Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Polish with Cherry and Blossom

An Old Ad of Cherry Blossom shoe polish

An Old Ad of Cherry Blossom shoe polish
Indian Edition of The Reader's Digest
March, 1972

Are you polishing your shoes often enough?
For the
Longest life-
Brightest shine
New Improved
Protects your shoes while it shines them
A Reckitt & Colman product

For some reason, these things are always new improved.

By applying appropriate pressure at the point marked ‘Press Here’, one could open this black box of shoe wax. Opening a tin can of boot polish was one of the first great puzzles that I learnt to solve.

A chemist working for Briton brother duo Dan and Charles Mason, who were running the Chiswick Soap Company, invented this product in 1878. The product was launched in 1906, at 1d per tin and was an immediate success. In 1954, Reckitt and Colman were manufacturing this brand of boot polish after they acquired the business. By this time Cherry Blossom had already reached the Indian shores as it was launched in India from Calcutta in 1943. The brand celebrated its centennial year in 2006.

In India the brand is synonymous with Charlie Chaplin due to the 1980s ads created for television by Indian ad guru Alyque Padamsee. Lately, the use of Chaplin imagery for selling the Shoeshine caused a strange set of problems for the brand. In 2007, Bubbles Inc, the Switzerland-based company managed by Chaplin’s legal heirs, slapped a legal notice on Reckitt Benckiser’s Indian subsidiary for unauthorised use of Charlie Chaplin. In response, Alyque Padamsee, the creator of the original ad said, “I modelled the character on the Indian Charlie, Raj Kapoor, after Mera Naam Joker’s release (1970)”.

Bubbles Inc was formed by Charlie Chaplin in 1972 to own and market his merchandising rights, the Chaplin name and image.


Check out rest of the Ads at The Index of Vintage Indian Print Ads


Recommended read:

History of Reckitt Benckiser

1 comment:

  1. Found an old ad of Cherry Blossoms from the 1980s. It has the famous lines 'Did you Cherry Blossom you shoes today?'
    The 'special' thing about the Ad is that it features a woman model.
    Check it out at Kamat's Potpourri


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