Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You’re Soaking In It

Ah, Madge, the chatty manicurist who worked in the 'Salon East Beauty Parlor' in the classic Palmolive commercials.

Do you remember her? If you’re around my age, you probably do.

She would secretly soak her customer’s fingernails in Palmolive dishwashing liquid, and tell them to use it because it “softens your hands while you do the dishes”.  Then she’d shock them by saying “You’re soaking in it”, her trademark line, which became one of the most famous and parodied television commercial quotes.


Here’s a clip of that commercial:



The Madge character was popular around the world. In France she was “Francoise”, in Germany, Switzerland and Austria she was “Tilly”, and in Finland she was “Marissa”.


The Palmolive ads featuring Madge the Manicurist appeared in print and on television for 27 years, from 1966 to 1992, and were played by actress Jan Miner who died in 2004 at the age of 86. She was a radio, television, film and stage actress, but she was best known as ‘Madge’ the wisecracking manicurist.

Till this day, I still catch myself using the quote “You’re soaking in it”, now and again.

30 comments:

  1. Great marketing, and a nice look back.

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  2. I'll have to ask my manicurist if she agree with Madge... hahaha

    We had the same commercial in French!

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    1. I've used Palmolive for washing dishes, and I don't agree! Hahaha...

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  3. I'm starting to think Madge is Progressive's Flo's mom

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  4. Love(d) this commercial Martha! I've been quoting Madge for years with 'you're soaking in it'. That was one successful ad campaign.
    Thanks for making our day!

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    1. I think most of us commenting here are old enough to clearly remember her!

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  5. Gees, I'm still soaking in it ~~ I'm typing with one hand right now!!!

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    1. Hahahahaha...that made me really laugh! Hahahaha....

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  6. Oh, i remember Madge and her wonderful commercials.
    Great post, Martha.
    Smiles
    Happy Wednesday
    x

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    1. She was quite a popular lady. I bet the company paid her well!

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  7. I remember Madge!!! Wow... that's a blast from the past...

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    1. A blast from the past for many of us 'older' folks! Hahaha...

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  8. She had a great booming voice, if I remember, Martha. Always had mixed feelings about that commercial, but I think it subtly and successfully pushed buttons for both stay-at-homes and working gals (and the ones in both camps who thought the grass was greener on the other side).

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    1. Yes, she did have a great booming voice, and a strong character. Definitely a couple of reasons for the success of these ads.

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  9. lol OF COURSE I remember I'll be 55 on April 21, if I'm lucky there will be no snow, but who know? it's so strange to see our past right in front of our eyes, I love the Internet and thank you for sharing Martha x

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    1. There are so many things I've forgotten, Lorraine, but the internet brings them all back! What an amazing thing it is.

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  10. Loved her and those commercials! Come to think of it, my mother always used Palmolive. She didn't have a dishwasher in the olden days! :)

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    1. Palmolive is one of the dish washing liquids that was used regularly in my parent's house. I've used it in the past, but now I mainly use Sunlight.

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  11. That stuff can't be good for your hands but it did make Madge look hot on TV.

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  12. Madge has the gravely voice of a long-time smoker! When I see this commercial now I think about how bad it would be to soak my hands in Palmolive. Parabens and SLS. agh!

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  13. That took me back, I actually use Palmolive at home and it doesn't soften my hands. I must not be using it right.

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    1. It never softened my hands in all the years I used it, so I must have been using it wrong, too :)

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