Every February we celebrate our first purchase of Stainmaster carpet in 1986. Carpet sales were flat when DuPont introduced a television commercial with little Ricky throwing his food on the carpet. They told prospective buyers how quick and easy it was to clean Stainmaster. The consumer bought it, and they bought all other brands of stain resistant carpet by the truck load, too. Everyone in the carpet industry, including cleaners, profited from DuPont’s great ad campaign. It worked because Stainmaster promised “ease of maintenance.”
Fifteen years later, carpet began losing market share to hard floors and the CRI tried to reinvent the magic of the DuPont campaign with “Carpet, it just feels better!” That great program was terminated in less than a year and in a complete strategy reversal, CRI began telling consumers that carpet cleaning is really a complicated process. They even compared it to rocket science at one point.
CRI began testing programs that were to verify that only certain equipment and chemical products can successfully clean carpets. Technicians had to receive special training and some carpet mills began telling consumers that only a few hundred cleaning firms of the 45,000 nationwide could service their carpets or the warranty would be void. That message said one thing to the consumer; Carpet is hard to clean and cleaning is a very complicated business.
After more than ten years, the Seal of Approval program has less than 1,000 of the 45,000 professional cleaning firms in the nation taking part in the program. CRI has endorsed cheap rental machines with their highest classification and every month additional products are approved in the ridiculous money scheme.
Carpet sales will continue to suffer until the carpet industry reverses this destructive agenda. DuPont® had the right idea in 1986!
Here's the original DuPont commercial:
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