In 1924, the Kleenex brand of facial tissue was first introduced. Kleenex tissue was invented as a means to remove cold cream. Early advertisements linked Kleenex to Hollywood makeup departments and sometimes included endorsements from movie stars (Helen Hayes and Jean Harlow) who used Kleenex to remove their theatrical make-up with cold cream.
Kleenex and Noses
By 1926, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the manufacturer of Kleenex, became intrigued by the number of letters from customers stating that they used their product as a disposable handkerchief.
A test was conducted in the Peoria, Illinois newspaper. Ads were run depicting the two main uses of Kleenex; either as a means to remove cold cream or as disposable handkerchief for blowing noses. The readers were asked to respond. Results showed that 60% used Kleenex tissue for blowing their nose. By 1930, Kimberly-Clark had changed the way they advertised Kleenex and sales doubled proving that the customer is always right.
In 1928, the familiar pop-up tissue cartons with a perforated opening was introduced. In 1929, colored Kleenex tissue was introduced and a year later printed tissues. In 1932, pocket packs of Kleenex were introduced.
Generic Use of the Word Kleenex
The word Kleenex is now commonly used to describe any soft facial tissue. However, Kleenex is the trademarked name of the soft facial tissue manufactured and sold by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation.