Brillo and the Meaning of Life

Advertising was designed, at least back in the 1930s, during the height of the Great Depression, to salve (not solve) all earthly problems with the sweet lotion of dreams. Even Brillo, the household lubricated cleansing pad, sought to transform the daily drudge into a brilliant (i.e. Brillo) world where cleaning was better, easier and faster. Since it was the Depression, it didn’t matter how many pots and pans were made to look new, more important was how to pay for the pots and pans. So Brillo turned to fortune telling as a means of helping pass the time and just maybe offer some prescience too.

This booklet “The Game of Life,” as told through playing cards, was a free premium offered by Brillo to its presumed primary demographic – the American housewife.


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