Teflon togs get $40 mil ad push

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If clothes make the man, then E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. soon will have a hand in creating dapper Teflon politicians.

The chemical giant is planning a global consumer campaign pitching Telfon, the wonder coating that keeps food from sticking to pots and pans, as a stain-repellent treatment for clothing. The $30 million-to-$40 million integrated effort was awarded last week to independent Doner after a pitch with incumbent Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi and WPP Group's Y&R Advertising. Saatchi handles DuPont's Lycra; Y&R handles Teflon cookware.

DuPont in February tested concepts from the competing agencies with consumers in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. As a result, the new effort will position Teflon, already flagged on hang-tags as a stain-fighting treatment for lines such as Levi Strauss's Dockers, Donna Karan's menswear and Ralph Lauren denim, as something that can ultimately make clothing easier to care for.

"Today, it may be stain protection, but later it may mean wrinkle protection and freshness or anti-microbial protection," said David DeMuth, exec VP-general manager, Doner, Cleveland. The launch will include TV and print advertising, retail promotion, collateral and direct mail and will be serviced by Doner's Detroit, Cleveland and London offices.

"We have done a lot of consumer research that uncovered the easy-care opportunity and needed new creative to support it," said Meg Burich, global brand manager, Teflon fabric protection for DuPont.

What may be sticky, though, is convincing consumers Teflon protection won't make clothing as stiff as armor. "Some people, when you say Teflon, think it will be hard, impenetrable or slick," said Mr. DeMuth. "It isn't in this application, so we needed to reassure people."

TV and print ads break in fall with the tag "Make everyday easy."

In one concept, the fabric hang-tag reads, "Cotton feels like cotton, wool feels like wool, red wine doesn't stain like red wine." Another features an attractive couple with copy text that reads, "Now you can own a shirt that simultaneously attracts and repels lipstick."

Fast Facts

Product: Teflon fabric treatment

Agency: Doner

Account size: $30 million to $40 million

Theme: Make everyday easier

Break date: Fall 2002

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