Petti Pictures--Modess advertisements

Petti Pictures

SUGARBARRE'S MODESS ADVERTISEMENTS FROM THE ERA


Modess sanitary napkins conducted a famous advertising campaign from 1948 to the 1970's in the U.S.A.  Usually the only words were "MODESS... BECAUSE."

Advertising journals of the time occasionally made fun of the series; sometimes they praised it. In a sense the unfinished phrase summed up the American public's feelings about menstruation: It's something you couldn't talk about!  If you were a man, you did not know what the ad was about. They were used in the war for stopping bleeding.  Even today modern responders say to use Kotex or pads to stop heavy bleeding.  Johnson and Johnson was left with product and decide it would be good for woman's periods. So they began to market them as pads for women.

THESE ARE PROBABLY THE MOST ELEGANT ADS EVER MADE FOR MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS.

(Sugarbarre says...the women were rich, the backgrounds were mansions, the furniture were antiques, and the gowns were white or satin, etc...worth thousands of dollars and would be ruined if blood stained them. These women did NOT WORK. They were in the parlor or getting ready for a ball or in the garden. The first supermodels came out of these ads, they are NOW highly prized as collectibles. The thing about magazines...great art and care, and best photographers shot them and then they were thrown in the garbage. Cheap then, women's magazines... Family Circle...they advanced to Vogue. If you find them...in old stack of magazine...they sell at auction.


Nevertheless, these are probably the most elegant ads ever made for menstrual products.

Compare a French ad for Modess from probably the 1970s, a German one from 1990, and two ads for German o.b. tampons, and see photos America would never dare show in
advertising for menstrual hygiene. They show a more open French and German attitude toward the body; the body is NOT unspeakable!


(above) Suzy Parker

May 1958
Ad copy: Discovery! Discovery! FEMININE FABRIC
sheerest luxury . . . perfected protection
make New Modess your discovery this month
Modess . . . . because
 

 
(above) left-1955  center-1949  right-1953    All enlargeable


(above right) Suzy Parker (left) Dovima


(above right) enlargeable


(above) 1967

     
(above) enlargeable - left, May 1952 - right 1954 - center 1952

       
(above) enlargeable - left to right: 1950 - October 1948 - March 1949 - 1948 - 1952

 

 

 

<1952 Model Dorian Leigh

Model 1957 Suzy Parker>

 

 

 

 

 

<1950

1957>

 

 

 
 

 

<1959
 

1960>

 

 

 


 

Left: 1966
Right: 1965 -

Ad copy: The Modess Shield .. . . safe, effective, unobtrusive. Here's why. Across the bottom and up both sides, under a soft outer covering, a continuous shield of blue polyethylene makes new Modess the most protective napkin. Modess . . . because

 

 

 

 

"The donor of this ad said it came from the late 1940s and portrays the famous model Suzi Parker. The donor cut off the bottom part, which contained the words "Modess . . . because." Note the selective fuzzing of the image, sometimes done by putting petroleum jelly on the parts of the camera lens."

 

 

 

Left: 1954

Right: 1953 - This does not follow exactly the format of the others, but it does have the because in the same style. The text reads:

New design Modess is wrapped in a whisper-soft fabric that's smooth, gentle . . . cannot chafe . . . stronger, more absorbent than gauze!

 

 

1973 

This might be one of the last ads; the signature ad copy, at the beginning, has changed. The copy reads:
Modess more than ever . . . [note that there are only three dots here, instead of the usual four. When an ad campaign fizzles out, it does so in small ways.] because
Today's Modess is the most protective Modess there ever was. Cradled in moisture-proofing. Channeled deep in its softness to absorb faster, to protect you better.
Flushable, if you want it. With deodorant protection, of course. In more than one shape and size, because you're nobody else, nobody else but you [whaaat?].
Modess, more than ever . . .. because.

 


Return to Main PettiPictures Page

Return to Homepage