Tide The other day in the laundry room I noticed the tagline on the box of Tide HE detergent: "With Tide – the results are worth it."

How ballsy.

Not only is Tide coming right out and saying they're more expensive, but in doing so they're creating their own market niche. In a fair-to-moderate worldwide recession, who is going around saying 'we're expensive, but buy us anyway?' Who? Tide, that's who. So while the 'competition' is beating each other up on pricing in the middle-market, Tide is sitting on top of the clean clothes pile – Alone. 

Of course we could go on and on about whether their value is real or perceived, but the job of the brand team is to figure out a way to create separation. Maybe Tide is actually worse than Wisk and has been parlaying on brand nostalgia all this time (i.e., I buy this brand because my mother bought this brand because her mother….).

But I don't buy it. My wife does (sorry…that was unfair).

Fact – there is no golden rule. There is no one market research study that trumps all others. There's just not. So to me, when an ad strategy is based on numbers that favor the brand, that's 'taste test' advertising. This kind of strategy is fine as a peripheral element, but has no business as the tip-of-the-spear for an ad campaign.

My point is that Tide don’t hide. It has bigtime brand equity because of its earned value – not perceived. Perception only goes so far. Deception even less so. Tide is the best and can say they're the best because they are the best. But I don’t need a manipulated taste test to tell me that. All I need to know is that my wife spent the extra money.

And you thought there was no truth in advertising.

Jim is a father, husband, copywriter, daydreamer and founder of smashcommunications. Follow him on Twitter at @smashadv

Drink Up this St. Patrick's Day.
In the Name of Love

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.