Tender Spot And the Most Intimate Freshness of a Woman – The Cultural History of Finnish Hygiene Advertisements

1/2012

Laura Saarenmaa

The article explores Finnish hygiene advertisements published in Finnish popular magazines between the 1960s and the 1970s. The discussed samples show, that hygiene advertising has been strongly gendered during the period. The products targeted to female consumers emphasize sexual attractiveness whereas the products targeted to male consumers stress prevention of awkward, painful hygiene problems. The article claims that the hygiene advertisements have had an impact on the historically developing attitudes towards personal hygiene and cleanness. Furthermore, through the analysis of Savett-freshen up -towels developed in the early 1960s by Swedish Sture Cederroth it is argued that there has been national differences in emphasizes in the advertising of supranational hygiene products, and that through the historical analysis of hygiene advertisements we learn about differences in national mentalities in relation to personal hygiene and cleanness.