Move Over MacArthur.....
Dreft Returns!

"Ladies, Dreft is back!"


Lincoln, Me.  (DG)---

Dreft1945 will be remembered for the end of World War II.  While many servicemen and servicewomen were happily preparing to return to civilian life, the return of an old friend to the dishwashing wars was in the process of becoming reality.  The radio listeners heard this thrilling bit of news during the closing commercials on the late 1945 broadcasts of NBC's LIFE OF RILEY.  The commercial began with the announcer exclaiming, "Ladies, Dreft is back!"

Now you might wonder, "Where the heck did it go?"  The answer was World War II.  When the United States entered the war, many companies did their part for the war effort.  Procter & Gamble, the makers of Dreft, was one of those companies.  While soap production at the company was cut back, the production of Dreft was almost cut back entirely.  It was made in a very limited supply and distributed to a few regions of the country.  The reason why Dreft was affected more in war production than the other Procter & Gamble soap products was because Dreft wasn't a brand of soap!  It was the very first synthetic detergent ever made--- and its ingredients and machinery were needed for war production. 

Dreft BoxAlthough Dreft was hard to find during the war years, Procter & Gamble made sure the listeners didn't forget its detergent creation.  From 1943-1945, Dreft was the sponsor of NBC's DREFT STAR PLAYHOUSE, a daytime anthology series with a serial format.  On the program, announcer Marvin Miller had the unusual task of selling a product on the air that many people simply couldn't buy.  He asked the people to be patient and reminded the listeners Dreft will be coming back for consumer use once Procter & Gamble was able to make it. Of course, it would be after the end of World War II. 

Like Miller did on DREFT STAR PLAYHOUSE, the announcer who exclaimed, "Dreft is back" asked the radio listeners to be patient.  Dreft was returning to consumer use, but its supply was still scarce. Fortunately, this was temporary. 

In a short time, everyone who used Dreft for dishwashing could find the familiar green box on the grocer's shelves.  Just like it did before the war, Dreft continued its reign as the top selling brand for dishwashing.