In the early days of its existence, decorators and their suppliers were the main customers for Dulux, with Say Dulux to your decorator used as an advertising slogan in the 1950s. By 1953, Dulux was available in the retail market and ten years later the famous Old English Sheepdog was used in advertisements, to the point where "Dulux dog" has become a common nickname for the breed.
The name Dulux is derived from the words DuPont and Luxury.
In 2010, alongside Dulux Valentine, Coral and Marshall, Dulux launched the 'Let's Colour Project', a global marketing campaign featuring the painting of public spaces with bright colours.
The Old English Sheepdog is the brand mascot for Dulux paint. The dog was first introduced in advertising campaigns in 1961. Since then they have been a constant and highly popular feature of Dulux television and print adverts wherever the paint is sold. So much so, that many people in those markets refer to the breed as a 'Dulux dog' rather than a Sheepdog.
Over the years, different dogs have appeared in the adverts. However, they all look very similar, due to the carefully managed selection process carried out by ICI's advertising agency. The first Dulux dog was Shepton Daphnis Horsa, pet name Dash, who held the role for eight years, owned by Eva Sharp in Tottenham. His successor, Fernville Lord Digby, was the most famous Dulux dog and also made his owner, Cynthia & Norman Harrison, famous. When filming advertisements, Digby was treated like a star, being driven to the studio in a chauffeur driven car. Barbara Woodhouse was employed to train Digby and his three stunt doubles, who were used whenever specific tricks or actions needed to be filmed. Digby's popularity led him to play the title role in the 1973 British comedy film Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World.
Gambit - another Dulux dog, was used in a photographic shoot in 1980 for Philips Video and its new generation of video recorders. By the time the shoot was finished there was enough hair to fill a mattress - the dog was constantly groomed during the shoot. King Hotspur of Amblegait was used from 1974 to 1979 and appeared in over 50 television programmes as well as his public appearances for ICI/Dulux.
Apart from Dash, all the Dulux dogs have been breed champions, and five of them have won 'Best in Show' prizes.
The Dulux dog was placed at No. 51 in Channel 4's '100 Greatest TV Ads'.
In Australia and New Zealand, Dulux has been involved with the manufacture and marketing of paint and related systems since 1904, and is the largest manufacturer of paint products in Australia.
Dulux had its origins in H.L. Vosz Ltd., founded in Port Adelaide in 1904, Australia's first paint manufacturer. Vosz later became Clarkson Ltd. and both Clarkson and Adelaide competitor Australasian United Paints Pty. Ltd. (founded in 1906) were purchased by British Australian Lead Manufacturers Pty.Ltd. established in Sydney in 1918. The company became BALM Paints Pty. Ltd., later BALM Paints Ltd. It opened a new factory and Central Research Labs in Clayton, Victoria in the 1950s.
Taking its cue from survey evidence that the Australian public had no idea what BALM Paints was, but that everyone knew DULUX, the Company changed its name in 1971 to Dulux Australia Ltd. In the course of the 1970s, it acquired Walpamur Paints, and in the 1980s major rivals Berger and British Paints.
Dulux Australia was a key player in the ICI Paints World Group, until in 1997 ICI PLC informed ICI Australia of its intention to sell its 62% share in the Company as part of raising the capital for acquisition of part of Unilever. The former ICI Australia became an independent company on 2 February 1998 and was named Orica Limited. In Australia and New Zealand, Dulux was wholly owned by Orica until July 2010, when DuluxGroup (ASX: DLX) was spun off as a separate company. Fairground Attraction's song "Perfect" was used for an advertisement on TV.
Dulux Australia was formerly a major player in all paint markets (decorative, automotive, refinish, industrial, powder coatings), but sold off the technical markets (and the Clayton site) to PPG Industries Inc., concentrating on decorative, woodcare and powder coatings and moving to a new site on Dandenong Road, Clayton, previously owned by Chesebrough-Ponds.
The current TV advertisements feature the Dulux Dog (Penny) and several hundred other Old English Sheepdogs racing around collecting cricket stumps, drum sticks, wooden spoons and sticks and other items to stir a newly opened pot of Dulux Wash and Wear. The music used is "I Woke Up Today" by American band Port O'Brien from the album "All We Could Do Was Sing".
The Dulux decorative paint business in the United States was sold to the Pittsburgh Paints division of PPG Industries in 2012.
In the UK, there's a chain of over 190 stores called the Dulux Decorator Centres.
The Dulux Select Decorators scheme is a nationwide network of professional decorators. The concept was originated by Dulux in 1996 to assure consumers of high quality work including a two-year guarantee supported by the leading paint manufacturing brand.
Dulux Trade Contract Partnership is a scheme for independently assessed, quality assured contractors. Dulux Trade Contract Partners undergo regular site visits by independent scheme assessors to monitor standards and to identify opportunities for improvement.