RITE AID, GNC PUSH PHARMASSURE LINE WITH SINGLE-ITEM ADS

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Rite Aid Corp. and General Nutrition Cos. this week launch a $25 million ad campaign for their jointly developed nutritional-supplement brand, PharmAssure.

The two retailers are using a non-traditional tactic to unveil the 39-item line to consumers. Rather than introduce the entire range of products, advertising will highlight individual items.

For example, the first TV spot, created by Publicis, New York, features PharmAssure Joint Formula in 15- and 30-second versions. A print ad focuses on Calcimate Plus calcium supplement.

The retail-driven strategy is designed to build the brand through the products.

"We had so many products and, given the constraints of a :30, we think it's best to focus on one item," said Tom Hayes, group account director at Publicis. "We know when [consumers] go to the shelf, they'll find the whole line."

GNC and Rite Aid control product placement, so customers looking for one will find the entire line displayed.

CLEARER BENEFITS STRATEGY

The product positioning also is a clearer, more tangible benefits strategy, said Tony DeGregorio, president and creative director.

"It's an important distinction because I think people in this category want to hear about benefits. You can't just blow brand smoke at them," he said. "They don't want to just see people running on the beach and happy."

The tagline is "Inspired by life, created by science."

The PharmAssure line will be sold in nearly 4,000 GNC stores, and in 3,800 Rite Aid outlets.

The products also will be available via drugstore.com., in which Rite Aid owns a

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