Canadian Advertising Success Stories
Sunlight Laundry Detergent
Agency: Ammirati Puris Lintas
Authors: M. Welling, I. Gordon, M. Wakefield, S. Scott, L. Mitchell; D.
Robinson, A. Fleischmann, J. Tucker, S. Querin, E. Iles, A. Bornino, D. Martin,
J. Layton, E. Lynn, L. Tao, T. Goudie & G. Westgate
'Gentlemen, I propose an immediate full scale invasion of the United States. Yes, I
know they are many times bigger than us. And yes I know they are better funded than us.
And yes, I know that they have been the predominant superpower for the last fifty years.
And I also know that our seven invasion attempts have left us in a weaker position than
we were going in. Nevertheless, I know I can count on your complete support in this
Overheard at the Meeting of the Canadian Joint Chiefs of Staff, Penetanguishene, Ontario, January 1998.
If this sounds ridiculous, may we turn your attention to the laundry category.
A year and a half ago (Editor’s note i.e. in mid–1997) Sunlight laundry detergent faced
the following questions: How do you challenge a brand that has been #1 for as long as
anyone can remember, is synonymous with the category, outspends you year after year,
has 3 times your share, and is one of the best known brands in existence? Further, how do
you rally the troops one last time to take on a brand that has shown itself to be
impregnable to competitive activity?
This paper will describe how Sunlight's 'Go ahead. Get dirty.' campaign, launched April
1998, finally put a dent in the armour of Tide. It will show national business and research
results that are directly attributable to the campaign. It will show how shipment and
dollar growth outstripped market growth by over 400%. And it will show how Sunlight
sourced its share directly from Tide, despite taking a 9.5% price increase only months
into the campaign.
And it will prove that nothing is more valuable than a good idea.
Sunlight was the number two brand, but sh