Dial Puts Crystals in Your Laundry

TakeAway: Dial hit it big in 2009 with Purex Complete 3-in-1, which combines detergent, fabric softener and an antistatic treatment in a single laundry sheet. 

Now, for the new year, Dial is seeking to score a second success by bringing Purex Complete Crystals Softener to the United States.  The softener is in crystal form, meant to replace liquids and sheets.

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Excerpted from NYTimes, “Laundry Products Put Into Yet Another Form” By Stuart Elliott, January 5, 2011  

The product is being billed as “a purer way to get laundry that smells clean and fresh for weeks.” It is making its way this month onto the shelves of American grocery, drug and mass-merchandise stores, priced around $4 to $7 for a 28-ounce package that can be used for 32 loads of laundry.

The campaign will include, in addition to television and print advertising, discount coupons, online ads, ads in stores and an extensive presence in social media. For instance, a group of so-called mom bloggers, whom Dial describes as Purex Insiders, have received samples of Purex Complete Crystals to write about on their blogs.  To help sell consumers on the idea that Purex is more than just prosaic laundry products, the campaign for Purex Complete Crystals ends with a word, “Purextraordinary” that also appeared in the campaign to introduce the 3-in-1 laundry sheets.  The idea is that there would be a brand story of continual innovation,” said Dan Fietsam, chief creative officer at Energy BBDO, “a substantial innovation story in a category that isn’t known for a lot of innovation.”  A commercial for Purex Complete Crystals plays up its distinctive differences, among them that the product is to be added to the washer with the laundry at the beginning of the wash cycle rather than placed in the dispenser for liquid softener.

“In this recession, we learned consumers are looking for value,” said Eric Schwartz, vice president for United States laundry care marketing at Dial, “but ‘value’ doesn’t mean just low price.”  The word “value” can also mean “products that work differently.”

Dial tested the laundry sheets under names besides Purex, in case consumers said they associated the brand only with lower-price mainstay products like liquid detergent.  But “we found our brand is more extendable than we expected,” Mr. Schwartz said, so 3-in-1 and Crystals are part of a new Purex Complete line.  It can cost less to market a new product under a familiar brand name than to try to make shoppers aware of a name they have not heard before.

Edit by AMW

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