Swash in its 2007–09 incarnation
|Owner||Procter & Gamble|
Range of products (2007–09)
A range of products was introduced under the name "Swash" in 2007, comprising previously-existing P&G products with new branding, and aimed at the student market. Its component products included a spray to remove odors, a stain-erasing pen, a spray to remove wrinkles, and a cloth which removes wrinkles and odors when placed in a dryer with clothes.
A test store was opened in September 2007 near Ohio State University. The test was then expanded to cover Lexington, Kentucky. In December 2009 Swash was unveiled and made available exclusively online. As of 2014 some of the original Swash products are sold under the Tide brand.
In July 2014 Swash was re-launched in conjunction with the Whirlpool Corporation as a high-end appliance aimed at professionals with a suggested retail price of $499. The device uses a combination of heat and a solution held in "Swash pods" to remove wrinkles and odors in roughly 10 minutes and without water. Whirlpool had previously introduced two similar products: Personal Valet, which launched in 2001 and sold for around $1000, and Fabric Freshener, which sold for $250 in 2005; while P&G launched Dryel, an at-home dry-cleaning kit, in 1999. Neither was a success.
The appliance was marketed through installations at Delta Air Lines airport lounges. Between late 2014 and March 2015 Best Buy reduced the number of stores stocking the Swash from 500 to around 280, of which only around half had "full" displays, according to a spokesman. As of March 2015 it was on display in around 600 retail stores in the United States.
Reverse domain hijacking
In March 2013, P&G was found by a World Intellectual Property Organization panel to have engaged in reverse domain hijacking in an attempt to obtain the domain name "swash.com" from Marchex in a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy proceeding. P&G originally stated it had generated more than $40 million in Swash sales over four years, a figure it later revised to $60,000. After losing the case P&G purchased the domain name from Marchex. In 2013 attorney John Berryhill suggested that P&G did not intend to use the swash.com domain to market its existing range, as it had said, but rather a new product described in a 2011 trademark application as "An appliance for domestic use in the nature of a garment steamer for the purpose of removing wrinkles and odors from clothing and linen". Berryhill's theory was shown to be accurate after swash.com went live in June 2014.
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- Alexander, Antoinette (September 10, 2008). "P&G test markets Swash for those who avoid doing laundry". Drug Store News. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- "P&G releases online-only product". The Business Journal. December 8, 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Neff, Jack (July 17, 2014). "P&G Revisits Its Laundry Day Miracle: Machines That Don't Wash". Advertising Age. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Fingas, Jon (July 20, 2014). "Whirlpool's new machine freshens your clothes in 10 minutes flat". Engadget. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Hagerty, James R.; Ng, Serena (March 11, 2015). "Swash Laundry Device From P&G, Whirlpool Loses Traction With Key Retailer". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
- Allemann, Andrew (March 11, 2013). "Procter & Gamble guilty of reverse domain name hijacking". DomainNameWire. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- Allemann, Andrew (April 29, 2013). "After being found guilty of RDNH, Procter & Gamble pays up for Swash.com". DomainNameWire. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Allemann, Andrew (June 18, 2014). "Yes, P&G lied to try to steal the Swash.com domain name". DomainNameWire. Retrieved July 21, 2014.