Recently I read an article on the Real Simple magazine web site about 10 New Uses for Baking Soda. From removing tough stains and unclogging drains to brushing your teeth (no need for fancy toothpaste) and fighting both fires and b.o.
So here’s my question – with all the talk about how our water supply is now contaminated with chemicals from prescription drugs and cleaning supplies and the greater push for Method “enviro-friendly” cleaning products – why isn’t there a bigger marketing push for the return of baking soda as a simpler cleaning product?
When baking soda first hit the mass market in 1846, it was advertised as follows: “Not only does baking soda neutralize odoriferous fatty acids but it also attacks grease by turning it into — believe it or not — soap.” Now most people just keep a box in their fridge to keep it from smelling bad. What happened?
I visited the Arm & Hammer baking soda web site to see what else they’re doing to market baking soda as the best thing since sliced bread. There’s some creepy video lady named Jill that shares the “secret” powers of Arm & Hammer through a micro site and disseminates not-so-special special offers. (Side note: why can’t marketers just call a “special offer” a “coupon”?)
I am totally convinced that baking soda is the super hero of home and personal cleaning products. It’s not even that hard of a sell. That’s why it completely ticks me off that I don’t hear about it. Sure, there are a couple of magazine articles here and there… but I haven’t seen any online, television or radio ads about it. I haven’t seen any on-premise demonstrations or contests to create the next great home cleaning product solution using readily available products from grocery stores.
There’s a serious lack of promotion for the brand – coupons don’t count. Half-assed viral/word-of-mouth marketing (via a “e-mail to a friend link) and branding pre-made toothpaste and deodorant are not enough. I have no clue who Jill is. Get a real spokesperson. One that people have heard of – and like! Even a spokesperson that the public hates would be well enough if it got you some publicity. I feel like the world is just waiting for someone to openly sing the praises of baking soda! (I’m available if you get really desperate…)
Get on your toes, Arm & Hammer (is there even another baking soda company out there?) and get to work so little marketing blogger evangelists aren’t the only ones singing the praises of the miracle maker known as baking soda!