Come for the gimcracks. Stay for the SPUG.

Colgate ad found on the back cover of the January 1915 issue of The Designer magazine
Colgate ad found on the back cover of the January 1915 issue of The Designer magazine

What’s a gimcrack? Pretty much the same thing as a gewgaw, d-uh.

Mr. Smith must’ve been a real tightwad over clothing, as both he and Mrs. Smith wear the same outfits for several days. Hopefully, Colgate made a deodorant back then. (Nowadays, they do make Speed Stick.)

What’s the deal with fainting couches? In related news, a chaise longue is usually screwed up by Americans as a “chaise lounge”.

It looks like SPUG was made up for this ad, but there are other SPUGS that exist today.

The ad copy:

A Colgate Christmas Movie

The Smiths’ best Xmas

Mrs. Smith in despair thinks of many people whom she must “remember”

She well knows Mr. Smith’s attitude toward bills for expensive presents

Having made a list of names she goes shopping — with poor results

She comes home at night and lies down, worn out

That very evening she sees an advertisement of Colgate Comforts for Christmas

— and decided to take advantage of the suggestion the very next day

She selects 17 different gists for the family and for friends

Young People’s Perfumes to Ethel
Violet Water Cousin Bess
Shaving Stick to Father
Cashmere Bouquet Toilet Soap for Mother
Ribbon Rental Cream to Johnny

She adds a large tube of Ribbon Dental Cream and a Jungle Pow Wow book to each child’s Christmas stocking

Everybody is pleased as receiving useful gifts instead of “gimcracks”

She herself is delighted with a bottle of Colgate’s Florient Extract from her sister

She receives many appreciative notes expressing enjoyment over the useful gifts

Mr. Smith’s expression changes

Passed by the Society for the Promotion of Useful Giving


If you want a “Jungle Pow Wow” booklet to put in the Christmas stocking with the tube of Ribbon Dental Cream, write us for one. The book is free.

Colgate & Co
Established 1806
Dept. 14
199 Fulton St., N.Y.

Colgate’s for Christmas
Colgate’s Soaps Perfumes

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