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Downsizing hurts Downy

August 23, 2011

I’m assuming that Downy couldn’t afford to keep a proofreader on staff, and that they’re doing all their packaging and marketing in-house because there’s no way a professional agency would let this go out the door.

The smile on the model’s face tells me either this campaign is satirical, which I doubt, or that she’s as horrified as I am that Downy’s hocking an egregious spelling error as a brand name.

I understand why Apple was willing to brand the iPad despite the hideousness of the name. The technology won customers over and most of us forgot how terrible the name is. But laundry products are not amazing enough to erase an initial brand experience that says, “Try this. We can’t spell and we don’t know much, but we make things smell pretty.”

And it doesn’t help that the market is already confused. Googling “Downy Unstopables” then “Downy Unstoppables” reveals that corporate messages are all misspelled, and the shill bloggers hired to give away free samples mostly spell the word “unstoppables” correctly.

So the people who might actually become customers are introduced to the product spelled one way, then another.

That doesn’t inspire confidence. In chemically scented towels or anything else.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2011 8:35 pm

    Um…downy is a fabric softener, and the unstopables product is merely scent to be added to the wash. So, they mispelled, but you misindicate the product. It’s not dish soap.

    • Brand Name Harkin permalink*
      March 12, 2012 8:33 am

      Thanks for the correction, Su. Duly noted.

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