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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding90
y experience suggests that two criteria must be met if a product is to be
successful. First, it’s critical to determine what the consumer wants in a
product and how to provide it on a consistent basis. Second, it is impera-
tive to tell the consumer how the product provides the desired benefit in a
relevant and easily understood manner.
My first product assignment at Procter & Gamble was Crest toothpaste. Research indi-
cated that consumers, especially moms, wanted a toothpaste that would prevent, or at least
reduce, the number of cavities that most children experienced.
The challenge became how to communicate to the consumer that Crest actually helped
reduce tooth decay. Advertising campaigns were developed, including an iconic “Look Ma,
no cavities” approach, but the consumer did not believe that Crest reduced tooth decay.
After years of clinical testing, the American Dental Association finally recognized Crest as
being effective in reducing tooth decay, when used in conjunction with a program of good
dental hygiene.
With the ADA’s seal of approval, moms began to believe that Crest worked, and the results
were phenomenal. Within six months, Crest’s market share increased 50 percent, and it
became the market leader.
Consumer Product Marketing 101
JAMES TAPPAN, Former President of Procter & Gamble in Mexico and United
Kingdom and Former President European Operations of General Foods
James Tappan has had a varied career as a top marketing professional for consumer goods.
He worked for sixteen years with Procter & Gamble, from 1960 to 1976. Then, in 1976,
he joined General Foods as the president of European Operations in Brussels, Belgium.
The European product categories included coffee, desserts, candy, chewing gum, beverages,
and meat products. On his return to General Foods’s corporate headquarters in 1981 as
a group vice president, his assignments included several different consumer products, such
as pet foods, cereal, and baking products. In 1988, Tappan moved into the private equity
side of consumer products for various companies, selling hair accessories, beer, wine, spirits,
baby foods, books, frozen desserts, sunglasses, and carpets.
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91Twelve Key Determinants to Creating Successful Brands
(continued on page 92)
Ariel has come a long way
from those early days in
Mexico. It’s now a leading
wash-day brand in many
parts of the world.
Ariel Detergent, Mexico
Focused research and humorous creativity built a laundry
detergent into one of the leading brands in the country,
if not the world. Procter & Gamble introduced Ariel
Detergent to Mexico in the mid-1960s. The first enzyme-
based detergent offering superior cleaning performance,
Ariel had already been successfully introduced in Europe.
P&G used a similar package design and a television cam-
paign explaining the innovative cleaning aspects of the
product in the Mexican market. It didn’t work.
Research found that Mexicans consumers did not under-
stand the enzyme story. Nor did they care. The introduc-
tory advertising campaign failed to capture the interest of
the consumer and failed to generate sufficient trial.
Research revealed the following results.
Confirmation that Ariel delivered the cleanest laundry results in Mexico.•
Although only 1 to 2 percent of homes in the country had washing machines (the •
majority of consumers used buckets or did their laundry in the river), the automatic
washing machine was the gold standard in the laundry world.
Mexican consumers preferred humorous advertising over serious, scientific-based •
Armed with this information, P&G and its advertising agency developed a campaign featur-
ing a funny-looking salesman carrying a number of buckets on his shoulders, who walks
into the main square of his local town and shouts, “Automatic washing machine for sale.
The ladies in the square gather around him to question his sanity, because all they see are
his buckets. The salesman takes a bucket, fills it with water, Ariel, and dirty clothes. Within
seconds, the bucket starts to agitate, the Ariel generates lots of suds, and the clothes come
out amazingly clean. At that point, the salesman proudly proclaims “Ariel turns your bucket
into an automatic washing machine.
Consumer Product Marketing 101
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