J. B. Watson and advertising

greenspun.com : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread

A student of mine was told by another professor that John B. Watson, in his advertising years, invented the slogan "good to the last drop" for Maxwell House coffee. It seems unlikely to me, and it appears no where in my sources. But I told her I would run it past a group of experts. Anyone care to comment?

-- John Hogan (hoganjohn@aol.com), February 04, 2004


[Posted for DD by cdg.]

I notice that he is cited as having had Maxwell House as one of his later accounts, in Warren Street's APA historical calendar for March 15 http://www.cwu.edu/~warren/calendar/cal0315.html

See Coon, D. J. (1994). "Not a creature of reason": The alleged impact of Watsonian behaviorism on advertising in the 1920's. In Todd, J. T. & Morris, E. K., (eds.), Modern perspectives on John B. Watson and classical behaviorism. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 37-63.

-- David Devonis (Devonis@graceland.edu), February 05, 2004.

Cohen, D. (1979), J. B. Watson, The Founder of Behaviorism, A Biography. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p. 185, has two paragraphs about Watson's advertising work for Maxwell House, but the "good to the last drop" slogan is not mentioned.

Hunt, M. (1993). The Story of Psychology. New York: Doubleday, p. 260, refers to Watson's advertising work for Maxwell House, specifically,""...and one for Maxwell House that helped make the "coffe break" an American custom in office factories, and homes,"" but does NOT mention the "good to the last drop" slogan.

I cannot at the moment locate my copy of Peggy Kreshel's article, based on her doctoral dissertation, which examined Watson's influence in advertising, but it may have information on the topic. Thorne, B.M., & Henley, T.B. (2001). Connections in the History of Psychology. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, p. 341, includes a synopsis of Kreshel's view (nothing specific to Maxwell House there, however), and the citation for Keshel may be seen in Thorne and Henley.

-- Roger K. Thomas (rkthomas@uga.edu), February 05, 2004.

[Posted for RBE by cdg]

Karl Dallenbach, my doctoral professor, used to tell us that Watson did "LSMFT -- Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco." It is certainly a jingle that makes use of mnemonics and association. I find it interesting how many fables are created about famous psychologists, often by their students. I don't know independently of the truth of this one, though Dallenbach knew Watson quite well.

-- Rand B. Evans (EVANSR@MAIL.ECU.EDU), February 07, 2004.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ