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Tide® Celebrates 50 Years in the Philippines


Fifty years ago, Filipino housewives had to make do with soap flakes to clean their clothes. Soap flakes were not the perfect solution — they couldn't remove tough stains, dulled colors and often left white clothes drab and gray.

In hard water such as that found in deep wells, soap flakes didn't lather and deposited a residue of scum in washtubs. Resourceful housewives had to work hard at inventing little tricks to keep their clothes as clean and as white as possible.

In 1957, Tide revolutionized the way Filipinos did their laundry. The first heavy-duty synthetic detergent, Tide had a unique combination of cleaning agents that pulled away oils and grease from fabric, as well as "builders" — compounds that penetrated clothes more deeply to attack difficult stains. This made Tide "the first big change in soap-making in 2,000 years."

This year, Tide celebrates its 50th anniversary in the Philippines. Acknowledged as one of the most enduring brands throughout the decades, Tide's legacy of superior performance in cleaning and whiteness has made it the ideal laundry partner for Filipino households.

What has made Tide not only survive, but thrive, through all these years? Let's take a look at where it all began — in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Procter & Gamble, one of the hottest multi-million-dollar industrial giants in America, was the company behind the success of Ivory® — a groundbreaking new soap so pure it floated. Next, P&G came up with an innovative new detergent called Dreft®, which worked on laundry in hard water but couldn't wash off tough dirt. P&G went back to work and incorporated builders into the mix. Builders are compounds that help remove deep stains and soils, but they left clothes feeling like sandpaper. For years, researcher Dick Byerly worked on solving this dilemma, and persisted even when war broke out — a time when the project was almost scrapped.

In the nick of time, Byerly had a breakthrough. All previous research had shown that reducing the amount of builder in the product leads to a less harsh product. Byerly decided to invert the ratio, boosting the builder level well above what they had previously used. And lo and behold — the formula cleaned clothes without leaving them stiff!

Management was quick to recognize that this product, which was eventually called Tide, had extraordinary potential. Instead of following the typical three-year schedule, they forged full speed ahead with a national launch behind the claim "Washday Miracle." Tide sold out in markets all over the U.S. and became so popular that store owners limited the quantity each customer could purchase.

The Philippines became the third country outside the U.S. to launch Tide. Within a few years, Tide had become the market leader.

The next 50 years would be marked by formula upgrades, exciting new scents and even special Tide variants made especially for the Filipino housewife. The Tide bar was originally launched in the Philippines with the Pinay in mind, who in her quest to ensure pristine laundry always makes the effort to scrub out stains by hand.

With unflagging creativity and dedication in serving the Filipino homemaker, it is not surprising that Tide has remained one of the top detergent brands among Filipinos for the last 50 years — and will continue in the years to come.