P&G Tests Soap on the Go for Shelf Space

Share this article:
Procter & Gamble Co. is running an in-store and online promotion to generate more display space from retailers for multipacks of its soap brands.

Called Soap on the Go, the promotion offers consumers a dollar-value incentive online for buying three-bar packs of Zest, Olay or Safeguard or four-bar packs of Old Spice or Ivory. SoftCoin Inc., a Brisbane, CA-based online marketing and promotions firm, created the Web element.

"For us, what we're looking for is exploring alternative vehicles that incent our retailers to display our brand -- that's our fundamental priority," said Jeff Myers, brand manager for personal cleansing products at P&G, Cincinnati. "The purpose for us is not about building loyalty with consumers. The purpose for us is to explore this as a vehicle to incent retailers to display us."

P&G commenced specially marked soap-pack shipments last month to coincide with the debut of http://www.soaponthego.com. The Zest, Old Spice, Ivory and Safeguard multipacks are line-priced at an average of $1.90 and Olay at $4.

Each pack comes with a free travel case designed to encase a soap bar as well as a code on an enclosed game piece. Consumers create an account at the site and enter the code to see whether they have received $5 or $10 to spend online.

The amount can be redeemed at three retailers participating in the program: eBags.com, sunglasshut.com and toyopia.com. Each code entered also is an automatic entry into a Soap on the Go sweepstakes for a chance to win $25,000 in March.

"What we want to learn is if there's enough consumers behind a SoftCoin-type execution where, in the future, we can use this as a standalone reason for retailers to choose and support our brands' merchandising," Myers said.

P&G has worked with SoftCoin in the past, but not on these brands. Terms of the P&G deal were not disclosed. SoftCoin clients include Kraft Foods for Easy Mac, Lifestyle condoms, Nestle's Friskies, Dole Food Co. and joint promotions for Frito-Lay and Tropicana, and Boston Market and Coca-Cola.

Despite being a leading player in the toiletries business, P&G constantly has to work on programs to get its brands noticed on store shelves.

The company recently inked a deal with Upromise, a Web site where consumers save toward college expenses by buying specific brands from retailers. Shopping for P&G's Olay, Zest, Old Spice, Cascade and Tide brands from these retailers yields savings of 3 percent.

Still, the key issue is getting shelf space from drugstores, discounters, supermarkets or convenience chains. This is even more the case in the toiletries aisle, where P&G is head-to-head with Lever Bros.

"If you go to stores today, predominantly what you see on display are special packs -- very expensive to execute," Myers said. "So are there less-expensive ways that you can provide incremental consumer value that would incent a retailer to display you? SoftCoin potentially provides that, but the jury's still out."

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Next Article in Multichannel Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Multichannel Marketing

7 Ways to Take Your Marketing Strategy to the Big Leagues

7 Ways to Take Your Marketing Strategy to ...

A game-winning omnichannel strategy must be seamless, synchronous, and symbiotic.

Pet World's Multichannel Marketing Is a Whole Other Animal

Pet World's Multichannel Marketing Is a Whole Other ...

The family owned pet store redesigns its website to bring the in-store experience online.

Complexity's What Marketers Got, Simplicity's What They Want

Complexity's What Marketers Got, Simplicity's What They Want

Customer insights managers want campaign management tools to remain easy to use, even as they up their games with multi-layered campaigns.