Yep, PEZ sez' SEX.
We all know that sex "sells", and this is not a new concept. Companies have been using sexy models and themes to sell their product for a very long time.
And this business marketing concept was not lost on Edward Haas, as well. Although we think of colorful and witty character heads when we think of PEZ... Haas's candy creation was specifically made and sold for an adult market until the 60's. To sell to adults, PEZ and its marketing team used sex to help sell their product.

In his efforts to discover a new flavor for candy, Haas came across oil of peppermint. He knew that this oil could be turned into a new flavorful candy, and set out to make this happen. In that day, oil of peppermint could only be purchased through chemists, but this did not deter Haas. He formulated a new candy using this oil, and it became an instant hit. The rich flavor of the peppermint was considered to be a luxury item. Haas's market audience would be adults and smokers… with Haas especially targeting the smokers. Haas believed that peppermint candy could be used as a method to get people to quit smoking and to freshen their breath. After overcoming several obstacles (chemists of that day were not happy about having a substance that only they could provide turned into a candy that could be purchased by the general public), Haas started selling his new candy.

Knowing that beautiful women could best sell to the adult market, Haas created the PEZgirls. Haas hired young and beautiful girls to sell his product. They were dressed in stylish trousers and grey jackets and attracted a lot of attention.

Before the 1950's, PEZ relied on the PEZgirls, print advertising, and signage to help sell their product.

In this magazine ad, PEZ used a beautiful model to help sell its product. At this time, PEZ was still considered a "luxury" candy, and this ad definitely has a classy, refined, "high society" feel to it. In the body of this ad it reads… "[PEZ] is the luxury of the distinguished world, it animates the palate, gives to pure breath and is wonderfully aromatic".

In the years before the 1950's, PEZ commissioned many artists to create graphics for their print advertising and signage. One of the more familiar graphics for the PEZgirl was created by Manasee. In this picture on the right is Manasee's PEZgirl graphic as shown on a 1990's telephone calling card cover.

Manasee embedded some subtle hints of sexiness in his artwork. Remember that these were done in a time where the level of sexual innuendo and nudity, as we now are accustomed to, would not have been allowed. But yet, there was a certain sexy feel to this graphic, with the PEZgirl having big, dark, beautiful eyes and a full, playful smile. I'm certain that this graphic was an eye catcher in this era.


Here is a close-up illustration of this PEZgirl as it appeared in a PEZ company flyer.

The 1950's ushered in the "Golden" age for PEZ. Up until the late 1940's, PEZ was carried around in small pocket tins. Haas's determination to make PEZ an alternative to smoking, led PEZ to design a dispenser that would make it just as stylish to whip out and eat a PEZ candy as it was to pull out a lighter to light a cigarette. In 1948, PEZ came out with such a dispenser that would be an "easy, hygienic" way to dispense PEZ… and this dispenser is now what we call a "Regular".

The post World War II environment of the 1950's saw a resurgence of sex being used as a marketing device in advertising. "Girlie" Pin-Up artists like Gillette Elvgren and Alberto Vargas, who began their pin-up art careers in the 1940's, flourished. Their artwork soon became staples for print ads.

During this era, PEZ pushed ahead with targeting an adult audience for their product. The PEZgirl got a new image with the grey jacket of years gone by replaced by a royal blue jacket, signifying a change in the world's attitude for the new prosperous times. The PEZgirl was to be found everywhere, and she had a new sexy look.


In this picture is the 1950's PEZgirl carrying a tray of PEZ candy. It was common during this time for beautiful girls to sell product in this manner in clubs and other public venues.

It was in the 1950's that PEZ hired a new graphic artist to render the PEZgirl for their print ads. This artist was Gerhard Brause, and to many is considered to be the main reason why PEZ became so successful. It wasn't the candy or the dispensers that caught people's eyes, it was Brause's artwork of the PEZgirl. Prior to joining PEZ, Brause worked for the Palmers Company… a leading manufacturer of women's lingerie and stockings. It was with Palmers that Brause became famous as a graphic artist.

1953 Palmers Ad: Brause

1954 Palmers Ad: Brause

These are two examples of artwork done by Brause for Palmers advertising. His paintings were of high heeled women with silk stockings, and were very sexy. At one point in his career with Palmers, Brause created a piece of advertising artwork that was too sexy for that time, and it was censored. This "scandal" gave Brause a level of notoriety and he became famous overnight.



Brause's paintings of the PEZgirl were full of life, with a more expressive and sexually charged theme than earlier artists like Manasee. Johann Patek describes Brause as being "The Michelangelo of the 50's". Brause created his artwork from mostly his own mental imagery. He rarely used models, but when he did, it was primarily to have fun with them.


This picture shows Brause's famous image of the PEZgirl, and is often referred to (in the European art world) as being his "Mona Lisa in enamel".

Brause also created this famous graphic of the PEZgirl sitting on a pack of peppermint candy. You can easily see the influence from his previous work with Palmers in this painting. The PEZgirl has long, shapely legs wearing stockings and high heeled shoes, with her skirt seductively pushed back off of her legs. This is the only graphic of the PEZgirl that shows her below the waist. Haas, although directing the use of hidden sex in their advertising, felt that this graphic was a bit too sexy for the PEZgirl, and would take attention away from the actual product. From this point on, the PEZgirl would only be pictured from the waist up.

Yep... the PEZgirl was SEXY! She definitely had a *Pin Up* style that was all her own.

Brause continued working for PEZ until the late 1970's. Although not widely known, Brause was also an accomplished sculptor, and PEZ took advantage of these skills as well. Brause created many of the older dispenser heads, including the following: Betsy Ross, Indian Maiden, Duck with Flower, Roar the Lion, the Circus Elephants, and the Make-A-Face dispenser.

His artwork had a very particular flair and was unmistakable. After his departure, there was a definite change in the appearance of PEZ advertising. Brause's contributions to PEZ's success is nicely summed up by Johann Patek… "Generally speaking, the whole success of PEZ was responsible largely on the untamed soul and talent of Gerhard Brause plus a free acting team of young guys in the PEZ management, who could spread their unrestricted seeds on a hungry post war ground. It was not the product, it was the way it was advertised and later how it was sold (namely with a character dispenser)".

This ad came out in July of 1955
. Although the girl in the ad is fully clothed, she is shown as being well endowed, with her full breasts straining against a tight and well-fitting blouse. She has a sexy smile and PEZ's trademark dark and sultry eyes. She is energetically reaching for a piece of candy out of a Golden Glow regular, that is being held in an obviously well-to-do male's hand (notice the well groomed fingernails). This ad clearly implies "Gentlemen know that PEZ attracts beautiful women". The product and its message is specifically targeted at adult consumers, and has a very sexy feel to it.

The picture on the right is another picture of the same ad as it appeared on a set of 1990's telephone calling card covers.

Who says that sexiness is limited to the spring and summer months? This ad from November, 1956, shows the PEZgirl in her best cold weather attire... wearing that picture perfect, trademark smile and inviting eyes! A fun, playful expression is on her face saying "Come on... It's not that cold". Her rosey cheeks offer a stunning counterbalance to the coldness around her. This ad is brilliant in how it combines the wintery cold with the cool refreshing taste of peppermint.

This 1950's ad does not feature the PEZgirl. Instead, PEZ used a more exotic Caribbean Island Girl model to help sell its new lemon flavored candy. In this ad the focal point is not the girls face... but instead her tan skin, her very busty chest pushing out against a thin peasant style blouse, and her small "Barbie" doll sized waist that emphasizes her hourglass figure. This ad has a very sexy and exotic tropical theme to go with the lemon candy. Much sexier and attention-grabbing than showing a fruit tree...




This is an ad as it appeared in July, 1959. An infectious, sexy smile and big beautiful eyes... hallmarks of 50's Pin Up art.

More examples and variations of Brause's PEZgirl




The PEZgirl was a favorite and commonly used graphic on Euro candy pack vending machines.

Two more pictures of the 50's PEZgirl on the telephone calling card holders


The PEZgirl on an enamel sign. Notice how the regular was positioned such that your eyes are lead from her beautiful smile to the dispenser... and that the word "PEZ" is placed over her breasts. Coincidence? I think not.

If you are targeting an adult market for your product, where would you place your ads? How about in a magazine that is sold to men! In the 1950's and 1960's, PEZ was a regular advertiser in a popular German men's *girlie* magazine called "Wiener Magazin", as shown below. This magazine featured a photo of a girl on the front cover, like Playboy, and often had either a PEZ ad on the back cover or a full page PEZ ad on the inside.

Beautiful women and candy... a winning combination for PEZ!

Other Magazine Covers...

The 1960's brought us a whole new attitude in the world. With it, the PEZgirl was changed and updated into a more *MOD* icon for PEZ. Her hairstyle changed, and her PEZ jacket started sporting a new plunging V-neckline. Like her sisters before, the PEZgirl remained on the leading edge of fashion and sexiness.

This picture shows the 1960's PEZgirl at work... looking great... pushing PEZ.


Printed artwork for the PEZgirl was changed to reflect the times. In this graphic she has that Jackie Kennedy feel to her. Her eyes are now smaller, with the emphasis shifting to her hair and mouth. She has a very sensual and stunning attractiveness.


Another variation in the graphics for the PEZgirl. Here the PEZgirl has a more energetic appearance with a sporty, tousled hair style. She really has a *wild* look on her face, with her hand stretching upwards to show that she has a PEZ dispenser in her hand. For some reason, I think of a cross between Goldie Hawn (as the Sock-It-To-Me girl) and Carol Channing when I see this picture. PEZ was definitely striving to mix sex appeal and youthful energy in this graphic.


The 1970's PEZgirl erupted onto the scene with The-Girl-Next-Door beauty and sexiness. In this PEZ Company photograph, you can see how the PEZgirl's looks had changed to match with the times. Long, wavy, Farah Fawcet hair was all the rage... and the PEZgirl pioneered this style.

PEZ came up with this very unique marketing idea in the 1970's to help sell their twin candy packs. This was basically a battery powered talking box advertisement. On the box it says "Let me tell you about the new 10¢ price!". The picture shows a beautiful young girl with a sexy come-hither expression on her face. When the recording was played, a sultry female voice (like the ones on the late night television 1-900 number commercials) would be heard pitching PEZ's new candy pricing. This was both an AUDIO and visual marketing scheme. By now, PEZ was getting very masterful in the use of sex in their advertising.

PEZ also updated its PEZgirl artwork to match the new 70's style. Her hair became longer with a wind blown look. The facial skin tones were more even, as compared to her 1950's predecessor, keeping in synch with that Girl-Next-Door look. The picture on the left is the PEZgirl on a shopping bag. The picture on the right is the last graphic in the five-card telephone calling card covers.

No matter how much her looks and fashion style has changed through the years... one thing has stayed constant... that ever playful and charming smile!

As was the case in the 1950's and 1960's... the PEZgirl in the 1970's found herself as being a very common graphic on candy pack vending machines. PEZ used her sexy look to help attract attention to their colorful vending machines.

During the 1970's, advertising evolved and photography overcame painted graphics as the art medium of choice. Keeping up with the times, PEZ shifted their advertising to include photography. They hired a photographer called Luhiwoi, who also worked as a photographer for Playboy magazine. Luhiwoi took the job at PEZ for the perks… paid travel and to date girls.

Luhiwoi was responsible for the advertising shown below.

This is one of three or four known ads from PEZ that featured a nude photograph. It is unknown how many nude ads were created by PEZ.

These two pictures show both sides of a single two-sided ad. In the top picture, the ad reads "Pull On - Take Off.... The New Play Idea of PEZ". The bottom ad says "You'll enjoy the new play idea of PEZ". This ad was created to call attention to the new dispenser costumes that were being packaged in with the dispensers and candy.

One of the other know nudity ads had a slogan of "Dress Me - Undress me".

These are pretty darn racy stuff from a company that sells candy dispensers to *kids*. I say that PEZ was targeting the "kid" in their adult market. And to make sure that the adults were still taking notice, well.....

In reality, these ads are also an example of how laid back Europeans are about nudity in general.

I am trying to get copies of the other nude ads. As soon as I do... they will be posted here!

Yep... PEZ sez' Sex!


~ I would like to say a special thanks to Johann Patek and Dora Dwyer for their assistance in helping me research the information on this page. Thank You! ~

Back to Eye Candy!
Back to Zoo Contents!