Monday, February 18, 2008

Tide Quits NASCAR -- YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

"A rumor is heating up about Tide Racing. No, the rumor isn’t about a new promotion or driver change. There’s no new paint scheme or even an announcement to move to another team. The rumor has the Tide sponsorship bowing out and leaving NASCAR at the end of this season."
--- thatsracing.com
The following entry was first written in June of 2004. After the Daytona 500 race yesterday, it seems appropriate to post it again. 
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 consumers. 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 consumers. And give nothing back. 

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 no Tide sponsorship for any driver named Sue, Sally, Muffy or Nancy.

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 chocolates.

For years, the Tide marketers 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. But plenty of chances to see the Tide logo go around and around the track on top of a car that they don't drive.


No sponsorship money 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 have been 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 [www.pg.com] or call them at (513) 983-1100 to complain.

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


Thanks to this model of investigative reporting, Mrs. Linklater takes full credit for getting P & G to stop sponsoring a TIDE car. You're welcome.

17 comments:

salemslot9 said...

my John went to his folk's house
and watched the race with his Dad
John buys the laundry detergent
and washes his own clothes
don't think that he ever
brought home Tide, though...

psychfun said...

Well I was going to say yep...we do watch NASCAR at times soooo...and if you go to the NASCAR races you do see a lot of the women with the RVs with their husbands.

Now my thinking is more male simplicity. Men do laundry now by themselves...well if you call it that after the couple sniffs & inside out has already been used. So they like to shop in & out...except Menards or Lowes of course...so they go in the Laundry detergent aisle that mind you is not as bad as the breakfast cereal aisle but they don't know what to do, TIDE...on a NASCAR that is manly I'll grab that! Now if they could only place a florist & Fannie May or Jared Diamonds on the Cars we would be better off! HA! Of course they may all those jokes about who would sponsor Danica so...

jevanslink said...

The only reason TIDE was ever part of NASCAR was because WOMEN are their main demographic and WOMEN watch NASCAR in very high numbers.

This is the same reason there's a Kellogg's car.

WOMEN do almost ALL the shopping for their FAMILIES. If her husband shops, he has a list that SHE gave him.

MRs. L

salemslot9 said...

I help with the "honey do" list
when he asks me
if he forgot anything
I've done alot of shopping
in my life time
nothing wrong with
a man doing it, too

swibirun said...

Don't worry.....it'll all come out in the wash;)

Have a great weekend!
Chris
http://inanethoughtsandinsaneramblings.blogspot.com

fdtate714 said...

Actually, women do make up a very significant portion of the NASCAR crowd, and women are not the only people on this Earth that do laundry and NASCAR is making an effort to put women (and minorities) in race cars.  

Look for Erin Crocker in the Sprint Cup Series within a few years.  In fact, she drove in the Truck Series race on Saturday, finishing 27th.

NASCAR has a Drive for Diversity program.  The 2008 class contains two women...

http://www.nascar.com/2008/news/headlines/official/01/21/2008.d4d.class/index.html

One more point, Tide has been a NASCAR car sponsor since 1987, sponsoring great drivers like Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven...

http://www.tide.com/tideracing/winninghistory/index.jsp

jevanslink said...

LET ME RESPOND TO THE PREVIOUS COMMENT ONE LINE AT A TIME:

Actually, women do make up a very significant portion of the NASCAR crowd,

ARE YOU TALKING TO ME? I ALREADY MADE THAT POINT. IT'S AT THE HEART OF MY ARGUMENT.

and women are not the only people on this Earth that do laundry

FOR SOME REASON A BUNCH OF YOU DIMWITS THINK THIS ENTRY SHOULD BE ABOUT MEN WHO DO LAUNDRY.

READ MY LIPS -- IT'S ABOUT ALL THE WOMEN WHO BUY TIDE AND DO LAUNDRY. AND HOW TIDE TAKES THEIR MONEY AND GIVES IT TO MEN.    

BY THE WAY -- THE NUMBER OF MEN WHO BUY TIDE AND DO LAUNDRY IS MINISCULE COMPARED TO THE NUMBER OF WOMEN WHO BUY TIDE AND DO LAUNDRY.

and NASCAR is making an effort to put women (and minorities) in race cars. Look for Erin Crocker in the Sprint Cup Series within a few years. In fact, she drove in the Truck Series race on Saturday, finishing 27th

DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH. ONE WOMAN IS HARDLY PROGRESS.

NASCAR has a Drive for Diversity program.  The 2008 class contains two women...

TWO WOMEN. HAH!!! I REST MY CASE. WHAT A JOKE.

One more point, Tide has been a NASCAR car sponsor since 1987, sponsoring great drivers like Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven...

YES I KNOW TIDE HAS BEEN A NASCAR SPONSOR OF MALE DRIVERS FOR A LONG TIME. THAT'S MY POINT YOU IDIOT.  WOMEN BUY THEIR PRODUCTS. WOMEN, NOT MEN, SHOULD BENEFIT FROM THE SPONSORSHIP.

IF TIDE WON'T SPONSOR WOMEN -- THEY SHOULDN'T SPONSOR ANYBODY -- AND NOW THEY DON'T -- YAY!!!!!

Mrs. L

tamarac01 said...

Hey Mrs. L, be careful, Tide will be taking a contract out on you if you disrupt their sales. . .lol.  

fdtate714 said...

Oh, I am an idiot.  I get your point now.  And I'll take your argument a little further.  Betty Crocker definitely should not be sponsoring Bobby Labonte and Reed Sorenson most definitely should quit driving the pink Breast Cancer Awareness car that he drives on special occasions.  He should probably quit driving the Target car too.  There are an awful lot of women shopping at Target every time I go in there.

The main gist of your argument seems to be that Sue, Sally, Muffy or Nancy aren't driving NASCAR cars.  True enough.  Only problem is that there are only two women in America, and possibly the world, who could jump in a NASCAR car and hit the track right now -- Danica Patrick and possibly Sarah Fisher, both of whom seem quite happy in the IRL at the present time.  Neither would be competitive.  See Dario Franchitti, Sam Hornish Jr., Jacques Villeneuve, A. J. Allmendinger, and Patrick Carpentier, who are all struggling to make the adjustment from open-wheeled cars to NASCAR.  Even Juan Pablo Montoya, last year's NASCAR Rookie of the Year, can't win anywhere but on a road course.

It takes time to develop a NASCAR driver of either sex.  You can't just throw someone into it.  It would be suicidal or murderous depending on whether you were getting behind the wheel or throwing someone else there.  Trading paint with Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon at 190 mph at Daytona or 100 mph at Bristol takes something special.

Granted, NASCAR has been slow to develop women and minority drivers.  They are making the effort now.  Erin Crocker is probably two or three years from making the Sprint Cup Series.  And the Drive for Diversity Program, now in its fifth year, is beginning the slow process of turning drivers into racers.  Yes, it's only two women this year, and they may or may not make it.  But take two or three women this year and every year and someday soon we'll se

jevanslink said...

Right. I think that all products/services with a female demographic should not sponsor cars. My next hope is that Kellogg will stop their sponsorship unless they come up with a cereal for men.  I think the breast cancer logo makes sense -- since they're not selling a product, they're creating, duh, awareness.

By the way, if I were a driver, I'd take Indy/F1 cars over NASCAR any day. Champagne and caviar beats beer and pretzels.  Porsche beats Chevy. Foreign accents beat rednecks.  

Mrs. L


fdtate714 said...


http://www.hlglicensing.com/nascar.htm

jevanslink said...


     I never cease to be amazed at people who argue off point.  

     What has your scrambled brain come up with this time?  That NASCAR is popular?

     I know it's popular, muffler breath.

     Once again, I wasn't writing about the popularity of NASCAR.  I was writing about the sexism in NASCAR.  With Tide marketing as my point of reference.  

     Speaking of preferences, in my last comment to you I expressed a preference for Indy/F1 racing. I've been to both NASCAR and Indy racing events and, top to bottom, one of them attracts a better class of people.  

     And it ain't NASCAR.

     Mrs. L

dgwheeew said...

Why are you turning corporate advertising into some sort of women's lib argument?
Men and women watch NASCAR, advertisers sponsor cars to reach a specific demographic.  40% of the people who watch NASCAR are women.  Tide was targeting that demographic.  End of story.

Also, what does having female drivers have to do with anything?  Are you trying to suggest that women should only be interested in watching other women win races?  You mentioned that you are a fan of Indy/F1 racing.  So in IRL are Sarah Fisher and  Danica Patrick the only drivers you'll root for?  I'm not trying to say that it's bad for a woman to root for a woman because she's a woman.  But just don't be hypocritical about it.  

And finally,
"WOMEN BUY THEIR PRODUCTS. WOMEN, NOT MEN, SHOULD BENEFIT FROM THE SPONSORSHIP.  IF TIDE WON'T SPONSOR WOMEN -- THEY SHOULDN'T SPONSOR ANYBODY"

That's just ignorant.  
Here's the P&G Board of Directors:
Bruce Byrnes, Scott D. Cook, Joseph Gorman, A.G. Lafley, Charles R. Lee, Lynn M. Martin, W. James McNerney, Jr., Johnathan Rodgers, John F. Smith, Jr., Ralph Snyderman, Margaret Whitman, and Brian Bowns.

That's who benefits from the sponsorship.

jevanslink said...

The P&G corporate directors do not receive the direct benefit of corporate sponsorships, the drivers do.

Without corporate sponsorships NASCAR drivers couldn't start their engines. So Tide isn't just a logo on the hood of a car. If all they did was buy space there, I wouldn't have a problem.

But, for more than twenty years, Tide's money was the grease that kept the wheels rolling for several male drivers.  I can only imagine how many more women would be driving if they had had the same opportunity to get a ride.

Unfortunately, Tide has chosen to spend their hundreds of thousands of dollars to grease the wheels of male drivers only.

But you have no problem with that. You wouldn't recognize sexism if it bit you on the ass. The corporate sponsorship of the NASCAR boys' club by Tide is egregious.

With all due respect to your asinine assumptions about the point I was making in my entry, the only thing I have been suggesting all along is that Tide should use its corporate money to sponsor women. Let me give you an analogy, since you can't seem to do it yourself.

When was the last time a product purchased and used primarily by men, say STP, or Viagra, stepped up to the plate to sponsor the careers of the models on the Victoria's Secret underwear extravaganza, a show watched by many men.  That probably sound ridiculous to you, doesn't it? Because men use STP and Viagra, not women.

Perhaps now you can understand why I think having Tide sponsor male NASCAR drivers sounds just as ridiculous to me.

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about advertising to a demographic, I'm talking about fairness in corporate sponsorships. If you don't think corporations are among the most sexist institutions in our society, then you're the one who is ignorant.

Mrs. L

jevanslink said...

Have I mentioned lately that Tide is no longer a NASCAR sponsor?  No more. Gone. Hasta la bye bye.

The daughter of a P & G executive read my original entry four years ago.  She showed it to her mother. Sometimes the wheels move slowly.  But they do move.

So bite me.

Mrs. L

dgwheeew said...

continued...

If I understand you correctly, your argument is that P&G should give back to the women who have given to the company by supporting women in the sport.  I think that's fair.  If they had done so, it may have been a great beginning for women in the sport.  

But you make it sound as if P&G was a scheming group of good ol' boys set out to exploit women by taking the easy route and sponsoring a team that was already an established performer.  The #17 Tide Ride was driven by Darrell Waltrip, a veteran driver who took a victory in the sponsor's first year.  P&G wanted a return on its investment and went with what they felt would be and what turned out to be a sure winner.  Again, Top places generate more exposure.  The Tide Ride continued to roll with winner Ricky Rudd through the change from the #5 to #10 car and the change of ownership, further showing that Tide was only concerned with performance.  Tide's decision to back out finally came after 3 straight years of dismal performances by 3 different drivers.  Despite its efforts to find a winning team, Tide backed out because it was losing.  The investment wasn't paying off anymore.
 
The bottom line is always $$$.  Maybe I'm just too cynical?

But in the end, all of this is moot because Tide is gone from the sport.  Consider yourself bit.

dgwheeew said...

Dear Mrs. L,

A fine rebuttal indeed, but I think my comments ventured off topic and in turn have made this into an argument about something else.  Additionally, in several instances I was picking apart your responses to comments left by others and that didn't serve to support my initial argument.

Since I don't know what sexism is and am unable to understand analogies, I'll forgo discussing those points to focus on what I truly believe is the important issue.

The P&G Board doesn't benefit directly from sponsoring, true.  But they do benefit significantly indirectly.  The sponsorship dollars that Tide puts into a NASCAR team is chump change compared to the increased revenues brought in from just showing up.  According to a national poll, 72% of the US population believes that automotive sponsors represent the leading companies in their given fields.  So the majority of people watching believed that Tide was the best detergent.  But in the end, that wasn't enough for Tide.  They wanted more exposure, and top places generate more exposure because fans like winners.

As far as the team is concerned, the sponsor provides the cash for the team, but their team was good enough in the first place to land the sponsor.  If Tide had not sponsored those drivers, someone else would have.  In fact, Tide finally left after poor teams delivered poor standings for 3 straight years.

Believing that Tide had any motive other than making money is foolish.  Maybe you agree with me on that point?

to be continued...