Why Tide Pods Look Like Candy
P&G had also found that consumers were tired of lugging around bulky 7-pound Tide detergent bottles, measuring out liquid detergent and pouring it into a cup, and then cleaning up the inevitable spills. Doing laundry had become a dreaded duty.
The company needed to create something different that would convince consumers to move away from liquid laundry detergent. It set out to create a distinctive palm-sized, liquid-filled laundry detergent capsule that would grab shoppers’ attention on the shelf and make doing laundry a little more exciting.
Interruption of the laundry
Tide Pods wasn’t P&G’s first attempt at creating a laundry tablet.
In 1960, P&G launched Salvo, a compressed powder tablet. It was on the market for about five years. In 2000, P&G introduced Tide Tabs: tablets filled with washing powder. But the company pulled them from the market two years later – the powder tablets did not always dissolve completely and only worked in hot water.
P&G’s next attempt – the development of a liquid tablet that would eventually become Tide Pods – was an extremely difficult technical task. More than 75 employees and 450 different packaging and product sketches were involved in this. Thousands of consumers were surveyed.
“Food imitation products”
Tide Pods has appealed to customers with its lightweight design, blue, orange, and white striped swirl, and soft, squishy feel.
Today it features a patented three-chamber design that separates detergent (the green compartment), stain remover (white) and bleach (blue). P&G didn’t say why it changed colors.
Even the packaging of Tide Pods was different.
Other examples of this tactic are Bottles in the form of soft drinks and labels with colorful fruits.
By designing products that make connections to food, games, or other positive experiences, customers are less likely to automatically associate those items with uncomfortable or boring work, Basso said.
But the appearance of Tide Pods posed an unforeseen threat.
The company is conducting an ongoing tide pod safety campaign to educate consumers on the proper use and storage of the product, a P&G spokesman said. It includes advertising and content partnerships with online channels for parents.
A P&G spokesman said the standard has led to a sharp drop in accident rates in recent years, even as more people use laundry packages.
However, P&G said accidents happen whether the product has no color, one color or multiple colors, and there is insufficient evidence that each color is associated with safety improvements.
Keeping Tide Pods out of the reach of children, the company says, is the number one safety preventive measure.