Thursday, October 6, 2011

Will a remake help Ivory Soap float?


Ivory soap was launched in 1879, so I guess it is a bit overdue for a makeover.   But perhaps the timing was influenced by a new study from NBC Universal which indicated that moms these days are into simplicity and traditionalism.  (Forbes, 2011)
Interestingly, few of them (only 4%) actually have traditional homes, but 49% say they would like to. So, it’s an aspirational goal more than a reflection of reality.  But who better to capture the spirit of the moment than the soap that’s so pure it floats?

While the new advertising campaign will focus on value and simplicity, it appears that the messaging will take an emotional approach – “featuring simple truths about soap and life in general.”  (Greenberg, 2011)
Since Ivory currently has a 5.8% market share, there’s plenty of room for growth, and if they are well-priced then they will undoubtedly take advantage of the middle class rush to less expensive products.  But do we really think that advertising can spur sales of something as basic as soap?  And will this approach do the trick? 

Forbes, T. (2011, October 5) P&G Floats A Makeover For Ivory. Retrieved October 5, 2011, from

Greenberg, K. (2011, October 5) Panel, P&G Focus On Mom’s Desire For Tradition. Retrieved October 5, 2011, from


  1. I don't know if a remake of the Ivory soap will be as impactful as just more exposure to the consumer in general. I never see any Ivory soap commercials but I do always see Dove commercials and sometimes Irish Spring commercials.

    Since the middle class are looking for more bargains and better value, I think that the lower price of the soap compared to its competitors would trump the emotional aspect of the campaign on the reason to by the soap.

    I am interested to see though and wouldn't be surprised if the campaign somehow tied in children using the soap trying to pull the emotional strings; since moms will do anything for their children. This would be a good approach also because they are already trying to target mom's on simplicity and traditionalism.

  2. I think advertising is the perfect tool for basic products like soap specially when this type of product are situated in a market where the price is one of the most important stuff so for this product to succeed the consumer needs to feel also think that there is a lot of chance for Ivory soap to growth.
    The NBC study says women today are looking for simplicity but they are also looking for good quality paying less money. So I definitely think that there is a huge chance that the middle class is going to buy ivory soap specially if the campaign manage to get involve with their feelings because we all know there is no purchase where the feelings aren’t involve,

  3. Ely Giat

    I think that advertising for Ivory soap will boost sales. I think it is important for Ivory soap to maintain its value (well-priced) and create an emotional connection through advertising that can support the benefits of Ivory soap. In my country, Mexico, I see a lot of advertising for soap that shows emotional benefits like feeling rejuvenated. These ads are convincing because they make you want to use the soap and have the same experience. The new advertising for Ivory can have the same effect for women who are looking for simplicity and traditionalism. Also, once the target moms buy into the Ivory brand, there is a good chance for them to pass along the brand preference to their family and children. With that, the brand can grow sales for longer term.

  4. I think that advertising is effective on basic product like soap. People tend to choose the same basic products which they have been using without consideration. On the other hand, sometimes people want to try something new. Most people know IVORY, but that does't mean that the ad is unnecessary. The ad can remind people of IVORY and make them try IVORY soap. Moreover, the ad is different from the previous ads, it could be effective.
    According to the study from NBC Universal, this approach will do the trick. Like I said above, for existing consumers, it will work. In addition, it also makes today's mom who could be a new consumer try IVORY soap. Moreover, even if people don't know the make over of IVORY, pop colors and impressive statements look trendy, so I think more people would like it.

  5. Ivory soap is an American staple. I read that its been around for over 100 years. What is old can be new again by using a new approach. The emotional connection can be there for the targeted market of young moms using pure and simple as its hook but the baby boomers already have an emotional connection with it. The baby boomers grew up with the soap that floats.
    Susan D.

  6. I think that the Ivory brand has an established recognition that could be spiked with advertising support. It is also a brand with an image of purity which plays into the current popularity of brands that emphasize simplicity, which sounds environmentally conscious, even if it is not.

    An attractive price point should result in an increase in sales with family budgets tight in the current economic climate.

    The consumer insight that Moms want to provide a traditional and nurturing home for their families is clearly inscribed in the history of the Ivory brand. This could be crafted with a contemporary flair to bring the current generation of Mothers into the Ivory Soap family.


  7. As we've discussed in class, Dove's campaign for real beauty boosted their sales. So, I think, yes, it is possible for advertising to increase sales for something as basic as has before. In addition, soap is one of those things that everyone buys - regardless of demographics, everyone needs now its time to show the target why Ivory is the right choice. In the midst of all these new beauty products, half of which don't even do what they say they do, Ivory soap can advertise back to basics, a simple product that actually does its job.

    - Catherine D.

  8. I think advertising could increase Ivory's sales. We have already seen the impact advertising has had for Dove, so if Ivory is able to create an effective advertisement they should be able to increase their sales. As Catherine already mentioned, soap is something that is used by everyone so the real task is not necessarily getting the consumer to buy your product but to buy your brand. If Ivory is able to establish itself as the soap for the everyday man/woman I feel that their sales would benefit. Off the top of my head the only two brands whose advertisements I can recall are Irish Spring which tends to be targeted more towards men and Dove which is targeted more towards women, if Ivory can somehow target both men and women using a similar strategy their sales should increase.

  9. I think advertising will help Ivory in many ways. First off it will refresh memories of a timeless soap. People could relate how their parents might have used the soap, hence recreating the emotional bond. As we know that most purchases are either emotional or impulsive, the Ad would work on the emotional level and make consumers purchase the soap.

    Targeting the right type of people is another important factor while considering to revamp/ re-introduce the product, since Ivory has focused on traditionalism and simplicity I feel moms would fall for the appeal as they would want something pure for themselves as well as the family.

    However Ivory should be careful in its pricing strategy. It should not price the product too low which would make the consumers feel that the product is inferior. The Ad should portray Ivory as a "value" product with great features.

  10. Ivory Soap’s new advertising campaign seems to be a good fit for their target, aspirational moms from 34 to 49.

    I believe that the new trend for middle class citizens towards less expensive products is key for Ivory to take advantage of. Due to this, its imperative they come into the market with a competitive pricing strategy. If executed effectively, the advertising campaign could definitely spur sales, even though all it is soap.