Procter & Gamble ties laundry to fashion

August 25, 2008 10:24:45 AM PDT
Procter & Gamble Co. links laundry to fashion in what's billed as the biggest product launch yet for its venerable Tide brand.Fashion mentor Tim Gunn of the reality TV series "Project Runway" is among figures from the fashion world involved in marketing of new Tide detergent and Downy fabric softener "Total Care" products. P&amnp;G's Kash Shaikh says a $60 million campaign also includes a tie-in with Ann Taylor Loft women's clothing stores and advertising in magazines such as Elle, Vogue and Cosmopolitan.

The Cincinnati-based consumer goods company says the new products draw on technology from its beauty products division to enable clothes to keep their shape and color longer through repeated washing.

They're also an example of how P&G is banking on big-brand innovations to overcome a tradedown-minded U.S. consumer economy.