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P&G's Swash Targets GenYers

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Procter & Gamble is wading further into the “laundry convenience” category by taking its Tide Swash—a product aimed at consumers trying to put off doing laundry—national this month via e-retailers Amazon and  Drugstore.com.

The move follows P&G’s test market of the products in Columbus, Ohio, and, most recently, Lexington, Ky., last fall. Swash, which carries the tagline, “Swash it out,”  targets both young professionals and college students by providing a way to instantly refresh and remove wrinkles from previously worn pieces of clothing without hitting the laundromat.

In keeping with its target audience, P&G is selling the products—a wrinkle remover spray, odor eliminator, stain erase pen and moist dryer sheet that removes smells and wrinkles—online only. (In fabric care parlance, they are known as “smooth it out,” “fresh it up,” “get it out” and “steam it out,” respectively.)

Advertising, which is being handled by Strawberry Frog, Digitas and DeVries Public Relations, consists of online media units running on e-commerce partners’ sites, PR and sampling and promotion on the P&G word-of-mouth network Tremor.  (If you Google “Tide Swash,” most of the hits  are from early December by bloggers discussing the product giveaway.) A pack of three “get it out” stain removal pens sells for $12.99 on Amazon. A “Swash Variety Pack,” meanwhile, is priced at $15.99.

The push comes as Tide has lost share to cheaper priced and private label brands in a recession. Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj said that when consumers trade down, they “generally find those products clean their clothes just as well.”

Swash is just one of the ways P&G hopes to battle private label via innovation. Indeed, fabric care execs think Swash satisfies a broad, unmet need in the market.

In its research, P&G found consumers would sometimes let their clothes steam while in the shower, while others stressed about how to keep a designer pair of jeans clean without washing away its colors, said Alejandro Bethlen, brand manager on Tide adjacent products.

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