From Kutol to Play-Doh

blog-playdoh

Did you eat wallpaper paste as a child or know someone who did? Perhaps you knew someone like Ralph Wiggum, that paste-eating character on The Simpsons whose leprechaun told him to burn things? Blame it on the paste if you want, but the connection between wallpaper accouterments and children are closer than you’d like to believe. When you hire white paper writers, you too stand to gain impressive factoids like the one you are about to read.

A Soap Manufacturer on a Slippery Slope

Kutol , founded in 1912, was the Wal-Mart of wallpaper cleaners. It didn’t start out at the top, though, and was floundering with its soap manufacturing business until 1927. At that time Kutol owners, Cleo and Noah McVicker, realized they needed to change their business model. Soap, it seemed, was not their squeaky clean, golden pot at the end of the rainbow. What they needed was to evolve and produce a product that would make them stand out in the world of cleaning supplies.

Kutol, the Wallpaper Cleaner King

Back in the day when wallpaper was all the rage, so was coal, that heat producer known for its sooty properties. After a week or so of smoking the house out with airborne contaminates, just imagine what your lungs would have looked like, not to mention your wallpaper. Your walls would have been coated in a powdery form of amorphous carbon, leaving you to live in a dark and dingy world. It’s little wonder that Kutol became a household name in 1933 with its revolutionary new putty-like product.

Wives around the world invested in this company by adding a glob of wallpaper putty to their grocery carts each week. Similar to Silly Putty, Kutol wallpaper cleaner came in a kneadable mass. To use this, you would massage the Kutol wall cleaner onto the wallpaper. Like magic, the putty would turn a wall from soot to shine in seconds. For the next 20 years, Kutol was the crème de la crème of households, earning the company a solid reputation and substantial success.

Rising from the Charred Coal

By the 1950s coal was phasing out for the less toxic and cleaner gas and oil furnaces. Soon Kutol wallpaper cleaner was on the commercial chopping block and Kutol, once again, was facing bankruptcy. Did they fall to the wayside? Did they ask the government to bail them out? Did they bash the oil and gas industries with blasphemous campaigns in hopes of getting coal back on their side?

No, they did not.

They took the high road and continued to create and invent and collaborate until they came across a new and novel idea for their business. They turned their soot-coated putty into a childhood play toy that is on every child’s Christmas list 100 years after Kutol was founded.

They invented Play-Doh .

Marketers working online constantly see the ebb and flow of evolution. A decade ago, Facebook did not exist and neither did Twitter, Instagram , Pinterest , or LinkedIn. Online marketers were limited to well-placed ads, newsfeeds , email campaigns, and top-ranking websites. My, how times have changed, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the online marketing tools and methods will change sooner than you would like.

The question is, will you go the way of the dinosaur or will you strike out, Kutol-style?

Miranda B likes to believe that she is the Kutol of content writers, constantly molding her ideas to reflect the ever-changing world of the web.


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