Domestos is a household cleaning range which contains bleach (primarily sodium hypochlorite NaOCl) and is manufactured by Unilever. Domestos (and Chloros, essentially a 10-25% solution of sodium hypochlorite) contains 100,000 ppm (10%) of the active component, available chlorine; many other bleaches contain 50,000 or less.
Domestos was first produced in 1929 by Wilfred Handley, an industrial chemist from the North East of England, and sold door-to-door by salesmen who refilled stoneware jars bought by the customers. In 1961 the company was acquired by Lever Brothers.
- Thick Bleach - "with a variety of fragrances" - rebranded as "Domestos 24HR", with a reformulation to give "24hr protection from flying germs." - rebranded again as "Domestos Extended Germ-Kill".
- Domestos 5x - "a bleach which lasts 5x longer than any other bleach or toilet cleaner" - Discontinued
- Sink and Pipe Unblocker
- Domestos Blocks
- Domestos Hygienic Wipes
- Domestos Bleach Cleaning Spray
- Domestos Zero Limescale - "an extra thick bleach that works below the water line to destroy limescale underwater"
- Domestos Total Blast - a toilet gel that "helps prevent tough dirt from sticking."
- Domestos Germ Blaster - a rimblock cage utensil advertised as being the "only rimblock that kills germs as it freshens."
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Domestos marketing campaign featured a mock of a scene from the film Big Bad John in which a Domestos bottle moved slowly around a bathroom in the style of a cowboy as nearby loo brushes and ornaments hid nervously. The bottle went under the name of "Big Bad Dom". The advert was produced using CGI. The advertising slogan for this campaign claimed that Domestos "Kills all known germs. Dead."
In 2002 a short lived campaign featured former Big Brother contestant Alex Sibley appeared in a commercial lampooning his own obsession of cleanliness and an incident in the house where Alex mimes to the tune That's the Way (I Like It) by KC and the Sunshine Band. In the advert Alex is seen cleaning the Big Brother toilet with Domestos whilst miming to the same song. Domestos was hoping the popularity of Big Brother would help sell their product, however by 2003 Domestos were in trouble and looking for other ways to improve their marketing campaign.
In 2005, various commercials for different Domestos brands were shown on British television, with computer generated germs made to represent Salmonella, E.Coli and Staphylococcus. Each germ asserted their plans to inflict suffering, sometimes in parody of well known films such as The Godfather, before being wiped out by a specific brand of Domestos. The advertising slogans for this campaign are "Domestos - Millions of Germs Will Die" for Standard Domestos, and "Millions more germs will die" for 5x Longer Domestos.
The 5x Longer Domestos advert shows a germ cheerfully skipping and singing a song in a very deep American voice, reminiscent of narration in horror movie trailers.
Sung to the tune of London bridge is falling down, the lyrics were:
"I'm going to make some people vom,
People vom, people vom.I'm going to give them diarrhoea, diarrhoea, diarrhoea..."
Spew their guts and cry to mom,
Ain't that pretty?
The staple of CGI germs remains in Domestos adverts since then, and each advert is used to promote specific Domestos products.
In other countries
Domestos is known as Domex in India and the Philippines and is marketed with the claim of a "one-stop solution" to a household's cleaning requirements instead of using a different cleaner for kitchen surface, floor and bathroom. In Japan, the brand name Domesuto (ドメスト) is known as a popular toilet cleaner. In the Netherlands, Domestos is sold under the name "Glorix", while in Vietnam, Argentina and Brazil it is known as "Vim", and in other countries as "Klinex".
References and notes
- Univar, sodium hypochlorite safety sheet
- "Part 2 Biological safety". University of St Andrews, Environmental, Health and Safety Services. June 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Domestos – Unilever Global". www.unilever.com. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
- Mike Reich. "Big Bruv's Alex cleans up". Retrieved 2007-01-14.
- "How marketing stopped Domestos from going down the toilet...". Marketing Society. Retrieved 2007-01-14.
- "Domestos Marketing Campaign homepage". Retrieved 2007-01-14.
- "Patrick Heard in New UK Television Commercial". Patrick Stewart Network. 2005-08-07. Retrieved 2007-01-14.