DIAL TURNS ON AD SPIGOT FOR NEW ULTRA DRY LINE;BUDGET OF $16 MIL MIGHT PRESAGE OTHER AGGRESSIVE MARKETING PLANS

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After spending less than $18 million on all consumer product ads in 1995, Dial Corp. next month will introduce Dial Ultra Dry antiperspirants and deodorants with $16 million in advertising and promotion.

If successful, Dial Ultra Dry is likely to prompt the marketer to further loosen its purse springs. Executives close to the company said it had committed to increased spending earlier this year, but last month's arrival of former Procter & Gamble Co. executive Malcolm Jozoff as president-CEO of Dial's consumer product group should make that plan a reality.

"He has been making presentations to the troops that have been very well-received," said one executive. "He is pledging increased ad support for products, more new products and brand building."

PREMIUM LINE

The new antiperspirants and deodorants will replace Dial's existing line. Positioned as a premium line and the first to make claims about antibacterial odor-fighting protection, the new products are more upscale in packaging and pricing. Dial is also claiming to have the first significant innovations in deodorant protection since clear gels were introduced in the early 1990s.

Dial Ultra Dry Aerospray is a replacement for current aerosols that will be banned in 1997, said Mark Brodsky, Dial senior product manager for healthcare and beauty care.

Dial Ultra Dry Clear Gel Spray also reinvents antiperspirant technology by scrapping the sticky delivery of traditional clear gels. Dial Ultra Dry Solid will appeal to those who prefer solids, accounting for 60% of all purchases in the $1.5 billion deodorant/antiperspirant market, Mr. Brodsky said.

The launch will be supported by TV, free-standing inserts and several million full-size samples. Gotham, New York, handles.

In the total market, Dial lags far behind leaders P&G and Gillette Co., Mr. Brodsky admitted, ranking No. 11 out of 15 with less than a 3% share.

WHAT DIAL IS LOOKING FOR

Executives close to Dial said the company is looking for the line to do more than boost its standing in the category.

"They want to see the effect of the launch on the Dial mark and then readdress total Dial spending," said one executive. "They are looking to upgrade all their products with new packaging as well."

A Dial spokeswoman confirmed the company is working on new packaging for Dial Plus bar soap and body wash but would not comment on more extensive packaging plans.

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