CLOROX BOOSTS ARMOR ALL AD SPENDING: $20 MIL CAMPAIGN AIMS TO BUILD AUTO CLEANING BRAND AND CATEGORY

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New owner Clorox Co. this week moves to restore the luster of Armor All automotive cleaning products with one of the brand's largest ad campaigns.

The estimated $15 million to $20 million national TV and radio effort represents up to a quadrupling of the previous ad budget.

It's the first new campaign since Armor All was acquired late last year by Clorox and the first Armor All advertising from DDB Needham Worldwide, San Francisco.

BUILDING THE BRAND

The campaign is intended to build the Armor All brand while supporting the automotive cleaning products category in general.

"We haven't done as good a job as we needed to communicate the category benefits and to promote Armor All," said David Matz, director of marketing for Armor All Products Corp. "Over the last five to six years, nobody has been [advertising] in the protectant category."

The sole TV spot, targeted at 18-to-34-year-old men, shows a dirty car driving through a computer-generated bottle of Armor All and emerging shiny as new. The voice-over describes Armor All's ability to not only shine the car's dashboard, tires and chrome, but to protect them so they continue to look like new. The spot is tagged "It's new-car juice."

The 30-second network TV commercial and one radio spot will support the Armor All brand, while additional radio and print advertising will back Armor All's specific wheel, paint, tire and glass cleaning products.

The move is a change from recent years, when Armor All spread its broadcast budget, then about $5 million, among its product lines.

FOUR-PAGE PRINT AD

The print execution covers four consecutive pages and will appear in May monthlies, including Sports Illustrated and Men's Health, as well as automotive books and news-weeklies including Newsweek. The campaign will run through the industry's prime selling season, from April through September.

LEADING THE PACK

Armor All, with 1996 revenue of $186 million, claims to lead the $710 million automotive cleaning products market with a 30% share, and has 60% of that market's protectant segment.

Sales, however, were down 14% from their '95 high of $217 million.

Clorox acquired Armor All in December. The account officially moved last month

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