Good marketing?

April 11, 2010

OMO detergent boxes with tag line "Dirt is good."I’m not sure how declaring that “dirt is good” is motivation to buy this brand. I thought dirt was bad and what you want the detergent to get rid of, but what do I know?



  1. As a stand-alone piece of communication, it obviously makes no sense. But from what I know, this is part of an extensive campaign which uses inverse logic to make the point that you would even consider befriending dirt and stains, because it gives you a chance to prove just how fantabulously good and powerful our detergent is.

    Every single detergent manufacturer has for years said that dirt is bad, and claimed some super duper formula would get rid of it. By going against convention, this communication not only gets your attention but also drives home a point about superior product performance.

    And no, I wasn’t the copywriter 😉

    • Since the box is the only aspect of the “extensive campaign” I am seeing (we do not have TV and I don’t read magazines), I will never pick up on the “inverse logic” message.

      This reminds me of a play I saw once. In a workshop session after the play, the director went on and on about the symbolism of fire and water in the stage scenery. As an audience member, I had not picked up on all this symbolism. In fact, I found the pond in the middle of the stage distracting, because sometimes it was an open pool and sometimes it was covered with a glass sheet. It looked like actors were going to fall into the pool. Had I been asked to describe the scenery after seeing the play, I would have said it was stark and lifeless. I would not have said it was a contrast of fire and water.

      Communication has two ends. One where someone attempts to send a message and the other where someone receives the message. If the receiver does not perceive the message that the sender intended, communication fails. I think “Dirt is good” is a major communication failure. Marketers spend too much time trying to manipulate customers. There are brands I’ve been using faithfully for over 30 years BECAUSE THE PRODUCT DOES WHAT I NEED IT TO, not because of a tag line or inverse logic.

  2. Hear Hear Kanga!!!!!!!! I like symbolism and messages, but if I don’t get it I think it needs to be tossed!!!!!!!

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