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Eleanor Roosevelt Becomes Good Luck Margarine’s Good Luck Charm

True story: At one time in American history, there was a war on margarine, soon after the much cheaper, smoother rival to real butter rose dramatically in popularity during the height of the Great Depression. Margarine eventually won that war, but some might argue that it was former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s endorsement that allowed it to win the hearts and minds of everyday Americans.

In 1959, the Vice President of Broadcasting at Ogilvy & Mather called up Roosevelt’s agent with a “cockeyed idea.”

Would Mrs. Roosevelt do a straight commercial for a margarine account forquite a lot of money?

– VP of Broadcasting, Ogilvy & Mather

At the time, the “First Lady of the World” was no stranger to endorsing products (many believe her endorsement that airplanes were perfectly safe helped launch that industry).

As a human rights champion, this particular endorsement sent a message to poor and middle-class families relying on bread and butter to sustain them that “times had changed” and that she “thoroughly enjoyed” Good Luck Margarine—so they could, too.