VICKS, the leading name in cough , cold flu and pain medications, began in the 1890s as a concoction of pharmacist Lunsford Richardson, who developed a menthol-based salve that releases soothing vapors when applied to the body.
He named it after his brother-in-law, Dr. Joshua W. Vick, who helped him in setting up his business. Richardson created 21 products which he sold under his newly- formed Lunsford Richardson Wholesale Drug Co. in 1898, which became Vick Chemical Co.
In the 1930s, the company merged with William S. Merrell Chemical Co. to become Richardson-Merrell. In time, VICKS became a successful global brand, and the products reached our shores after the war, distributed by VICKS International. The initial products were VICKS Vaporub and Cough Drops.
In the 1950s, VICKS was actively promoted in the Philippines via Print and Radio advertising. It became a household name when VICKS started a radio show on DZRH, entitled “Reyna ng Vicks” in which housewives and mothers recounted their saddest sob stories. The one who could elicit the most reaction via audience applause, was crowned as “Reyna ng Vicks”. A film version starring Susan Roces hit the movie screens in 1958.
After various mergers and acquisitions, it became Richardson-Vick, Inc., in 1980 . Procter and Gamble (P&G) acquired the company from the Richardson family and its advertising began in 1987, initiated and managed by the local P&G office, and which continues to this day.
VICKS VAPORUB. The most popular VICKS product was created in 1919. During the Spanish flu epidemic in the U.S. in 1919, Vaporub sales tripled to $2.9 million in just one year. It was th first VICKS product to become available in the Philippines after the War.
|VICKIE SANTOS, VICKS brand charactre, 1950s.|
VICKS COUGH DROPS. The popular menthol cough drops were launched in 1931, and were instant hit, selling 25 million pacakges in the first year. By the 1950s, they were widely available in local drugstores. Flavored versions--Wild Cherry and Lemon-- were made to appeal to kids.
VICKS VA-TRO-NOL. Also introduced in 1931, VICKS Va-tro-nol Nose Drops was launched in 1953 in the Philippines. The drops provided relief from nasal congestion, bit did not catch on with the Filipino public.
VICKS INHALER. The instant stuffy nose reliever-in-a-tube, first produced in the U.S. in 1951, was launched in the Philippines in 1959. Its advertising was the first to use a celebrity, matinee idol Jaime de la Rosa, as its print model.
VICKS FORMULA 44. VICKS Cough Syrup, the first liquid cough syrup introduced by Vicks was launched in 1952. As VICKS Formula 44, the syrup provided 8 hours of long-lasting relief to cough sufferers.
VICKS IMPACT. The short-lived anti-cold VICKS Impact tablet for cold and fever was introduced in 1959, but did not flourish.
|VICKS IMPACT, 1959|
REYNA NG VICKS: Video48, http://video48.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-fifties-503-gloria-romero-rita.html