Does rocket science work for Persil?

It’s official. Washing powder ads are boring. Researchers for Persil ad agency J Walter Thompson discovered this startling revelation while talking to the focus groups it conducted in its search for interesting ways to promote Lever Brothers’ recently-launched Persil Tablets.

According to a JWT press release, the enquiries showed that “people are bored with traditional detergent advertising”. This is refreshingly frank, given that the agency has been pumping out tedious detergent ads for decades.

The research led JWT to come up with a campaign called Rocket Science, intended to show the simplicity of using detergent tablets. This is a cliché among members of the marketing community who use the damnable “not exactly rocket science” phrase willy-nilly, usually suffixed by the words “…but it works”.

The Diary wonders if there is a similar cliché used by staff at US space centre NASA. Perhaps they could try “it is rocket science”, or even “it’s not exactly detergent advertising… but it is dull”.


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