CLOROX ADVANTAGE SPLASH-PROOF BLEACH GETS $35 MILLION PUSH

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Clorox Co. is hoping to make a splash with its newest product, a thicker, splatter-proof bleach.

Clorox Advantage will be supported with a $30 million to $35 million introductory campaign, with $20 million to $25 million of that going into TV advertising.

Positioned as a solution to the problem of bleach splashes that accidentally damage colored clothes, the new product will be on retail shelves in May, with TV support breaking Aug. 1.

In addition to magazine ads beginning in August, there will be newspaper couponing that month and again in November, plus direct-mail sampling.

DDB Needham Worldwide, San Francisco, is agency for the brand.

DOMINANT PLAYER

Clorox already dominates the $472 million chlorine bleach category, with a 70.7% market share in the 52 weeks ended Feb. 21, according to Information Resources Inc. The only real competition is private-label product.

But the high-viscosity bleach could help Clorox claim a chunk of the $225 million category for laundry pre-treatments, said Tom Vierhile, president of Marketing Intelligence, since consumers could apply Clorox Advantage to stains more easily than they could use conventional liquid bleaches.

The rollout follows a short market test in Pittsfield, Mass., where the name Clorox Smooth Pour LiquiGel was used.

Clorox Advantage, which comes in smaller bottles priced the same as scented versions of Clorox chlorine bleach, will sell at more than a 40% premium on a per-ounce basis to regular bottles of Clorox liquid bleach.

PRICE DEEMED ACCEPTABLE

Rick Seibold, president of AcuPOLL, said consumers probably won't balk at the price because, in his company's polling, the product "got an A price-value grade . . . [suggesting Clorox may be] undercharging."

Clorox Advantage also gets high marks from retail buyers because of its higher price, which allows them to make a better profit as opposed to regular bleach.

The product is the latest in a spate of premium-priced extensions in laundry and cleaning products, including higher-powered versions of Procter & Gamble Co.'s Cascade automatic dishwashing detergent and Dawn light-duty dishwashing liquid.

Clorox Advantage also falls into the growing trend of household cleaning products with thicker formulations aimed at greater convenience, including S.C.

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