Why Burn Bras When You Care Wear Them To A Fire?

The Times is running a piece on Maidenform’s new ad campaign, but what intrigues me is their old campaign. “Hold it, I know…our Maidenform lady is really a firewoman.”

The New York Times: Maidenform ladies are dreaming again.
Many of those too young to remember probably know about the ad campaign that Maidenform ran from the end of World War II up through the mid-1960’s. It was the one with gorgeous ladies, their bottoms modestly clad but their tops ensconced only in their bras, dreaming they “went shopping” – or rode fire trucks, or crossed the Nile on Cleopatra’s barge – “in their Maidenform bras.”
It was shockingly risqué for the time – in fact, Mad Magazine spoofed the campaign in 1962, with “I dreamed I was arrested for indecent exposure in my Maidenform bra.” But, it sure sold a lot of undergarments.
The company was founded during the Flapper Era of the 1920’s, on the then-radical premise that women who were routinely binding and flattening their breasts would really rather have them lifted and contoured. Its founders were right – women bought bras in droves, and the company took off.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.