Tideís In..
Soapís Out!
 

"Tide Gets Clothes Cleaner Than Any Soap.....
T-I-D-E..... Tide!"
                                               --- Fran Barber

Soundbyte

Lincoln, Me. (DG)-

New TideIn 1949, the radio listeners who tuned in to NBCís RED SKELTON SHOW heard a new sponsor for the program.  Little did the listeners know at the time, but the new sponsor would begin a completely new era in washing the laundry.  This new sponsor was Tide, Procter & Gambleís heavy-duty detergent.  No product of any kind had the overwhelming impact Tide did.  Although Tide was considered a new detergent, the idea of creating a detergent wasnít exactly new. 

In 1933, Procter & Gamble introduced Dreft, the first synthetic detergent ever made.  It was a definite improvement from soap, but Dreft fell short of what the company wanted.  Dreft could clean lightly soiled clothes, but was ineffective against the heavily dirty clothes.  Despite Dreftís shortcomings, Procter & Gamble knew they were on the right track.  For the next 10 years, the company kept plugging away in finding the solution.  After numerous tests, the detergent that would become Tide was ready to become a reality.  Unfortunately, World War II put its debut on hold. 

In 1946, Procter & Gamble introduced Tide to 6 different regions of the United States.  To capture the attention of the consumers, Tide was packaged in a bright yellow and orange box, which was similar in design to Oxydolís famous bullís-eye package.  It wasnít hard to miss on the dealerís shelves--- and the people didnít want to miss it, either! 

In all 6 regions where it was sold, Tide was an instant success.  The demand for "The Washday Miracle" quickly dwindled down the supply.  Dealers who sold it had a difficult time keeping enough Tide on hand.  It would take another 2-3 years before Procter & Gamble could make enough Tide to be sold nationwide. 

Once it was introduced to a nationwide audience on the PERRY MASON serial program, Tide quickly became the top selling laundry product.  Its popularity was so dominant, there was a major concern for the makers of powdered, flaked, and bar laundry soaps.  It was the beginning of the end of soap products for the laundry.  The rival soap makers had the choice of either converting their popular soap brands to detergents or to discontinue making them entirely. 

As you know, Procter & Gamble is the creator of Tide--- but it was also the company that made Ivory Flakes, Ivory Snow, Duz, and Oxydol--- all established soap products.  Along with the other soap brands, sales of all 4 Procter & Gamble soap products also decreased because of Tideís popularity. 

Since Tide was a laundry product, it was also a sponsor of the daytime soap operas.  It was here that soap products got a little revenge on "The Washday Miracle."  Although Tide dominated the sales of laundry products, its popularity didnít change the slang "Soap Opera" into "Detergent Opera."

TideTide either sponsored or co-sponsored established serials like LIFE CAN BE BEAUTIFUL, PEPPER YOUNGíS FAMILY, ROSEMARY, PERRY MASON, THE GUIDING LIGHT, and THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS.  Other then being sponsored by the same product, the common factor these serials had was announcer Bob Dixon, who was the commercial spokesman for Tide.

On one of the commercials from PERRY MASON, Dixon described Tide as a "Mid-Century Miracle."  It most certainly was an accurate statement, because this one product alone completely changed how the laundry was washed.  The competition eventually came out with their own brands of detergent, but not one of them could surpass or even equal Tide in popularity.