Business Slogan 43: When It Rains, It Pours

Business Slogan 43: When It Rains, It Pours

Some of you might not have seen or heard of this slogan but it is well known within the salt industry and the advertising world.

Morton Salt Print Ad, 1925

Number 9 in AdAge’s Top 10 Slogan of the 20th Century, this slogan lives on since 1914. That’s 93 years! The only slogan I knew that reigns longer than Morton Salt’s slogan is Maxwell’s “Good to the Last Drop”.

The famous Morton Umbrella Girl and slogan, “When it rains, it pours”� first appear on the blue package of table salt and in a series of Good Housekeeping magazine advertisements. The slogan is adapted from an old proverb, “It never rains but it pours”. The official website of Morton Salt said:

In 1911, Morton’s first advertising campaign for a series of ads in Good Housekeeping created the idea for the girl and her slogan, “When it Rains it Pours.”

One of the concepts presented to Morton was an image of a little girl holding an umbrella in one hand to ward off falling rain and a package of salt in the other hand that was tilted back with the spout open and salt running out.

Morton loved the picture that expressed the Morton message — that salt would run even in damp weather. But the copy that went with it, “Even in rainy weather, it flows freely,” was too long. Morton felt it needed to be shorter and snappier.

So the advertising agency came up with: “Flows Freely,” “Runs Freely,” “Pours” and finally, an old proverb, “It never rains, but it pours.” The adage was rejected for being too negative. A more positive spin on it resulted in the now famous slogan, “When it Rains it Pours.”

The rest as they said is history. Morton Salt became a household name and sales rocket. Morton Salt is the number one brand of salt in the US. For every two cans of salt sold in the US, one is a Morton Salt can. It can easily sells at a $0.20 price premium over other brands and private labels.

As a former Vice President of Marketing at Morton Salt said:

“The answer turned out to be simple. We found that the successful process of marketing commodities requires value added benefits… and if you are the first to add these benefits, and support them, your chances of success are far greater than if you follow someone else.”

Back in 1848, when Morton Salt was founded, salt really was a commodity. It was sold loose, in bags, and would quickly become hard and lumpy, especially in warm, damp climates. Morton Salt made the common salt a respectable product by giving it a corporate identity and branding

1. This was the first COMMODITY to be branded
2. The Brand Campaign targeted a problem and a solution
3. They stuck with it and built it over the years

Today, most commodities have brands. Tomato ketchup has Heinz, Maggi, Farmland … Rice have Umbrella, Royal Thai, Royal Pagoda… Soya Sauce has Tai Hwa, Kikoman … Yes, you got the drift.

Check out more slogans filed under “Famous Business Slogans” category. Learn from these world renowned establishments and see how you can create your own personal or corporate persona. Alternatively, I’m just an email away.

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7 Famous Slogans of 20th Century

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2 Replies to “Business Slogan 43: When It Rains, It Pours”

  1. Hi Vivienne!
    Giving there, the different other options presented to the client and the final arrival at the right slogan is quite great. I liked the details in making the slogan.

  2. Hi Vivienne!

    I think adapting the old adage with different wording was a brilliant move on the part of Morton. In fact, everyone that I know has replace the negative wording of the adage with Morton’s positive wording. The slogan has passed into common usage!

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