THE MARKETING 100: GILLETTE CLEAR STICK: PETER CLAY

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Peter Clay wasn't in on Gillette Co.'s 1992 launch of Gillette Series Clear Gel antiperspirant. But when he moved into his current job from marketing director on grooming products 18 months ago, the direction of the technology was patently clear.

As VP-business management of Gillette toiletries, Mr. Clay's mission was to take "clear" technology and put it into an antiperspirant stick form. Gillette did that last November with the launch of Gillette Series Clear Stick. The clear technology was also used in Right Guard Clear Stick.

Together the two products were the first truly clear antiperspirant sticks on the market that didn't leave any messy white residue on the body or clothes.

"It's an antiperspirant formula that's a challenge because it's hard to get the efficaciousness of a stick without white residue," says Mr. Clay, 40.

To play off the clear point of difference, Mr. Clay decided to make packaging all clear to drive home the distinction further emphasized by on-package stickers noting "No White Residue." Under the aegis of Mr. Clay and his staff, BBDO Worldwide, New York, created the product's benefit-focused $25 million ad campaign.

"With the advent of clear gels and sticks, the market is growing again," Mr. Clay says.

Since the December launch of Clear Sticks, Mr. Clay says the Series and Right Guard products combined have racked up 2.5 share points for a total Gillette share of 22% in the $1.8 billion category, according to AC Nielsen Corp.

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