Listerine hit people on their weak spot. People are often insecure with their body image and Listerine got them. They made people insecure about their breath. They coined a term halitosis, which derived from Latin root halitus, or “breath,” with the Greek suffix osis, “a state of disease
“Listerine, for instance, was invented in the nineteenth century as powerful surgical antiseptic. It was later sold, in distilled form, as both a floor cleaner and a cure for. But it wasn’t a runaway success until the 1920s, when it was pitched as a solution for “ “— a then obscure medical term for . Listerine’s new ads featured forlorn young women and men, eager for marriage but turned off by their mate’s rotten breath. “Can I be happy with him in spite of that?” one maiden asked herself. Until that time, bad breath was not conventionally considered such a catastrophe. But Listerine changed that. As the advertising scholar writes, “Listerine did not make mouthwash as much as it made halitosis.” In just seven years, the company’s revenues rose from $115,000 to more than $8 million.”
Here are actual images of their campaign.