Imperial margarine

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Imperial is a brand of margarine distributed by Unilever. It is best remembered for television commercials in which a person who recently ate something with Imperial margarine would suddenly have a crown appear on their head (accompanied by a four note fanfare).[1][2][3][4]


In 1956 Lever Brothers (Unilever) developed Imperial, a margarine which had a lower melting point and which contained butter.[5][6]

In 1980 Michael Angus became chairman. The bulk of Lever's losses stemmed from Imperial margarine. So in 1981, Angus shut down the outdated Hammond, Indiana, plant that made Imperial and farmed out the work to contractors able to produce it more cheaply.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

The commercials inspired sporadic cultural references throughout the years. The commercials were spoofed in episodes of The Carol Burnett Show, Green Acres, and Parker Lewis Can't Lose. On a 1982 episode of Georgia Championship Wrestling, wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper gave an interview wherein he mentioned Imperial Margarine by name in the course of mocking his opponent.[8][9]


  1. ^ 1980s Imperial Margarine Commercial on YouTube
  2. ^ Imperial Margarine Classic King's Crowns TV Commercial on YouTube
  3. ^ Vintage Imperial Margarine Crown TV Commercial '80s on YouTube
  4. ^ Imperial Margarine But a Crown on Your Head on YouTube
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Memorable Quotes". 2008. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  9. ^ Bowden, Scott (2009). "Anatomy of Angle: The Jerry Lawler vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper Feud That Never Was in 1982". Scott Bowden presents Kentucky Fried Rasslin. Retrieved September 28, 2010.