AW Throwback: Mr. Bubble

Splish splash! For more than 50 years, Mr. Bubble has been America’s favorite bath time buddy for kids of all ages as one of the top-selling bubble baths. From powdered flakes to liquid bubble bath and now even bath bombs, here’s a look back at how Mr. Bubble has spent over five decades making getting clean almost as much fun as getting dirty.

Mr. Bubble floated onto the bath scene in 1961, invented by Harold Schafer and the Gold Seal Company in North Dakota. One of Schafer’s favorite pastimes was helping his kids with their bath time. He wanted to create a bubble bath for children that was affordable and moved the product away from department stores over to drugstores.

The original formula was made up of powdered flakes and had the slogan “helps bubble you clean and eliminate bathtub ring.” Early commercial spots showed families hosting “Mr. Bubble pool parties” in their backyards. Just pour a little powder into a wading pool, turn on the garden hose, and watch the bubbles grow and grow. This tied in nicely with the brand’s additional slogan “makes getting clean almost as much fun as getting dirty.”

However, the product itself didn’t initially make the kind of splash that everyone hoped it would. Mr. Bubble was a flop when it debuted, thanks to the wrong price tag — 59 cents — that didn’t fit into grocery budgets back then. Schafer worked with a supplier to make sure that the product was still high quality and a bit more affordable. Sales for Mr. Bubble quickly took off afterwards and the company’s mascot was introduced in the late 1960s.

In 1972, Mr. Bubble would introduce a liquid bubble bath to go along with a reformulated powder. Commercials released during this time reflected the two options available for bath time, with Mr. Bubble getting his own jingle in ads too.

I’m Mr. Bubble and I give dirt trouble!

I’m the funniest bubble you’ve ever seen

I’m fun in the tub

Just give me a rub

I help bubble you clean!

Mr. Bubble would later be acquired by The Village Company in 2008, and be reformulated to create more bubbles with a gentler formula. He turned 50-years-old in 2011 and has been a squeaky clean presence in bathrooms ever since. Last year, in honor of National Bubble Bath Day on January 8th, Mr. Bubble celebrated by giving away a bottle of his bubble bath every five minutes that day — gifting more than 1,600 bottles to fans!

Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor

Icon Researcher & Blogger at Advertising Week
Heather Taylor
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