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Published on .

After a decade at Pharmacia & Upjohn, Bill Sever oversees marketing for 13 products including Cortaid, Dramamine, Kaopectate and Rogaine. As VP-marketing for consumer healthcare, he signed NBA star Karl Malone as a Rogaine ad spokesman, then reaped enormous product publicity when Mr. Malone's Utah Jazz reached the finals.

Age: 38.

Goal: To make Rogaine as common as toothpaste in men's bathrooms. But most men are still reluctant to talk about a common problem.

Advantage: Signing sports celebrities like tennis star John McEnroe and NFL player Jim Kelly for promotional purposes, not necessarily to be used in advertising.

Setback: Michael Jordan popularizing the shaved head look.

Opinion: Consumers are often wary, but they only want reassurance. When Rogaine offered a money-back guarantee, sales boomed.

Fact: Emotional issues trigger men's desire to regrow hair. For women, marketing messages must be very factual and rational; the emotional aspect is less important.

Strongest weapon: Demonstration. There is no substitute in marketing for showing believable, real results and word-of-mouth.

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