NORELCO COURTS YOUNGER CROWD;REFLEX ACTION RAZOR GETS $30 MIL CAMPAIGN TO APPEAL TO THE HIP

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Norelco is setting its sights on a younger audience with a $30 million-plus campaign for its new electric razor.

That's a boost of $10 million from earlier reports on the effort (AA, Aug. 19).

Ads for Norelco's Reflex Action Razor now include the target audience of men who are about to make a life choice, such as going to college or beginning a first job.

NEW PEOPLE IN THE CATEGORY

"Traditionally, our target market has been [age] 35-plus," said Pat Dinley, Norelco president. "We believe we've got a real opportunity to bring some new people into the category, so we're going after . . . 18-to-54-year-olds."

"We're younger than we've been in the past, both with the media plan and with the thought put into the creative," said Robert Easley, group account director on Norelco at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York.

Norelco, the No. 1 electric shaver with more than a 50% share of the $400 million-plus category, is also aggressively targeting blade users with this campaign.

"Over the years, we've fought the market share battle with other electric shavers," Mr. Dinley said. "Long-term, the big opportunity is in converting people who use blades to electric."

YOUTH CHOOSE BLADES

Blade users also skew toward the younger age category.

"Blades are more heavily developed in the younger segments," Mr. Easley said.

"They view conventional blade shaving as the norm," he said.

The advertising highlights the irritation often associated with the close shave of blades, illustrated with sneering blade razors that take on dragon and snake characteristics. The new tagline: "Anything closer could be too close for comfort."

The bulk of the campaign budget is skewed to pre-holiday-October through December-media, with TV breaking today. Spots will air on national network and cable, including media buys on ESPN sports programming, "Friends," "Seinfeld," Major League Baseball games and "NFL Monday Night Football."

`YOU STUCK YOUR NECK OUT'

Newspaper ads will run in the middle of stock-quote pages and break in November.

"You stuck your neck out. Got burned. Now you're irritated. And the market's not even open yet," reads one ad that will run in USA Today.

Consumer magazine executions broke in a few targeted men's magazines in September, but the company is now gearing up for the bulk of its magazine schedule. Syndicated radio personality Don Imus will promote the new razor on the air.

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