The Strange Case of the Tide Pod Challenge

Imagine you have an innovative and popular brand that hit $500 million in first-year retail sales in 2012 and kept on growing until it owned 15% of a $7 billion market. Then a strange thing happens: Your customers start eating your brand. To be clear, the product is not food. It cannot be safely consumed. The result is some serious weird/bad buzz and overall health risk for the human population.

This is what recently happened with the Tide Pod Challenge, an online phenomenon where young people started filming themselves eating Tide Pods (a form of laundry detergent). The reason why people are doing this remains murky. But what we do know for certain is that it’s not good for you—and it can even be deadly. This puts P&G, the company behind Tide Pods, in the tough position of trying to figure out how to stop the trend and restore the brand’s reputation.

In a blog post from P&G on Monday, January 22, CEO David Taylor says: “As P&G’s CEO, I assure you we’re working with our partners to do what we can to stop this dangerous trend, including ensuring social media networks are removing videos that glorify this harmful behavior, partnering with advocacy and industry groups to help spread the word that this is dangerous behavior not to be copied, and releasing this public service announcement [with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski] that is designed to reach teens and young adults—in addition to other steps we’ve taken.”

  • SOURCE: P&G Blog
  • AUTHOR: P&G CEO David Taylor
  • BRAND: Tide
  • WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: You won’t, unless you think detergent is a delicacy

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