Coppertone brings back ad icon for $15 mil effort

By Published on .

Little Miss Coppertone makes a comeback in March in a new ad campaign to market the country's top-selling suntan lotion.

The $15 million effort from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, resurrects Schering-Plough Corp.'s 46-year-old icon to introduce a number of line extensions.

The campaign will break in early March and feature TV advertising, consumer sampling, a sweepstakes promotion and an educational drive about sun protection targeted to youngsters under 18.

The summer sweepstakes, called "Coppertone Summer Search Party," asks consumers to help Little Miss Coppertone find her dog.

Coppertone will introduce the educational campaign--tagged "Block the sun, not the fun!"--March 2 at the annual convention of the American Academy of Dermatology.

NEW PRODUCTS

Messner's advertising will introduce new spray-on sunscreen lines for adults and children, a new Coppertone Oil Free Lotion with a sun protection factor of 45 as well as an overhaul of the Coppertone Moisturizing Sunless Tanner Lotion line. The sunless tanners have been refor-mulated to make the lotions dry faster, and have added a light/medium formula for lighter skin.

The new products include Coppertone to Go Sunblock Spray--a quick-drying waterproof spray--and a clear sunblock spray extension of Coppertone Sport, the brand's sweat-proof product.

Coppertone Kids, the brand's children's line, will introduce a Spray 'n Splash Sunblock in SPF 30, and Coppertone Kids Colorblock, the Kids brand extension in colors, will add Disappearing Colored Sunblock Spray, an SPF 30 blue spray that disappears after it is rubbed in.

Coppertone also will add an after-sun product, Coppertone Cool Beads! Aftersun Moisturizer, an aloe vera gel with vitamin A and E beads to treat tanned skin.

INCREASED COMPETITION

Competition in the $446.4 million sunscreen segment has increased as consumers' concerns about sun damage continue. The market has grown 17.8% since 1994, according to Information Resources Inc.

Coppertone remains the leader in the sunscreen segment. According to IRI, it held 31.4% of dollar sales during the 52 weeks ended Jan. 3, far ahead of Playtex Family Products Corp.'s Banana Boat line, which had 18.7%.

Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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