Monday, February 18, 2008

Tide's in

I have always been a big fan of the Tide logo so it was a delight to see it the subject of Rob Walker’s column in The New York Times Magazine. Since my early days working with P&G in the Middle East, I knew that with this brightly colored bullseye the company had created an image to last a lifetime and beyond. In Lovemarks: the Future Beyond Brands, I mentioned the jolt I got when I saw Neil Young wearing a t-shirt that had the Tide logo. Suddenly the rules changed. Laundry detergent + rock star = cross generational icon. Tide has done very, very well on the inspiration of this brilliant symbol. In fact, its market share has increased from 31 percent in 1952 to a massive 44 percent today. A true bullseye.

The original logo was designed by Donald Deskey who also designed the Crest packaging. Deskey studied architecture and was behind some grand projects including the fit-out of Radio City Music Hall in 1932 and John D. Rockefeller's Manhattan apartment. Check out some great furniture he designed. Deskey's design for Tide was the first to go national using Day-Glo colors, and apart from some minor modifications in 1996, the logo remains much the same as when he designed it. P&G understands that sometimes in a world of rapid change, the immutable can shine with its own mystique. And, as if proof was needed, Tide’s 'Talking Stain' spot was one of the top ten most popular downloaded ads featured in the last Superbowl (so brilliantly won by the New York Giants).

P&G has also been working to rebuild American communities affected by disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the Southern California wildfires. Get your hands on a Tide t-shirt (just like Neil Young!) and support the Tides of Hope initiative.