P&G’s US Tide Pods launch is $150m boost for Publicis Groupe agency trio

Procter & Gamble is embarking on its most ambitious detergent launch in years with the launch of Tide Pods in the US, an ‘improved’ version of the liquid detergent tablets it already sells in Europe under the Ariel brand name.

The company is spending $150m initially in the first stage of its attempt to grab 30 per cent of the US detergent market worth an estimated $6.5bn in total.

Three Publicis Groupe agencies that already work on Tide – Saatchi & Saatchi, Digitas and Starcom MediaVest – will benefit from the marketing bonanza.

Publicis bought digital agency Digitas for a then eye-watering $1.3bn in 2006 but the bold move has since paid off dramatically as it’s now established as the biggest digital agency in the US and its presence within PG makes it very easy for digital-conscious clients to shunt huge accounts in the marcoms group’s direction.

Liquid detergent tablets have so far failed to crack the US market (P&G tried one in the 1960s) although they do well in Europe with 30 per cent of the market in the UK which seems to be the model for the US launch.

P&G is promising marketing “as innovative as the product.” So potential users on Facebook and Twitter had better prepare themselves for a veritable tidal wave of persuasion.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.