The competition among manufacturers of laundry detergents has always been intense. It is a product that almost everyone must purchase, yet there is a wide variance in which brands consumers consider the best. With so many different brand names on the market, manufacturers have always used coupons to promote their own products.
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble had its origins in 1837 with the forming of a partnership between two friends, William Procter and James Gamble, who married sisters. The company began producing soap and candles at their Cincinnati plant, and the company headquarters are still located there. By the end of the nineteenth century, the company was producing about 25 different soaps, including Ivory. The company sponsored many daytime radio (and later, television) serials beginning around 1920, and since most of the ads were for laundry detergents and soaps, was instrumental in the coining of the phrase “soap operas” to define these shows.
• Bold: The latest Bold sub-brand is Bold 2 in 1, a liquid detergent that continues to release its sent when the clothing is disturbed. The product was launched with the “Big Bold Hug” tour, asking children what hugs meant to them. Bold was originally introduced as a powder and was advertised as having superior stain removal properties.
• Cheer: First introduced in 1951, the brand didn’t really find its niche until after it was reformulated the following year. Known for its combination of cleaning and bluing (a process to make whites look whiter that had previously required a separate step) the detergent began to be marketed during the sixties as effective in cold and warm water as well as hot.
• Dreft: Dreft was first released in 1933 and marketed as a detergent for light, gentle cleaning. Beginning in the fifties, the brand was presented as a laundry detergent for baby clothes and delicate washables.
• Era: Era was Procter & Gamble’s first liquid detergent and was developed during the 1970s. Its popularity led the company to introduce liquid versions of its other main detergent brands.
• Gain: Procter & Gamble introduced Gain in the late sixties, marketing it as an enzyme based detergent with superior stain removal abilities. By 1981, the advertising began to focus more on the fresh smell the detergent imparted to clothes and less on its stain removing properties.
• Tide: The company introduced Tide in 1948, and it quickly became one of their best selling brands. Currently there are multiple “sub-brands” such as Tide Free, which does not contain perfumes or artificial colorings, and Tide plus Febreze, which has additional fragrances and odor killers. Tide is also the brand involved in Procter & Gamble’s “Loads of Hope” program, which was initiated soon after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. The program takes truck mounted laundry equipment into disaster areas to provide clean clothing for those affected by the disaster.
Procter & Gamble has continued to make discount coupons readily available to consumers. Online, their website http://www.pgeverdaysolutions.com allows visitors to register for a free newsletter as well as select the samples and coupons they would like to receive. During June, 2010, this site featured coupons for $1 off on Cheer and $1 on any site of Tide Stain Release laundry additive. There are also many Procter & Gamble coupons to be found in most Sunday newspapers; special coupon booklets, such as the one offered July 4, 2010, as a newspaper supplement featured $80 in coupons on various products. In addition, the company often offers coupons in the weekly direct mail coupon pages that many consumers receive. They also participate in many in-store coupon offerings, such as coupon dispensers placed on the shelf beside the product or those that print on the back of the customer’s receipt.
Phoenix Brands, LLC, is a relative late-comer to the laundry detergent market. They have created a portfolio of brands primarily by purchasing existing brands from other companies. For example, in 2005, they bought Fab, Cold Power, Dynamo, and Fresh Start laundry detergents, along with the rights for Ajax, from the Colgate-Palmolive Company.
Preferring to position their products with a lower everyday shelf price, Phoenix Brands issues few discount coupons and does not support an online site for coupons. They can sometimes be found at sites such as the Select Coupons Club. When offered, coupons are made available in Sunday newspaper supplements offline.
Church & Dwight Company
Church & Dwight is best known as the maker of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, their first product which launched in 1846. During the 1980s, the company began producing a line of laundry detergents in both liquid and powder forms that featured the freshening power of baking soda in their formulas. These detergents are marketed under the Arm & Hammer brand.
Consumers can register at the company site (http://armhammer.com) for a free newsletter and to receive special offers and coupons by email. They also create special, temporary websites where consumers can request coupons that are being offered as part of a marketing promotion. These websites URLs are normally provided during television commercials. Offline, consumers can find coupons in their Sunday newspaper supplements.
Sun Products Corporation was formed when Unilever (formerly Lever Brothers) and Huish combined to form a new company. The company brought members of both component units’ senior management into the new company. While a new name in the laundry detergent industry, Sun Products has some long-established brands in its portfolio.
• All: The All product family features All Oxi-Active and All Free Clear, which has no dyes or perfumes. Coupons are to be found at http://www.all-laundry.com, and as of July, 2010, the company was offering coupons for $1 off on the purchase of either product.
• Wisk: Wisk, launched in 1956, was the first liquid laundry detergent on the market. Most baby boomers will remember the “Ring Around the Collar” commercials that aired during the seventies. The company introduced a powdered form in 1989 and concentrates in 2006 and 2007. The company’s latest entry is Wisk HE (High Efficiency) and the company operates a website (http://laundryhe.com) devoted to the topic of high efficiency washers and detergents. When coupons are available for this product, they are posted at this site as well as at http://www.wisk.com, where consumers can find coupons for all Wisk products.
The company also manufactures Sun Laundry Detergent and Surf Laundry Detergent, but as of July, 2010, no brand sites are offered by the company for these two products.
In addition to the online coupons featured at the company’s brand sites, coupons can also be found in the Sunday newspaper supplements and occasionally in the direct mail coupon flyers most households receive weekly.