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By Published on .

Keri lotion is shedding its white coat.

For years, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. used uniform-clad nurses to promote the therapeutic aspects of its brand. Now, in a campaign that begins today, it's using everyday women to promote the lotion's other qualities.

The marketer also has decided to shelve the advertising of its white-bottled original Keri lotion for now, and instead promote its new light-blue-packaged Fast-Absorbing Keri.

Bristol-Myers spent $6 million last year on advertising its original Keri brand. This year, it is expected to double that as it focuses on promoting the "fast-absorbing" lotion.


The effort comes as Keri's sales have been declining. For the 52 weeks ended July 18, Keri's sales in the combined hand and body lotion category dipped to a total of $31 million, according to Information Resources Inc. Its hand lotion brand has dropped 11.4%, while its Silky Smooth line declined 13.5%.

The new ad campaign, created by Gotham, New York, positions the lighter-weight cream as a "lotion in motion" for women with an active lifestyle. TV commericals are set to a fast-beat techno sound track, and show women running, biking, dancing and playing basketball.

The print ads depict an array of different settings -- such as bridal, fitness and parenting scenes -- and will debut in October consumer magazines such as Glamour, Parents and Self. The tagline is "Strong enough for Keri. Fast enough for you."

Bristol-Myers is tweaking its target audience for this product. While women who skewed older -- into the 35-year-old-plus category -- mainly used the original Keri lotion, advertising for the new formula is skewed to the 18-to-35-year-old demographic.

"We know today's women are very active, and they don't want to wait for their lotion to absorb," said Gotham's Vice Chairman Martin Smith, adding that the agency aimed to create an "upbeat" campaign for the new product.


Past advertising for Keri original, which is a heavier weight lotion, featured nurses' testimonials about the moisturizing power of the lotion.

The fast-drying lotion is new to the U.S., but has been available in Canada for more than a year. This effort from Gotham is the first advertising to support the line extension.

Chesebrough-Pond's Vaseline Intensive Care lotions rank No. 1 in the $956

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