Olay offers an array of skin care and personal cleansing products that provide multiple benefits designed for women of all ages.
Olay Company History
What is now a $1 billion business began in the home laboratory of chemist Graham Wulff in the early 1950s. He dreamt of creating a new beauty product for women that not only made them look and feel beautiful but that also embodied the essence of beauty itself. This would be a far cry from the thick, greasy facial creams packaged in shoe polish-style tins of the day.
Using his wife Dinah as his muse and research respondent, he began to truly understand what women really wanted. They wanted the same thing women still seek today, younger-looking, beautiful skin. It was with this understanding that he was able to perfect his formula. He knew that his new facial moisturizer needed to closely resemble the fluids found in young skin. It needed to be…"as close as possible to skin sebum. Something that would penetrate rapidly, be compatible with the skin, remain stable, restore and hold moisture, while protecting the skin and leaving the surface with a supple, matte finish, ten minutes after application," according to Wulff.
Together, he and his wife had fine-tuned everything from absorption and texture, to the delicate pink shade and instantly recognizable fragrance. By listening to Dinah and understanding her input, he was able to perfect his new "beauty fluid." At last, the legendary Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid was born.
With his formula complete and the first batch mixed by hand, he enlisted the help of an advertising agency that he found in the Yellow Pages. They sent account executive Jack Lowe, who quickly became his lifelong friend and business partner. The two soon created a company – Adams National Industries – to produce and market. Within five years, was enjoying phenomenal success in South Africa because they struck an important chord with women. Wulff knew that for women looking good and feeling good were inseparable – a belief that still drives today.
In 1959, Graham felt it was time to introduce to the world and the partners began to expand into England, the United States, the Netherlands, Canada and Germany. The business flourished. Sadly, Jack Lowe became ill and died in 1967. Just three years later, Graham sold to Richardson Merrill, which later became Richardson-Vicks. In 1985, Procter & Gamble bought Richardson-Vicks, and gained the brand.
In 2000, Procter & Gamble decided to shorten the brand name. When Wulff and Lowe named the brand back in the 1950s, adding 'Oil of' to the name signified that the original formula contained certain topical oils. But as the formula has evolved over the years, the name no longer fit with what women have come to expect from Olay. The formula of today is light and greaseless, absorbing quickly into the skin.
Today, it is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, with over $1 billion in global sales. Yet through all the changes and innovations, the philosophy upheld by our founding partners remains just as relevant as ever: Combine products that fit a woman's lifestyle with leading-edge technology and a deep understanding of her changing needs, and you have a potent formula for success.
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