P&G reflects 'tough times' in Tide campaign

12 January 2010

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble (P&G) has shifted focus in its latest US ad campaign for Tide in response to challenging economic conditions, choosing to highlight value for money rather than the detergent's stain-removing properties.

The campaign has been developed by the manufacturer in conjunction with eight agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, the Burrell Communications Group and Conill Advertising. 

It is aimed at encouraging consumers to purchase Tide in order to make their existing clothes last longer, rather than using lower-priced detergents and potentially having to buy new clothes more often.

Tide remains the most popular brand of liquid and powder detergent in the US with a market share of over 40%, but less expensive products from rivals including Arm & Hammer and Purex have challenged this dominance over recent months, as recession-hit consumers look to save more and spend less.

In one of the campaign's new image ads - which carries the headline "100 ways to wear a T-shirt. 1 detergent to help keep it white." - a woman is shown wearing the same T-shirt with both formal and informal outfits.

The message contrasts with previous Tide slogans such as "If it's got to be clean, it's got to be Tide" and "Tide's in, dirt's out".

In a response to the economic climate separate from the new ad campaign, P&G is also trialling its new Tide Basic detergent, which costs 20% less than Tide, in three US states.

Suzanne Watson, North American Tide associate marketing director at P&G, commented: "These are tough times ... Making your current clothes look newer longer, cleaner longer, fresher longer, is important."

Andrea Diquez, senior vice president and global director at Saatchi & Saatchi, added: "In the past, we've been about superior cleaning. Now, it's about how to make that relevant.

"It's not 'I take out the stain.' Why does that matter? Because at the end of the day, it affects how you look."

P&G prioritised the promotion of Tide last year, with total ad spend reaching $90.2m (€62.1m, £55.8m) during January-September, equivalent to the total spend for the product across the whole of 2008, according to data from TNS Media Intelligence.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by Warc staff