Katie and the Cube
Whereas Betty Crocker and her ilk were hardly figures guaranteed to
generate a sexual frisson among consumers, Katie ( OXO and J.Walter
Thompson') was damned attractive and let you know it. You didn't have
wear tightly bolted collars and be sensible - you could have an open
neck, hate the kitchen and be distinctly flirtatious. "Basically
we want the idea that the chap is after the girl for sexiness as well
as for her good cooking, and we need a slogan to keep us on that line."
Joan Drummond coined the celebrated copyline "OXO gives a meal
man appeal." A previous copyline had been OXO works wonders, but
then so did the Double Diamond Beer ads.
The best account of the development of the Katie fiction is given in
John Pearson and Graham Turner's The Persuasion Industry
, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London 1965. Katie was launched as a TV advertising
feature in October 1958, with the actress Mary Holland (at first on
Sunday evening, in three sequential episodes). In 1960 a stouter husband
replaced the willowy orginal and although the profile of the OXO user
did appeal more to the OXO customer, there was no significant rise of
people buying, although those that did buy, bought more.
See also Penny Vicenzi, Taking Stock, over 75 years of the
OXO cube, Willow Books, London 1985.