BABY POWDER 1980s AD HERE:
youtube, Johnson's Baby Powder TVC 'Wala nang Iba" TVC 1980s, uploaded by Jackie Arjona, published 6 Nov. 2010.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyNLWgQ9HGs
Johnson & Johnson Philippines website