Pampers Swaddlers with blanket-like softness… blankets= cloth….. MmmHmm….

At the grocery store a few days ago I was walking up the freezer/ baby products aisle.  In most stores I never even have to see disposable diapers but the layout of my local store means the ice cream and baby products face one another.  Given my love for ice cream this trip is inevitable.

I noticed something ugly jutting out from the shelving.  Upon closer inspection I realized that two diposable diapers were mounted to a display!

I snapped a photo thinking I would probably tweet it later so we could all have a good laugh at that hideous display.  I was a in a rush so I didn’t even read those signs.

When I got home I realized I didn’t even know what they said!  It drove me nuts.  I had a sinking feeling they wanted the diapers to be touched for softness.  That would probably lead to some wording about “soft” and maybe even “cloth.”

The next day I went back just to look at those signs.  This is what I saw:

...blanket-like softness"

In case you can’t see the photo the text reads “Protect your little miracle with blanket-like softness”

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during these marketing meetings.

Notice the avoidance of the word “cloth” or even “cotton.”  Saying those words would make the consumer jump to the thought “Well, if these are as soft as cloth, wouldn’t cloth diapers be soft too?”  

I guarantee you the marketers knew to avoid those terms.  Their solution?  Soft as a blanket.  Blankets are cuddly, warm, protective, and………. made from cloth!

Pampers= soft as a blanket.  Blankets= soft as cloth.  Can we just skip the middle man and assume Pampers are soft as cloth?

Except, they are far from it.  I touched them and have to admit they are softer than I expected.  But they don’t compare to my cloth diapers.

This is just another example of Pampers taking what is rightfully ours to use, our cloth like softness, and spinning it to market for their disposable diapers.  Their previous effort was to add prints that were more modern and fun and not character driven (also like cloth diapers) to their disposables (read my response).  Then depict them hanging from a clothesline.  (You know, because disposable diapers can be washed and reused?  Oh right… they can’t.  But cloth diapers can.)

This only proves that Pampers is trying to gain back the sales they have been losing over the years.  

A recent study shows that disposable diaper sales are down 3%.  The article points out that this could be because parents are leaving their children in diapers longer to save money (judging by the 2.8% increase in rash cream sales). Source: Time MoneyLand. This was the sole reason that I created and partook in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge when an article was published about that very dangerous practice.  Participants proved that using cloth diapers can be done for less than 60.00 and without a washer and dryer.  When push comes to shove a baby’s health comes before convenience.

But it could also be related to the fact that cloth diaper use is on a steady rise!  In “Changing Diapers.  The Hip Mom’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapers” Kelly Wels cites that the popular brand of cloth diapers, Rumparooz, saw a 400% increase in gross revenue in their third year of sales.  I guarantee you that other manufacturers and retail stores can report similar, impressive stat rises.

All I’m saying is… Pampers is scared.  They are invading third world countries to increase profits (countries who have up to now mainly been using cloth diapers just fine) and now marketing their disposable diapers as if they were as cute as, as reusable as, and as soft as cloth diapers.

Fact: the marketing team is doing what they are paid to do, and every company is out for profit.  I can’t change their mind about selling disposables; that is never going to happen.
Wouldn’t this make a great sticker on that display? *wink wink*

What I can do is continue to inform the public about the alternative.  Cloth diapers are cuter.  They save hundreds, even thousands of dollars per child.  They keep thousands of diapers out of landfills.  They are better for baby’s skin and contain no chemicals.  And they are soft, just like blankets, and have been for over 100 years!


{Kelly Wels really did write a great book about cloth diapers.  Use coupon code DDLBOOK for 50% off Changing Diapers until Sept 30. *Aff. link.  If you are hoping to convince a buddy to use cloth who is pregnant these make a great baby shower gift- subtle too!}

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