mrpersil_logo.gif Persil is a well known brand which has been around for many of years marketed by Henkel. In most European Countries and in the UK it was marketed by Unilever. This brand was invented in 1907, in Stuttgart, Germany, and released in Britain in 1909. It was an unforgettable brand as it was the first detergent which was widely spread across many countries TV screens.

The First Advert

Persil was the first detergent to advertise on television, in 1955. "Persil Washes Whiter" was the slogan. The advert showed a billboard poster being pasted up while a broadcaster asked the question, "Guess the brand." The poster showed two young women in white dresses with the slogan:

"Persil washes whiter - that means cleaner."

1st September 1950 – Persil was re-launched after World War II. It was much alike the Persil that was on sale before the war, but contained “optical brighteners”, which enhanced the white appearance of laundry.

3rd November 1956 – Persil appeared on German TV screens in the first advertising spot.


PERSIL 1986 – “Progress for the environment.” Campaign.

In the 1980’s an obsession for environmental protection emerged. Persil had been researching for new, biodegradable chemicals to replace the surfactants in their powder (the chemicals which polluted surface water). After years of research, Persil finally found a biodegradable chemical which became the centre of their new advertising campaign. Yet Persil still emphasised their ‘Persil washes whiter’ slogan which is still used today.


The German poster advert was aimed at parents: it appealed to mothers as the duvet shows whiter washing and the child sleeping happily reverts to the less harmful chemicals. Fathers agreed with the product as the new powder formula stopped the washing machine from rusting meaning they would not need to repair the machine.

The writing translates to “Finest hour. Best Persil purity now phosphate-free.” Persil’s message branded the product “their best ever” and “environmentally friendly” to make it more desirable. The German advert is more direct and colourful than previous picture adverts; attracting more attention. It took advantage of the environmental obsession of the period yet still carried Persil’s theme of “Brighter Whites.”

The English TV advert was aimed at mothers and students living on their own as the advert shows that their product is quick and easy to use. It also emphasises that Persil washes whiter as the teenager has a bright white shirt at the end. The message behind the advert is that Persil is quick and easy to use, yet still brighter than other brands.
The TV advert is suitable for the target audience than previous TV adverts. It takes advantage of the rushed lifestyle of the 80’s along with making their "Persil washes whiter" slogan cool for youths rather than just appealing for mothers.

Persil "Big Mummy caimpaign" - 2002

Persil's "Big Mummy" was an enthusiastic and challenging project which ran over a short period of 2 months and was one of their most successful advertising campaigns.

The task of the campaign was to get children to enter an art competition, by drawing or painting a picture of their parents. Overall as a result Persil wished to put together a giant mosaic of all their entries and enter it into the Guinness World book of records. The Evening Standard gave a boost to the campaign through advertisements; The Evening Standard has more readers with children than any other newspaper.

Their Aims Were

  • To target a specific audience; busy, commuting parents.
  • To encourage people to look through their site
  • Inform the viewers with information by the use of creative pictures

persil.jpgPersil's main aim overall was to promote a more creative side to their advertising brand,by the use of:

  • Press
  • Direct mail
  • Radio
  • Online
  • PR
  • Commercially
  • persil-angels_thumb_140x180.jpg

The target audience Persil wanted to refer to was busy, working mothers with children under the age of 10, who have internet access both at home and work. Persil reckoned that about half its target market has web access.

To the right is an advertisement in the evening standard newspaper. It was aimed at busy mothers as it could be read quickly on the way to work. The message behind the ad was that of the campaign:

"When your children have been having fun and messing around with paints, Persil Performance will transform your dirty little monsters into clean angels, temporarily!"

With this, Persil found an innovative idea to involve customers whilst advertising their product. They still stuck to their "Persil washes whiter" slogan as used in previous and later adverts, but Persil took a risk and pushed the boundaries of advertising which is why this advertising campaign was so successful.

Dirt is good…

(2007-present day)

Was created to get across persil’s brand philosophy that children should be left to explore their world and get muddy without mum having to worry about the washing!
With this campaign, Persil want to tap into the popular theme of active learning and a young age only mum doesn’t have to worry about the impossible stains that are inevitable at that age!

The latest advert…

The latest advert is based on a robot that slowly changes into a child while playing in the mud and rain:

This new advert has been aimed at the millions of mothers around the world with kids at the age where they want to start exploring the world for themselves. Mothers should be able to connect with the advert and therefore want to buy the products.

I think that this advert campaign is quite similar to previous campaigns in that it appeals to the same range of people and tries to connect with mothers and nature. Persil have just brought this advert into the 21st century by using the “roboboy” idea.

“What is a Mum?”
Companies have gone back to their heritage in an attempt to install nostalgia in their customers who, during the recent recession, are looking for reliable brands.
Persil has taken adverts from the beginning of the birth of their own advertising in their original form and put them back into a recent ad, aimed at mothers specifically.
The advert asks the simple question "What is a Mum?" and just rolls clips from a lot of different Persil adverts while a voice-over pretty much answers the question.
The campaign has brought about a lot of complaints, possiibly from mums themselves, about how Persil is indicating that only real mothers buy Persil.