P&G kicks off large-scale drive for new Tide offering

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble is launching a major marketing and PR push for its new Tide with a touch of Downy laundry detergent.

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble is launching a major marketing and PR push for its new Tide with a touch of Downy laundry detergent.

Longtime Tide AOR Fleishman-Hillard is working on the launch with a core team of five people in its New York office.

Burrell Communications in Chicago is handling advertising directed at the black community and also will handle PR in that market for the new product.

Burrell has an ongoing grassroots PR campaign under way for Tide. Saatchi & Saatchi is doing general advertising.

While P&G won't discuss marketing spending for the new Tide, Julie Woffington, Tide's brand manager, said this rollout would be the largest for the brand since Tide with bleach was introduced in 1988.

The key message point for the new offering is "that Tide with a touch of Downy gives you softness and clean," said Woffington. P&G tested a variety of messages with consumers before hitting on that combination of key attributes, she said.

"It's a pretty simple message, a very transparent concept to consumers, and the consumer really gets it," Woffington said.

PR efforts will center around four pajama parties in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Portland, OR, inviting thousands of people who have registered on Tide.com to attend.

The parties will be held in October. P&G hopes to establish a record for such an event in New York by attracting 600 to 1,000 people.

Tide also is partnering with pajama designer Karen Neuburger, who has created pajamas and socks with the Tide logo on them. Buying the items on the Tide website will trigger a donation to a breast cancer charity by P&G, Woffington said. An SMT is planned for Neuburger.

Pajamas are the focus of PR efforts because they register with consumers as something that connotes softness and cleanliness, Woffington explained.

Fleishman has already reached out to long-lead consumer media, sending editors product samples, Neuburger pajamas, and socks, and offering to have editors' laundry washed with the new Tide by Meurice Garment Care, a major laundry service in New York City.

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