Why Kewpie Mayo Has A Baby On Its Logo

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Good branding is vital for a business as it can separate a company from its competitors and represent the brand. Naturally, a logo plays a huge component as it can say many things about a company’s values, style, and quality without a single word of copy, notes Forbes. A memorable (and sometimes even bizarre) logo can even act as a marketing strategy to pique consumer interest, which is definitely the case for Kewpie mayo.

Recognized for intertwining marketing and political activism, American illustrator Rose O’Neill is behind the iconic smiling cherubs, dubbed Kewpies. Inspired by classic cupids, Smithsonian Magazine shares that the rosy-cheeked babes were brought to life in 1909 for a comic in Ladies’ Home Journal, but quickly captivated all who saw it, causing many magazines and outlets to adopt the image — O’Neill, however, continued to use the cute characters to spread messages in favor of women’s rights.

In an interesting turn of events, O’Neill’s feminist Kewpies eventually found a home on the front of Japanese mayo. Following the effect of the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, Kewpie explains that Nakashima noticed a societal shift (including the Westernization of female fashions, which he predicted would change diets), prompting him to develop a more nutritious mayo, that he dubbed Kewpie, due to the doll’s extreme popularity at the time. The rest, as they say, is history.



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Professional online writer. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about health, wellness, fitness, parenting conundrums and navigating complex relationships.

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