She dreamed she rode in a gondola in her Maidenform Bra
This advertisement from Woman’s Home Companion, November 1953, is just one of the many, many different advertisements from the successful iconic advertising campaign that Maidenform ran in print media throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
Each advertisement, as above, showed a partially undressed woman brazenly exposing her Maidenform bra —as she dreamed she did something amazing, or fun, or fulfilling. The illustration in each dream showed an attractive woman, exquisitely dressed but without a blouse or garment above the waist. Just the white bra. The headline was simply “I dreamed I (something) in my Maidenform bra.”
- On the farm she took the bull by the horns
- Beside a stagecoach she dreamed she was in the wild west. She also dreamed she was on a Wanted poster
- At the circus she walked a tightrope and was tickled pink by a pink elephant
- She dreamed she had Paris at her feet; was lost in a London fog, and she barged down the Nile like Cleopatra
- In Spain she was a toreador; in the billiard hall she took the cue in her hands
- In the bowling alley she bowled them over and in the boxing ring she was a knockout
- She dreamed she won an election, and dreamed she had a whistle-stopping trip on a train
- She opened the World Series and also dreamed she won an Academy Award
- She went to the theater, sang a duet at the Met, ballet danced, played in an all-girl orchestra and made sweet music
- She dreamed she went to work, to the races, and she had the world on a string
- She posed for a Fashion advertisement and she dreamed she was a designing woman
- She was a fireman and she dreamed she was a lawyer who swayed the jury
- With an easel and a brush, she was an artist
- She dreamed she was an international figure and was a queen on a chessboard
- She had tea for two and was a real dish
- She stopped the traffic, painted the town red, went on a tiger hunt
- She was a jack-in-the-box and a bewitching witch with a broomstick
- Of course she dreamed that she won a college scholarship in the Maidenform Dream Contest – where the top prize – of 221 prizes in all – was $10,000 cash
The theme was originated by Harry Trenner and his wife Florence Shapiro Trenner. Harry Trenner was, at that time, working for the William Weintrob Advertising Agency in New York City, and Maidenform was one of his accounts.
Maidenform created a unique selling proposition (USP) that distinguished the product from the competition
The challenge faced by the copywriter is to deliver a fresh message every time for a product that —like almost every product on the market—only has so much that can be said about it. What can be said about soap, or salt or a service? There’s certainly no obvious USP for them or for products that aren’t new and certainly aren’t novel. For them the copywriter has to find original ways of presenting the message.
What if a single creative idea could be varied to attract over and over again? An idea that didn’t become stale with exposure? An idea that packaged the same selling features for the same product each time but with different visuals and different headlines repeating the same message in a fresh, persuasive manner every time. Such a single boundless idea is a theme and Maidenform proved it with the “I dreamed…” campaign.
It was a great campaign built on a campaign theme that gave the advertisements continuity and recall value’ The campaign kept Maidenform front and center in undergarment advertising.
Check out this Printing Times post about Corsets.