"Avon Calling !"
”Ding Dong Avon calling” is one of the best-known branding catch phrases for the 1950s, but the Avon Ladies have moved on from the iconic-smiling American homemaker to the working mother on-the-go of today.
But what many are not aware of is that the First Avon Lady was actually a young salesman by the name of David McConnell. He launched Avon Calling in 1886, offering women cosmetics in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, but ironically, perfumes and hand-cream were not McConnell’s initial merchandise. McConnell realized that women liked his perfume more than his books. So, he abandoned books and organized the New York-based California Perfume Company and the door-to-door approach seemed a perfect fit for cosmetics, particularly in rural areas, where homemakers, in horse-and-buggy days, had poor access to better stores.
With global aspirations and during a visit to England, McConnell was struck by the beauty of the countryside surrounding Stratford-on-Avon, and introduced a product line called Avon comprising a toothbrush, talcum powder, and vanity set. In 1939, the company’s name was changed to Avon Products Inc.
With the 1950s becoming the age of television, the famous ‘ding dong – Avon calling’ fanfare was first heard on US television in 1954. Further global expansion accelerated in the latter part of the decade, paving the way for entry into Europe.
So next time you pass an Avon Sales Counter at your local Shopping Centre, think back to a time when Avon was not so easily accessable and women waited eagerly for that “Ding Dong” of the bell or the “Ratta Tat Tat” on the door.