First introduced in test markets in 1946 with national distribution reached in 1949, Tide was voted as “America’s Washday Favorite”. It quickly gained dominance in the detergent market, dwarfing the sales of other P&G products, such as Ivory Snow, as well as the competition from Rinso. The latter two were soap powders and flakes. In the late sixties and early seventies, it was branded as “Tide XK” (The XK standing for Xtra Kleaning), but it was rebranded as Tide later on. Originally, Tide was a white powdered bead, but the brand line was later expanded to include an orange-tinted clear liquid form in 1984. Today, most formulations of liquid Tide are dark blue with the exception of Tide Free, which is clear. An addition to the Tide Family, Tide Cold Water, was formulated to tackle stains while saving energy because it does not require hot or even warm water. Tide is recognized for its distinctive orange-and-yellow bullseye logo. The original logo was designed by Donald Deskey, a famous industrial and identity designer. Tide was the first product to be nationally packaged using Day-Glo colors, strikingly eye-catching when first introduced. The logo people see today is a product of a slight modification for the product’s fiftieth anniversary in 1996. Currently, the Tide brand is given to over half a dozen powders and liquid detergents in the United States alone.
The potential of dodecyl benzene sulfonate, the basis for Tide, was confirmed by SRI in 1948 through strategic scientific and business consulting activities for the petroleum company Chevron.
In most of Latin America the Tide formula is marketed under the name Ace (except in Panama where it is sold under the Tide brand made in the U.S.), and in Turkey under the name Alo.
In 2006 the development of Tide was designated an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of its significance as the first heavy-duty synthetic detergent.
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