Wish I could have have found a color photo of this packaging, but it may be too rare. Seems to have only been on the market for that one year. Using the aerosol spray’s cap as a pill box hat is nice touch, I think.
Early ads introducing the product cite its “decorator can” as a selling point: “new Soft ’n Easy comes in a beautiful decorator can you’ll be proud to display anywhere.” And: “the one hair spray you will not hide!”
How compelling a selling point was this for women buying hair spray in the 1960s?
Well, we have the focus group below, debating that very topic…
Chairman Neighbors: All right, there is another question that came up: How important is decoration to an aerosol can? This came up from both panels. Someone indicated — was it you, Ann — that the look of a container, an aerosol container is not really important at all. And as I recall, I believe it was you, Linda — Linda B — who felt that the look of the container, especially a metal container, was terribly important. Do you want to talk about that a little bit? How important is the decorative element of the metal container?
Miss Bogan: Well, when I said that it was important — this may sound like a cliche, but it is all in how you look at it. It depends on what you want it for.
Now if you have a vanity table or a stand where you’re going to put on your makeup and you — I — and I want to keep my deodorant — if I should ever switch over to hair spray, my hair spray — anything like this out, I don’t want an ugly looking can sitting with all my makeup, with other things that are in my apartment. I just don’t like that. If it is the kind of thing that I’m going to keep in the medicine cabinet then I don’t care at all. But if I like the product and I like the can, I will pay extra for the can.
Mrs. Plager: I agree with you, if it was something I was going to display I would want it to be pretty. However, most of the products I use I keep in the medicine chest or in the bathroom and they are not on display there. Therefore, I still would rather have a utilitarian can than a decorative one.
Mrs. Grimshaw: I think my comment earlier was that the can sitting out on display didn’t bother me at all. If it is something such as hair spray that I use everyday and generally is an acceptable product, I have no qualms at all about leaving the can with the advertising on it. I wouldn’t necessarily even choose a decorator can.
Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association, 1967
The news squib on the right was clearly about Soft ’n Easy hair spray, although, for some reason, they never actually get around to actually naming the brand.
They do mention, however, its anthropomorphized packaging: “…pretty enough for any dressing table, the lovely miss in her floral dress knows that something special is inside.”
(Another Soft ’n Easy hair spray ad, after the fold…)
In this cross-promotion ad, we see an illustration of a woman holding the anthropomorphic aerosol can. The ad is actually for selling $4.99 “Soft ’n Easy” shoes. (The Soft ’n Easy hair spray, in this case, was for free.)