Product Innovation: Package goods rollouts on rise

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Consumer product heavyweights from Colgate-Palmolive to S.C. Johnson & Son are readying a barrage of new home- and personal-care introductions expected to fuel an estimated $200 million or more in marketing support.

The big-budget launches come amid a host of smaller entries showcased at last week's National Association of Chain Drug Stores convention, indicating the new product floodgates are opening wider following a difficult year. Moreover, sales of non-foods category have rebounded (see related story, P. 6).

In August, Colgate launches Colgate Total Plus Whitening toothpaste, which will be included in an overall marketing effort of more than $50 million behind the gingivitis-fighting Total brand, according to a representative at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores convention in San Diego last week. In addition, Colgate is putting $50 million in marketing support starting in September behind Simply White, its at-home tooth whitening kit that hits retail stores in mid-August. Simply White takes on Procter & Gamble Co.'s Crest Whitestrips but at a roughly 60% lower price of $14.99 for a two-week treatment kit. WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, handles Colgate toothpastes.

Elsewhere on the personal care front, Coty plans to boost its overall 2003 U.S. ad spending more than 10% to $62.6 million behind spring launches of a new Adrenaline skincare brand for men, a new women's extension of Adidas antiperspirant, and a product and packaging upgrade for its men's underarm line Adidas Performance.

kobe for coty?

As usual, Coty will earmark most of the outlay, more than $50 million, for magazines; another $8 million will go toward TV and radio in 2003, concentrating early in the year on the Adrenaline and Adidas launches. The remainder will go into events, promotions and other media. The company is in talks with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant to pitch Adidas Performance, a spokeswoman said. Badger Kry, New York, handles the brands.

Adidas and Adrenaline target increasingly competitive categories. In deodorants, for instance, Adidas will go up against Revlon's launch of Almay antiperspirant for women and Unilever's Axe deodorant/body spray for men, both set for this fall.

Also storming a crowded market is S.C. Johnson, taking on the burgeoning oxygenation cleaner category spawned by Orange Glo International's OxiClean with Shout Oxy Power, a line that joins recent entries from Clorox Co. and Unilever. SCJ's aerosol-powered wet mop Pledge Grab-It Go Mop, will join entries from Clorox and P&G's Swiffer in August.

new segments

S.C. Johnson also hopes to spawn two new home-care segments with fall rollouts of Saran Disposable Cutting Sheets and Scrubbing Bubbles Fizz-Its toilet bowl cleaning tablets. The Saran cutting sheets are designed to absorb drippings from food and be used atop cutting boards or counters. Fizz-Its are effervescent tablets dropped into the toilet bowl that reduce need for scrubbing.

Retail executives said combined media support for the new S.J. Johnson launches will top $60 million, with TV and print ads from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, breaking in October.

Following a six-month delay caused by a supply bottleneck that left retail slots sitting empty in February, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. hopes Excedrin Quick Tabs prove worth the wait when they hit stores in August. Quick Tabs will get $15 million to $20 million in TV and print support from Interpublic's Bozell Group, New York.

Quick Tabs is a melt-in-your-mouth version of the acetaminophen-caffeine over-the-counter brand, so it can be taken without water and goes down easily for people who have trouble swallowing pills.

Novartis also will try convenience as a selling point for its entry into vapor rubs as it takes on Procter & Gamble Co.'s Vicks with an October launch of TheraFlu Vapor Sticks. Vapor Sticks, which come in a roll-on package similar to underarm deodorant, will get $20 million in media support this fall and winter from Havas Advertising's Arnold McGrath Partners, New York.

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