SOOTHING CUCUMBER EYE TREATMENTS: MIKE INDURSKY

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When Chesebrough-Pond's wanted to cook up products to help it better compete with red-hot Biore, the company literally looked in the kitchen and found cool cucumbers.

Last July, Pond's launched Soothing Cucumber Eye Treatments-premoistened eye pads that look like cucumber slices. The treatments have helped Ponds facial products secure the No. 2 spot behind Biore in the facial cleanser category. In doing so, Pond's surpassed the venerable Noxzema brand.

"We were looking at quality-of-life issues and how difficult it is for women to balance things like work and family," says Mike Indursky, 38, category director for face care at Pond's. "We were working on a [skin] patch technology and looking at the eye area for a product that could give someone that feeling of a spa. We found a cucumber to be the ultimate symbol of the spa mystique," adds Mr. Indursky.

"The cucumber struck a chord with women-who are looking for quick ways to indulge themselves and relax-and quickly became one of the top 15 [items] in total face care, and that's with minimal print advertising," says Mr. Indursky.

"We made face care have appetite appeal," he says of the ads featuring "mouthwatering" pictures of the pads, from Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York.

Mr. Indursky says TV may be added this year.

The harvesting of Soothing Eye Cucumber Treatments did more than provide a lift to Pond's facial sales. With Soothing Eye Cucumber Treatments, Pond's proved it could still be innovative. What's more, says Mr. Indursky, the pads have attracted consumers from a wide age range. The products had the highest indication of repeat purchasing in tests the company had ever experienced, he says.

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