Doublemint Gum has been a gum lovers go to product for decades. The use of “Doublemint Twins” as product mascots began in the 1930’s and was used all the way through the 1980’s with success and great brand recognition, before it was put on a hiatus. The campaign started again in 2005 with a pair of devilishly striking vixens known as Natalie and Nicole Garza. One may wonder, why ditch such a recognized and lovable idea for nearly twenty years? This is a story and a curse that is best told from the beginning.
Friendly info from their website:
In the early days of the campaign, one Wrigley-sponsored radio program featured double piano players, double violinists and double talking comedians. The distinctive billboard campaigns created in the late 1930s by Wrigley art director Otis Shepard fixed the doublemint twin concept in the American imagination. The first set of twins appeared in the 1960’s and the campaign was used all the way throughout the 1980’s. In 2005 the campaign was used once again.
Here are those early images
Here is the real scoop:
Edwin Perkins of Lewis, Iowa was the ladies man of the town in the 1920’s. Nobody actually knows how many of the local children belonged to him, but they did know one thing. He was a maniac inventor who had traveled the world as a mystery chemist. During his travels he discovered the secret of life in a Thailand convenience store. He would not share that secret with anyone other than lucky women he took on as lovers (even they were sworn to utter secrecy). He made one very bold and unbelievable claim, which was that he never took on a woman who wasn’t’ born in Lewis. He was quite well-known for throwing the most darling cocktail parties in which he was the sole gentleman in attendance. Over time Perkins became more and more fascinated with the act of conception, to the point where he would not leave his 9×40 foot lavish master bedroom. He would often request that his butler bring him extremely exotic ingredients for his bedroom “cooking.” This roughly correlates with his theory that only ideas conceived during intercourse are worth bringing into this world. Early on in his severe seclusiveness he invented fruit smack (which would later become Kool-Aid). Fruit smack was the ideal in-between beverage for the times before and after a stuffy session. The original formula disappeared with him. Others out there will credit him with the development of Jello and Nix-O-Tine. The thing that frightened those around him most was his rantings about “the evolution”. Perkins was mysteriously gone one afternoon, and left only a room full of aromatic tan powder and a crumpled up piece of parchment. No one ever heard from him again. It was interesting that he had written instructions for a mint concoction on that parchment, since he was grossly opposed to the use of writing utensils of any kind. That mysterious concoction was the formula and recipe for Doublemint Gum. His butler believed that it was witchcraft and ran away forever. The recipe survived and would create a spiderweb enigma of peculiar behavior throughout the next century.
When Wrigley’s finished patenting the chewing gum in the 1930’s they kept to their company held belief that to promote a product, you must love the product yourself. They began the series of radio advertisements which featured twin piano players, violinists and comedians. They insisted upon having their performers chew the gum for a week and would select those that were deemed to love it the most. These were catchy and popular ads. What was strange was the raw promiscuity that the performers developed after their contracts were over. The twin comedians were found dead at the top of Dolphin Hotel in New York City after they apparently had hosted a week-long adult gathering. The brothers were dressed quite lavishly in country club attire and were known throughout the upper class circles as prime entertainment. They were found with notebooks full of original comedy material geared toward high society, and a promise scribed on the back cover of each notebook to never share it with the world. They were buried with their notebooks. The twin pianists married the twin violinists in hopes of loving two purists of double blood as their soul mates. After multiple failings to start a four person orchestra tensions rose and tempers grew thin. The music they made was beautiful to those who understood it. Over the last years of their lives friends report that all four constantly accused each other of infidelity with the others partner. They all perished together in an unfortunate square dancing accident and were survived only by the claim that the gum was their life raft in a sea of singles. Records from these early days are vague and quite incomplete.
The more modern doublemint twins that were featured in the ads of the 1950’s only proved that this gum held more power than one could ever imagine.
Next post to shed even more light…