Chattem goes organic for Ban extension

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Chattem will roll out an herbal extension of its Ban deodorant line this spring, part of its two-year effort to build the brand.

The new product, Ban Naturals, will ship to stores in April, backed by a $19 million ad campaign. The effort includes TV and radio spots, couponing and sampling, said Ron Galante, senior VP-new business development.

Although the campaign is still in development, Mr. Galante said it will stress the product's natural ingredients and positioning. He declined to identify the agency handling the effort.

The Naturals line includes deodorants enriched with aloe, vitamin E and chamomile to protect and soothe the skin. They will be available in four fragrances, each in roll-on and solid versions and will sell for the same prices as the main brand formulas.


The marketing push is expected to tout the new product's non-irritating, organic formula. Chattem's market research found skin irritation was the top concern of deodorant consumers, said Mr. Galante. The company is very optimistic about Ban Naturals, after a home use test found 89% of users said they would buy it again, he added.

"There is a very significant trend towards natural-based products," Mr. Galante said.

Ban Naturals is the second line extension for the deodorant brand since it was bought by Chattem from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in March 1998. Last spring, Chattem repackaged the brand and launched a premium extension, Ban Ultra Dry, backed by a $12 million advertising campaign (AA, April 19, 1999). Last year, sales of Ban rose 6.8% to $74.6 million, even though the $1.7 billion deodorant segment grew only 1.3%, according to figures from Information Research Inc.

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