Camay soap is a popular brand of soap that has been used by millions of people around the world with a history of over 90 years. The soap was first introduced in 1926 by the American company Procter & Gamble as a premium brand of soap that was marketed toward women.
This writer used this “girlie soap” all through childhood. Being an only child, my mother did all the shopping. I remember that we used Camay both at the sink and in the bath. It only came in a single size – no larger bath-sized bar. Texas was in a terrible drought in the mid 1950s. My parents and I actually shared the same bath water. Ugh! The water became quite cloudy with all the Camay soap residue.
The Name and Its Target Market
The name “Camay” was derived from the French word “camée,” which means “cameo.” The soap was named after the delicate, ornamental shell or stone carving that was popular during the 1920s.
The original formula for Camay soap contained a unique blend of moisturizing ingredients, including rich oils and perfumes. The soap was designed to leave the skin feeling soft, smooth, and fragrant. The signature scent of Camay soap was a floral bouquet that was both feminine and elegant.
In the 1930s, Camay soap became a household name in the United States and was sold in stores across the country. The soap was advertised in magazines and on radio shows, with slogans like “The soap of beautiful women” and “Beauty is the promise of Camay.”
World War II
During World War II, Procter & Gamble stopped production of Camay soap in the United States and began manufacturing soap for the war effort. However, Camay soap continued to be produced and sold in other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Camay soap underwent a series of advertising campaigns that emphasized the soap’s luxurious qualities and its ability to make women feel beautiful and confident. The soap was often advertised with images of glamorous women in elegant settings, and the slogan “For the skin you love to touch” became synonymous with the brand.
Here is a brief overview of the brand’s ownership history:
1926 – 1954: Procter & Gamble
Camay soap came from Procter &n Gamble in 1926 as a premium brand of soap marketed towards women. Procter & Gamble owned the brand for nearly three decades until 1954.
1954 – 1980: Lever Brothers (later Unilever). In 1954, Procter & Gamble sold Camay soap to Lever Brothers, which was later acquired by Unilever. Unilever owned the brand for over two decades until 1980.
1980 – 1991: Warner-Lambert. In 1980, Warner-Lambert acquired Camay soap as part of its acquisition of the personal care division of Lever Brothers. Warner-Lambert owned the brand for just over a decade until 1991.
1991 – 2005: Procter & Gamble. In 1991, Procter & Gamble reacquired Camay soap from Warner-Lambert. Procter & Gamble owned the brand for another 14 years until 2005.
2005 – present: Unilever. In 2005, Procter & Gamble sold Camay soap back to Unilever as part of a larger deal involving several brands. Unilever has owned the brand ever since and continues to sell Camay soap in many countries around the world.
Over the years, Camay soap has undergone several formula changes and packaging updates. In the 1990s, the soap was reformulated to include more moisturizing ingredients, and the packaging was updated to reflect a more modern, feminine aesthetic.
Today, Camay soap is still sold in many countries around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, India, and Brazil. The soap continues to be marketed towards women and is still known for its signature floral fragrance and moisturizing properties.
- Year Started: 1926
- Year Ended: 2099
- Origin Of Name: from the French word “camée” meaning Cameo
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Proctor & Gamble
- Owner While In Use: Several
- Owner Successor: Unilever
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: N/A
- Naics Code: 325611
- Location Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio USA