Cascade, the dish-washing detergent owned by Procter & Gamble, successfully leveraged tech-enabled insights to create a new product and fulfil a clear sense of brand purpose.

Kirti Singh, Procter & Gamble’s chief analytics and insights officer, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2020 Masters of Data and Technology conference.

And, he reported, Cascade landed on a purposeful nugget of insight, albeit one that Procter’s traditional research practices had long overlooked, with tech-enabled behavioral research.

“We found that consumers pre-rinse their dishes more often than they previously had reported,” Singh said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Procter & Gamble keeps a human face on tech-driven “constructive disruption”.)

“This led to the team developing an advanced-formula Cascade that would allow consumers to skip the pre-rinse routine.”

And this product not only delivered enhanced utility, but fed back into a deeper sense of purpose for the brand through saving valuable resources.

“Skipping pre-rinsing on average saves 15 gallons of water for each load of dishes – a potential water saving of 100 billion gallons each year in the US alone,” said Singh.

“But the product change alone isn’t enough to change behavior. To do that, we had to show the irrationality of pre-rinsing from the perspective of a child.”

As the water-saving purpose began to gain traction, P&G stepped up its efforts with a cheeky ad that carried a touch of influential virality with the presence of actors Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.

It also provided a whimsical series of vignettes with the same sustainability message cued up with cross-generational appeal.

Said Singh, “If we get more people to skip the pre-rinse and with this new formula of Cascade, we’ll be delivering a better experience for our consumers and helping reduce water consumption. And that has the potential to be a big deal.”

It’s a finding, he added, that wasn’t plucked at random from a list of potential purposes. In fact, it was anchored in “new behavior-based methods that lead us to superior consumer understanding. Importantly, it relies on data that was generated by a consumer – by a human.

“And it’s our job to use that data in a way that gives back to the consumer more than they’ve given us. We feel we do that best when we use data to develop new ideas that meet their needs via superior brand experiences.”

Sourced from WARC