Dumb, Undifferentiated and Really Effective: Dawn Dish Soap Promotions
August 4, 2010 ‐ 2 comments
800 days ago we wrote, "looking and sounding different is not the be-all and end-all of branding." It appears that the marketing geniuses at P&G have been taking BrandCulture's admonishments to heart!
The FMCG giant has traditionally advertised Dawn, the #1 dish detergent in the country, around differentiated, value-added features: Direct Foam, Direct Foam with Bleach Alternative, Red Apple Scent with Vinegar Alternative, yada, yada, yada, see the full Dawn range of products here.
A recent BrandCulture purchase (pictured below) reveals a decidedly different approach.
In case the fine print under the attention-grabbing 40% MORE isn't clear, see a close-up below.
Here's the kicker - this was a 28 fl oz bottle!
You know what we call this? Effective point-of-sale promotion. The claim to be delivering more product in your large bottle than your competitor does in a small bottle doesn't pass the straight face test, but how many shoppers actually put it to that test? Very, very few, we'll wager. The effect is that this bottle appears to be a better value.
We've also read that the brand's managers are now trying to combat Ajax's more rapid growth with a new digital campaign that takes square aim at the lower-priced alternative (though Google's algorithms must have determined we don't influence household purchases enough to merit a viewing).
If what your customers want is value, then that's what you've got to sell to them, even if your competitor is lower-priced. As we've said before, and as Dawn's masters appears to believe, good branding and marketing don't mean differentiating at all costs. Unless you're selling pizza.
P.S. Animal-loving Dawn die-hards take note: you have to activate an online code in order to get Dawn to actually make good on the 1 bottle = $1 to wildlife promise. When it comes to misleading size comparisons we believe that all's fair in love and retail. But when it comes to ducklings? Well, Dawn is straining the boundaries of good ethics here.
BrandCulture’s thoughts on the conventional wisdom.
About BrandCulture Talk
At BrandCulture Talk, we don't stand on ceremony, celebrate conventional wisdom or honor sacred cows. Peruse cheers and jeers for the best, worst, oldest and very latest branding theory and practice...all with the assurance that every post here has passed our "Branding. Not Bull" promise. Won't you please join us and weigh in?