The introduction will be backed by $20 million in advertising.
Palmolive also will become the third brand in the new arena of automatic dishwashing detergents in tablet form, with new Palmolive Triple-Action Tabs.
Both products begin shipping to retailers next month.
TV and print ads, and newspaper couponing for Spring Sensations break in late October or early November. Ad plans for the tabs haven't been disclosed. Y&R Advertising, New York, is the agency.
LARGEST MOVE SINCE POTS & PANS
The two-pronged assault marks Colgate's biggest move in the $790 million category since Palmolive for Pots & Pans and antibacterial versions of Ajax and Palmolive dishwashing liquids in 1997.
Colgate sales reps have told retailers that Spring Sensations scents tested higher with consumers than antibacterial entries.
The antibacterial product helped Ajax gain 4 share points in the category, from 7% at the end of 1996 to 11% at the end of '98, according to Information Resources Inc. figures supplied by Salomon Smith Barney.
Though several mass-market hand- and body-soaps have tried to tap into the popularity of bath-and-body retailers in recent years, Palmolive is the first household-cleaning brand to make the leap.
Lemon scents have long been popular in the category, and Procter & Gamble Co. launched a Mountain Spring scent version of its category-leading Dawn brand in early '97.
COLGATE GAINING ON P&G
Colgate-Palmolive has been gaining ground on P&G in the category in recent years, with combined share of its Palmolive and Ajax brands rising from 33.8% at the end of 1996 to 38.5% in the second quarter of 1999. P&G's share rose more modestly, from 47.6% to 48.9%, in the same period.
Palmolive has a far steeper climb to make in the $608 million automatic segment, where it had only a 5.5% share in the first quarter.
TALE OF THE TABS
Palmolive Triple-Action Tabs follows the launch of tabs by Benckiser Consumer Products' Electrasol brand in 1997 and Unilever's Sunlight brand last year. Tabs helped Electrasol overtake Sunlight as the No. 2 brand in the category last year, although Sunlight edged ahead again in the first quarter based on the launch of its tabs.
P&G's category-leading Cascade brand had a 46.8% share in the first quarter, up 2 points from a year earlier, following the fall launch of Cascade Plus, a souped-up version of Cascade powder.
P&G earlier this year ended a test of Cascade Power Tabs in Colorado and other Western states, with no current plans to roll the product nationally, a