Coppertone Girl - In 1959, a 3-year-old girl
in pig-tails named Cheri Brand posed for a family snapshot in the backyard of
her Bronxville, NY home and soon became Little Miss Coppertone®, a symbol of
summer and poster-girl for the long-running Coppertone sunscreen ad campaign
whose famous slogans proclaim "Don't be a Paleface!" and "Tan - Don't Burn."
1958 Ladies Home Journal Ad
Coppertone ad campaign was based on drawings created by Cheri's mother, Joyce Ballantyne Brand, a commercial artist (who also drew the Pampers baby in 1977).
She was paid $ 2,500 for the artwork based on her little girl.
Cheri Brand once said "Everybody has their baby pictures in their family album with their diapers
falling off, I just happened to have mine on a billboard" (and a few million
bottles of suntan lotion).
The dog depicted in the ad pulling down the pants of
the little girl to reveal her derriere's tan-line was based on a neighbor's
cocker spaniel. As of 1993, Cheri Brand, then 37, worked as a health club
manager in Ocala, Fla. (People Weekly 08/23/93).
A popular belief that Jodie Foster was the original Coppertone girl is misleading. Foster did, however, get
her start in showbiz for a Coppertone suntan-lotion ad in 1965. She was three
years old at the time and appeared in the ad as a toddler on a boat accompanied
by her family.
On August 26, 2002 Jay Leno on NBC's THE TONIGHT SHOW did a spoof
of new products including an update of Little Miss Coppertone. This time, the
bottle displayed the image of an old woman with sagging skin and grey hair
getting her bathing suit pants pulled off by a precocious pup. In fact, a real
Coppertone ad campaign using a beautiful grown model (Jennifer Fon) had
previously aired on TV spots in Great Britain and Europe.
TRIVIA NOTE: Photographer Herb Ritts posed comedian/actor Jim Carrey in an reenactment of the
famous Coppertone beach scene for the front cover of the July 13, 1995 Summer
Double Issue of Rolling Stone magazine ("Jim Carrey - Bare Facts and Shocking
Revelations"). A black dog named Poundcake pulled down Jim's pants as he looked
sideways (right hand to chin) with a surprised look on his face. Esquire
magazine ran a similar parody with Carmen Electra.
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