Fictional human characters help companies build relationships with consumers. N. K. Fairbank & Co. introduced the Gold Dust Twins at the end of the nineteenth century to sell the company’s all-purpose washing powder. The Twins illustrate the tremendous appeal of brand mascots and are one example of an era when companies used racially stereotyped characters to promote products.
Without overlooking the racial implications, the sides of the Gold Dust washing powder box showed the Gold Dust Twins (and Gold Dust washing powder) doing the cleaning, not the woman who bought the soap. The same technique later worked for a new generation of cleaning supply mascots, led by Mr. Clean.
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