A Mighty Cleaner and Soldier
“You’ll stop paying the elbow tax, when you start cleaning with Ajax!” was the first commercial jingle to air on television in the United States. In 1948, this jingle was used for Ajax Cleanser. Colgate-Palmolive popularized this manufactured cleaner in 1947. The mythological entity Ajax helped the company come up with their original and most popular catchphrase, “Stronger than dirt!” Ajax All-Purpose Cleaner with Ammonia was made as a current seller in 1962, and became the primary leading adversary to Mr.
Clean. In 1964, Colgate-Palmolive brought to the market Ajax Laundry Detergent. This detergent brought the popularly jeered commercial, starring the United Kingdom actress, Ann Lancaster, who proclaimed, “Armed… with Ajax!” and “It cleans like a white tornado.” The brand name Ajax created a new arrangement of household cleaning products and detergents; the entire arrangement brought the company great achievements in the early 70’s. A few of the products from their new line were Ajax Window Cleaner, Ajax Bucket of Powder, and Ajax Spray Cleaner.
Colgate-Palmolive products are sold only in Canada and the United States, except for the new Ajax Spray n’ Wipe products for windows, bathrooms, and other household areas, which are popularly recognized in New Zealand and Australia. The name Ajax has been heard through many homes for the past sixty years, and will be heard much more throughout the future because of the product’s great cleaning abilities, low prices, and sweet, fresh scent.
Ajax was the son of Telamon and was also the great-grandson of Zeus. Ajax was an important mythological character, because of his important acts during the Trojan War. Ajax was trained by the centaur Chiron, who also trained his father. Ajax is often portrayed in battle carrying his huge bronze coated shield made of seven ox-hides and his great wielded axe that he used to command his armies. He is also usually seen with Teucer, Prince of Troy and his elder half-brother. He was a great asset for the army of King Agamemnon. Ajax was the one character during the Trojan War who never received any help from the gods. His two major fights during this war are noted in Homer’s Iliad against Hector, who is a Trojan Prince and one of the Nine Worthies. With Diomedes by his side, Ajax was killing Trojans as they came. Because of his mother Hecuba, Hector was forced to go back to Troy to offer a beautiful robe to Athena for mercy towards his losses in battle. When this gesture failed, Hector went back and challenged Achilles to a duel. When Achilles declined, Ajax stepped up and knocked Hector to the ground with a large stone and then wounded him with his spear. In a hope to impress Zeus, Hector fought back with all his strength. The two warriors came to a closing of the battle without a winner, and instead of killing each other, exchanged gifts. When the latter broke in the Achaean camp, the second fight broke out between Hector and Ajax, resulting in a battle on Greek ships.
Apollo gives Hector his strength, after Ajax almost kills him by hurling another large rock at him. “Ajax wielding an enormous spear as a weapon and leaping from ship to ship, holds off the Trojan armies virtually single-handedly.” (Book 16 Iliad) Hector is able to disarm Ajax, but not in any way hurt him. This forced Ajax to go back to his ships. Seeing that Zeus is assisting and sparing Hector, Hector is able with the Trojans help, to burn one of the Greek’s ships. This almost results in the end of the war, but Ajax is able to abolish many Trojan lords. After these miraculous acts, Ajax is sent by the Greek heads to try to get Achilles to return to the war. Ajax sincerely tried to help get Achilles back but was not able to accomplish this task. When Achilles’ admired companion, Patroclus, was killed, Hector tried to steal his body. Ajax’s assignment from the gods was to protect the body and return it to Achilles. Before Ajax arrived the Trojans had already stolen his armor and had left the body bare. Ajax was able to return the body with help from his many prayers to Zeus. After this incident there was a competition between Odysseus and Ajax. This contest was to see who was a better speaker; the winner received the missing armor of Patroclus, held at Mount Olympus. Ajax is enraged when Odysseus is established as the more elegant speaker, and drops to the floor in exhaustion. When he awoke, he killed a flock of sheep thinking that they were the Achaean leaders, because of the spell Athena had put on him.
Ajax realized, when the spell had worn, what he had done. Out of embarrassment because of this dishonor brought on him, he killed himself using the sword that Hector gave him when they exchanged gifts. “From his blood sprang a red flower, as at the death of Hyacinthus, which bore on its leaves the initial letters of his name Ai, also expressive of lament. His ashes were deposited in a golden urn on the Rhoetean promontory at the entrance of the Hellespont.” (Pausanias i. 35. 4). At the mouth of the Danube, just like his cousin Achilles, the “post-Homeric legend” lived after his death. Aianteia, the festival held for Ajax, the protected hero of the Island of Salamis, was held at the temple for Zeus. According to the Roman Lectisternium, a display for the hero was placed on a resting place inside the temple that had been arranged at Aianteia. (Pausanias 1.35) Solon, the Athenian statesman, sorrowful poet, and lawmaker, is said to have added a line in the Iliad, for the intention of advocating the Athenian requisition to the Island of Salamis, because of Ajax’s establishment with the family of Aeacus, which only concerned the Athenians. At the market-place in Athens, Ajax’s statue was worshipped, when he became an Attic hero. Ajax, although died out of grief, is remembered as a soldier who worked hard with a great quantity of perseverance and dedication.
Seeing that the Greek gods sent Ajax on the “dirty work” after someone has been killed shows that he sounds like the cleaner after battle. Ajax was described in Homers’ Iliad as “the tallest and strongest of all the Achaeans, second only to his cousin Achilles in skill-at-arms.” (Iliad) Colgate-Palmolive liked the appearance of a respected hero who was never harmed in battle. Their slogan, “Stronger than Dirt!” also attributed back to the mythical aspect of Ajax. Ajax is remembered as an honored soldier, as Ajax Cleanser is thought of as the original household industrial cleaner. When the two come together, they both get the job done.
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Ajax Mythology and Advertisement. (2016, Jul 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/ajax-mythology-and-advertisement/