Recently saw this animated GIF on Procrastinaut and I recognized it as the same “Yes” brand of tissue that I had first noticed in an anthropomorphic packaging illustration by Ray Patin Studios on the left.
As it turns out, the GIF is actually a clip from a 1951 anti-drug film by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc. (more about that later on…)
I remember admiring the “modern” graphic design of this brand and its minimal, affirmative name. Not a good name for a Google-searchable product in today’s online marketplace, but for a time the “Yes” brand—“the tender touch tissue”— was huge.
The packaging is even mentioned in Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 Lolita. (more about this later…)
Manufactured by Personal Products Corporation—a division of Johnson & Johnson—package design for “Yes” brand tissue may have been done by N. W. Ayer Advertising under the direction of Charles T. Coiner. (Maybe someone who has access to the second issue (1951) of the graphic design magazine Portfolio, can confirm this for me—I believe that Yes Tissue’s packaging was included in an article about Coiner’s career.)
(More about Yes Tissue’s packaging design, after the fold…)
“…Youth is a time for getting a job—for finding ones place in the world…”
–Drug Addiction, 1951 film by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc.
Personal Products Corp.’s “Yes” tissues, introduced last year, will soon be appearing in a new container which retains the basic design features of the original, plus feminine eye appeal. Background color is a soft aquamarine sprinkled with white polka dots. With the removal of the perforated top, the face of the package is devoid of sell copy. Lettering on side panels has been reduced in size.
Modern Packaging, 1948
The company also came out with “Yes” brand toilet tissue…
The product was mentioned in a 1956 beauty column by Vivian Brown: “Cleansing tissues should be handy… new tissues are softer and more lint-free than before, available in a decorative gold and white striped box, a compliment to any dressing table.”
(See also: Branding in Your Home)
And then there’s that Nabokov mention from the year before…
“…alongside, coming, going, every vehicle under the dancing sun: the quiet vacationist’s automobile with the box of Tender-Touch tissues in the back window; the recklessly speeding jalopy full of pale children with a shaggy dog’s head protruding…”
from Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
The product also had a life in other countries…
Also worth noting: the “Yes” theme song is apparently still beloved enough in some places to be worth covering.