One of the most notable aspects of this brand is the advertising campaign, begun in 1956, which utilized twins as spokespersons for the gum, as a play on the word “double” in the name. The original “Doublemint Twins” were Jayne and Joan Boyd of Hammond, Indiana, who appeared in advertisements for Doublemint until Joan became pregnant in 1963.
The company, however, continued sporadically to promote the campaign, which included twins Jennie and Terrie Frankel in the late 1960s; later “Doublemint Twins” included June and Patricia Mackrell through the 1970s (who had also been the Toni Twins for Toni Home Permanent, which used the slogan “Which twin has the Toni?”), Patricia and Cybil (some sources show her name as Priscilla) Barnstable, Denise and Dian Gallup, Cynthia and Brittany Daniel (future co-stars as the Wakefield twins in the TV series based on the Sweet Valley High novels), Tia and Tamera Mowry (future co-star of The Game with both Tia Mowry and Brittany Daniel and future co-stars of Sister, Sister), Heidi and Alissa Kramer, figure skaters Pamela and Jeremy Green, and Jean (née Barbara) and Elizabeth Sagal (daughters of TV director Boris Sagal and sisters of Married…With Children’s Katey Sagal). The Sagal twins enjoyed a brief run as the stars of a sitcom, Double Trouble, in 1984. Later twins projected more sex appeal in keeping with trends in American advertising; the Barnstable twins were later asked to pose for Playboy due to their popularity as spokeswomen for the gum. In 1987, Denise and Dian Gallup spoofed their roles as the Doublemint Twins in cameo roles in the Mel Brooks film, Spaceballs.
Iconic ‘Doublemint Twins’ Reveal ‘Debilitating’ Darkness That Nearly Tore Them Apart
Those iconic Doublemint gum commercials featured several different sets of twins over the years, but Linda Ryan Puffer and Lisa Winters Cox had the longest run of all. The Illinois natives starred as the famed Doublemint Twins in a series of spots that ran from 1985 to 1995, each one featuring the women as lighthearted, laughing sisters always having fun.
But away from the camera, something darker was brewing.
As Linda and Lisa tell “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, their relationship became quite complicated after the Doublemint commercials stopped airing and the two began living within six miles of each other in Atlanta.
“We had a bump in the road in our relationship,” Linda says. “There’s an inherent competition you can’t get away from because when people try to compare you like objects, they’re going to try to find differences.”
In Linda’s mind, those differences reflected Lisa in a better light. “She’s the prettier one, she’s the smarter one,” Linda says. “I basically had a personal crisis. I dealt with a bout of anxiety that was debilitating.”
This dark period soon overtook the women’s relationship as sisters.
“I didn’t want to be around her,” Linda says of Lisa. “I was ashamed that I was envious, I was ashamed that I needed that attention or affirmation. It was this duality of emotions.”
For Lisa, the change in their relationship became painful as well. “If felt like rejection,” she says, still emotional. “It just formed a wall between us. It was really hard.”
But Lisa couldn’t watch her sister sink any lower and decided she was going to be there for Linda ― literally. “Nothing felt good, but Lisa glued herself to me. She came and sat on the couch with me, laid in the bed with me,” Linda recalls. “I started having these pockets of light, and this hope. I needed to hear that it will be OK.”
Today, the twins’ relationship is a solid one. They both still live in Atlanta with their respective families and say that they are closer than ever. Through their journeys, they’ve each learned valuable lessons about themselves and about life.
“I’ve learned that you never know what’s going on behind the eyes of someone,” Linda says.
Adds Lisa, “I really trust that God has purpose in every moment.”