June 7, 2019

What I’d tell youbefore? Never let them see you sweat. That way, you’ll never be embarrassedagain.

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Comedians have to deal with a lot of pressure. Not only do they have to perform in front of large crowds of people, but they must be funny and manage each crowd. Part of it is remaining calm, so a rule for comedy is “Never let them see you sweat.” Image by Rob Slaven from Pixabay.

As a little treat, I thought I’d include a special FamousSayings post this week. This slogan goes back a few decades and it was part ofa famous ad campaign. In fact, June 7, 2019 marks the 35thanniversary of that campaign.

Who Coined the Slogan ‘Never Let Them See You Sweat?

The line is credited to Phil Slott, a man with a long history in advertising (This Day in Quotes). Slott had previously coined the slogan “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure,” for the United States Navy (Phil Slott).

The line “Never let them see you sweat” made it first appearance in advertisements for Gillette’s Dry Idea antiperspirants and deodorants on June 7, 1984. Dry Idea was best known for those commercials, which featured celebrities such as actress Lauren Hutton, NFL coach Dan Reeves, fashion designer Donna Karan, comedienne Elayne Boosler, and Kellye Cash, who was Miss America 1987. Non-celebrity Bob Ozer, a Miami resident, was featured in an additional commercial (Various). Each advertisement had the featured speaker mentioning three “nevers” for the profession, with the last being the main slogan (This Day in Quotes).

The trademark for the slogan was granted to Gillette in 1988 (Popik). The ad campaign official ended in the mid-1990s, which is around the same time Gillette let the trademark expire.

Nowadays, the Dry Idea brand is owned by Dial Corporation, which bought the brand in 2006 as part of a $420 million deal that included the Soft & Dri and Right Guard brands (Wherrity). The sale of those brands was mandated by anti-trust officials as a condition of Procter & Gamble’s $57 billion acquisition of Gillette (Various).

What Does the Slogan ‘Never Let Them See You Sweat’ Mean?

Believe it or not, I heard of this phrase from someonebefore I had ever seen the commercials, but I generally understood the meaning.In short, when someone tells you to “Never let them see you sweat,” they aretelling you to remain calm and to find a way to deal with adversity. If youremain calm, you might make it out of that situation with your dignity intactand you might also achieve success.

Want to See Some of Those Commercials?

Here are four of the 30-second spots from the Dry Ideacampaign:


Works Cited

Internet Lurker. “Dry Idea commercial with Dan Reeves.” YouTube.Published 10 Feb 2008. Video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_EUz0XQbz4>.

Internet Lurker. “Dry Idea commercial with Elayne Boosler.” YouTube.Published 14 Jan 2008. Video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zjnwn9Ty_c>.

kaiBiggins. “COMMERCIAL Dry Idea with Lauren Hutton (1987).”YouTube. Published 12 oct 2009. Video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=impc9xrw8pY>.

Kevin Noonan. “Dry Idea Never Let Them See You Sweat 1987.” YouTube.Published 31 Oct 2013. Video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuPHRnQO4sw>.

“Never Let ‘Em SeeYou Sweat.” Phil Slott. Web. Retrieved 7 June 2019. https://philslott.com/never-let-em-see-you-sweat/>.

Popik, Barry. “Neverlet them see you sweat! (Dry Idea commercial).” The Big Apple. 8 Mar2006. Weblog. Retrieved 7 June 2019. http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/never_let_them_see_you_sweat_dry_idea_commercial>.

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Various Authors.“Dry Idea.” Wikipedia. Last Updated 23 Apr 2019. Web. Retrieved 7 June2019. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_Idea>.