Sunday, October 24, 2010

Marketing Tide the P&G way!

My favorite marketing case study:

You work in marketing at Procter & Gamble, and your job is to sell 10 per cent more Tide detergent this year.

You have all the tools of marketing at your disposal (the four Ps: product, place, price, promotion), and can do anything you want in order to sell 10 per cent more - but you shouldn't break the bank to do it.

What do you do?

See the bottom of this blog post.

I pull out this case study at the beginning of every new advertising class or seminar I teach.

I love it because it's so simple, and - even better - it's true! This was my former boss's cross to bear when he worked as vice-president of Procter & Gamble (that was before he fell on hard times and had to work with me!).

It also underscores the point made my Bill Hicks in this classic stand-up comedy bit: marketers never met a dollar they didn't like, and are so focused on their quest to make more and more, they're not necessarily concerned with what you or I have to say about it:

What P&G did

My former boss was successful in his bid to sell 10 per cent more Tide that year, and quite possibly not a single consumer was aware that he did it.

What he did was simplicity at its finest: he increased the size of the scoop in the box by 10 per cent.

Genius or "Satan's little helper?" You decide!


  1. You say "Satan's little helper" like it's a bad thing.

  2. I never heard this story. But, when you explained the problem, I knew it had to be something very simple and excellent. I laughed heartily when I read what they did, because it's so genius. And evil. But mostly genius.

  3. Sorry to rain on everyone's parade, but ... As the person who pays for the laundry detergent in our household, I don't find it funny.

  4. GENIUS! I love this marketing example!

  5. Love it! So simple, but if all consumers knew this, they'd probably sabotage Tide. What they don't know won't hurt them, and in return puts more money in P&G's pocket. Genius!


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