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“Please don’t squeeze the Charmin!”
Well before the creation of their current animated bear mascots, Procter & Gamble’s Charmin toilet paper had another incredibly iconic spokesperson in Mr. Whipple. Making his debut in 1964, Mr. George Whipple would spend more than 20 years promoting the “squeezable softness” of Charmin and becoming a beloved character of the advertising landscape.
While working at the agency Benton & Bowles, ad man John Chervokas created the Mr. Whipple campaign for Charmin along with the famous tagline “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.” Actor Dick Wilson portrayed Mr. Whipple as an uptight grocer who was determined to do everything he could to keep shoppers from squeezing Charmin packages in his store. In the earliest commercial spots, ladies praised the cushiony, soft texture and fragrant scent of the toilet paper. Even though there was a sign in place telling them not to squeeze it, how could they resist Charmin’s squeezable softness?
As Mr. Whipple grew in popularity, his character ramped up the tactics to keep customers from squeezing Charmin packages. He brought in a cowboy with a lasso, hired employees to watch over the brand’s display, and substituted stuffed animals for customers to squeeze instead. He even awarded one customer “The Whipple Willpower Award” for not squeezing the packages — which she may have still been doing behind his back…
After 21 years and over 500 commercial appearances, Dick Wilson retired from being the Charmin spokesperson. However, in 1999 he would come out of retirement to share the news of the thicker, stronger than ever Charmin with audiences everywhere. “It’s more than just squeezably soft!”
The following year, Wilson received a lifetime achievement award by P&G. Wilson passed away in 2007 with Charmin bidding him a final farewell. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Whipple.