Persil: Dirt is good

The new slogan for Persil is revolutionary. Traditionally, the home-care giants have invoked fear

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

The new slogan for Persil is revolutionary. Traditionally, the home-care giants have invoked fear, uncertainty and doubt in the shape of germs, viruses and other invisible horrors. When they weren't doing that, they tapped the neuroses of the desperate housewife. So Domestos kills all known germs, while Persil washes whiter. But Persil has changed its mind. In the TV and cinema ads created by JWT, a nice lady tells us: 'We see dirt differently. We believe dirt is good.' The global slogan meets two needs, one rational, the other emotional. Medical science tells us children need early exposure to germs if their immune systems are to develop. And most of us remember our mums saying: 'It's only a bit of dirt. It'll soon wash off.' It will with Persil. Science stays off the screen, as do white coats, washing machines and impressionable ladies hugging boxes of detergent. Instead, we get idealised, sentimental domestic scenes, reminding us why we love our children and our elderly parents, no matter how grubby they get. Dirt is good, but love is better.

Tags:
MT Break

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

When should you step down as CEO?

Bob Iger's departure poses an unpopular question for bosses.

The death and resurrection of the premium customer

Top-end service is no longer at the discretion of the management.

What HS2 can teach you about project failure

And how you can prevent projects going astray.

35 Women Under 35 2020: Nominations open

Management Today's 35 Women Under 35 showcases the country's rising stars in business. Here's how...

Practical steps for breaking silos

Briefing: Adam Williams, former CEO of influencer marketing agency Takumi, shares what he has learned...

The Power 50: Proof that you can be a part-time CEO

Just a few years ago, executives were reluctant to admit they worked part-time for fear...