Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Tide Car


Answer: Because nobody asked, "What were you thinking?"  Question: Why is Tide a NASCAR sponsor?

Mrs. Linklater uses Tide. But even though Tide is probably the best detergent out there, she thinks the Tide people are taking advantage of their customers. And not giving them anything in return. 

Yes, these are shocking allegations. But stick with her.

She just knows that somebody in marketing research for P & G was putting numbers together one day and discovered that a whole bunch of women were watching NASCAR races. 

In between chasing kids, cleaning house, making dinner, washing dishes, doing clothes, and holding down a job, women love to watch NASCAR apparently.

Do you know what that means? the marketing research person shouted. That means we can advertise a woman's product, Tide for instance, on the hoods of the NASCAR muscle machines. 

We'll have females fixated on our logo like they were watching the Chippendale dancers. For hours at a time. Not just for a piddly thirty seconds in a commercial.

Here's how the logic goes. Mrs. Linklater will type slowly so you can follow along: Women buy Tide. Women watch NASCAR races. 

Women will buy way more Tide after they see the Tide logo in a NASCAR race. The way men rush out to buy Cialis.

This is so beautiful, why didn't we realize it earlier? Mrs. Linklater bets there was a lot of celebrating around the office when marketing realized what a gold mine they had stumbled onto.

The marketing people love it when research discovers a new way to suck money out of their customers. 

They love it even more when research comes up with something that'll get them some good freebies. Particularly for the marketing people working on Tide. 

Because when you're stuck working on a women's product there aren't as many off campus perks as working on say, a beer product.

No trips to bowl games, final fours, all-star games, the good stuff.

The excitement must have been enormous. Wow!! Now that we've got a good reason to put the Tide logo on a race car -- think about it -- we can travel to NASCAR races all over the country. 

Hey, somebody has to keep the logo clean and shiny.

And we can hang out with Jeff and Rusty and all the guys. For a whole week sometimes. Lounging in the pits. Getting our own race jackets. I love this job!!!

And you say research has the numbers to justify these boondoggles? Give that person a raise.  How soon can we paint the car?

Hold on to your paint brush for a minute, marketing slut.

Those of you who follow NASCAR have probably noticed something about the drivers. There is nobody named Sue, Sally, Muffy or Nancy driving those cars.

Nobody who worries about helmet hair. Or whether her butt looks fat in her racing suit.

And the pit crews don't have any females changing tires and pumping gas that Mrs. Linklater can recall.  Nope.

NASCAR is to testosterone what monthly bloat is to a box of chocolate.

Mrs. Linklater thinks that the Tide folks have conveniently ignored a pretty obvious fact of NASCAR.  

Women have just two chances to break into that good ole boy network.  Slim and none.

No chance to share in the millions of dollars that float NASCAR's boat every year.  No chance to have their tawdry lives played out in the tabloids. 

No chance to hire somebody else to take care of the kids, clean the house, make the dinner, wash the clothes, you get the idea.

So, given that the Tide folks are making a ton of money off women who use their product and watch NASCAR, you would think that they might consider saying "Thank you" in a more meaningful way, besides the usual coupon or two.

Mrs. Linklater thinks it's high time they did the right thing. And sponsored a car with a female driver. Or started a school to train female drivers. 

Put some of the money they get from the hardworking women who keep this country clean and pressed and put it toward getting them out of the laundromat and into a race car.  So they can make enough money to buy their own washers and dryers.

But Mrs. Linklater isn't stupid.  She knows that won't happen unless enough people email P&G [] or call them at (513) 983-1100 to complain.

On the other hand, women could just stop using Tide.  Or stop watching NASCAR.

1 comment:

lwhitewave said...

Ok, this is late, I know...I've had difficulties!
Wait!  You mean I have to actually THINK about the one and only sport I happen to like and watch??  I LIKE Nascar!  I use Tide!!  Mrs. L, now you've gone and made me realize what a hypocrite I am...I'm gonna have to boycott???  
Believe it or not, I've often wondered why there are no women in the race (Shirley Muldowney of funny-car fame is there, of course, but she never made Nascar).  There is also a famous woman (obviously not TOO famous-I can't recall her name) racing motorcycles.
But no women in Nascar.
The old-boy network strikes again.  Or should I say, the "good old boy" network?
Anyway, there's my almost half a nickel.