The move comes as rivals make "Oxi" and "Oxy" prefixes of choice in home care, moving beyond laundry additives. Procter & Gamble Co. last month launched Dawn Oxy dish soap and is continuing a test market begun last year of Tide Oxy Foam laundry detergent. SC Johnson last month rolled out Fantastik Oxy Power household cleaner, and Clorox restaged its Oxygen Action powder as Oxi Magic. Clorox is also introducing Oxi- Magic spray, with ads from Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, San Francisco, that broke last month.
The latest round of Oxi cleaners will generate $75 million-plus in ads and join previous Oxi launches by SCJ, Unilever, Playtex Products and Reckitt Benckiser. Ten "Oxi" entries have hit stores so far this year, compared to nine for all 2002, according to Marketing Intelligence.
OxiClean spray, the first liquid form of the cleaner, will be backed by two-minute direct-response TV ads featuring pitchman Billy Mays from Respond 2, Portland, Ore., breaking Sept. 25. The spray follows an improved powder launched last month, but Kirstin Nordstrom, VP-marketing, said OxiClean will earmark "a big chunk of the OxiClean budget" for the spray.
Spray sales should be incremental, Ms. Nordstrom said, because in-home studies showed most consumers continue using the powder along with the spray for laundry, and 82% said they'd buy the spray again.
"This is the biggest initiative we've had," she said. "We'll really be putting significant support behind it." OxiClean spray primarily takes on SCJ's Shout and Reckitt Benckiser's Spray `n Wash brands, she said.
OxiClean powder already has hurt Clorox's chlorine and non-chlorine bleach sales, which declined 8.7% and 9.6% respectively in the 52 weeks ended Aug. 10 as OxiClean surged 47.5% to $50.5 million, according to Information Resources Inc. The data exclude faster-growing Wal-Mart and club stores, where OxiClean has space and share advantages compared to measured outlets.