P&G MARKS FIRST WITH U.S., EURO TEST OF SWIFFER: MOP AND CLEANING CLOTH BRAND COULD BE DUE FOR GLOBAL ROLLOUT

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Procter & Gamble Co. will launch its first transcontinental test market Sept. 1, when a multinational brand team introduces Swiffer, a lightweight mop with disposable cleaning cloths that picks up dust, hair and other dirt using static electricity.

Test markets include Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Pittsfield, Mass.; and Sens, France. Brand managers in France will be part of the team, overseen by members in the U.S.

D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, will handle advertising, including 45- and 60-second TV spots, print and direct mail.

Swiffer is the first P&G brand that could be global from the start, though international expansion will depend on test market results.

SAME BRAND NAME IN FRANCE

The global test "is in line with the direction we're moving in creating global business units," a P&G spokesman said, referring to a reorganization to be unveiled this fall (AA, June 22). The name Swiffer will be used both in the U.S. and in France, he said, as will "about 90%"of the creative concepts in advertising.

The name is meant to convey speed and ease of use and to be used as both a noun and a verb, as in "Let's `Swiffer' the floor," he said.

DEMOS WILL BE KEY

P&G also is positioning Swiffer as more effective than brooms, dustpans, mops or dusters at picking up some kinds of dirt. One tagline under consideration: "Don't just move it. Remove it."

Starter kits, which include a ready-to-assemble mop and pack of 10 disposable cloths, will retail for $14 to $15, with several sizes of refill cloth packs priced at less than $5.

In-store and in-mall demonstrations will be a key part of the marketing mix, the spokesman said. Based on experience in the current Columbus, Ohio, test market for Dryel home dry-cleaning products, P&G believes the tactic is important for introducing "new categories."

Overall, Swiffer is the fourth new brand P&G has launched into market testing this year, following Dryel, ThermaCare heat wraps and Physique shampoo.

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