UNILEVER HOPES TO GET ADULTS WIPING

Published on .

March 12, 2001

By Laura Hughes

Arguing that little kids aren't the only people prone to sticky hands, Unilever is positioning its new cleansing wipes product -- Lever 2000 Wipes -- for adults on the go. In the product's first

New wipes for your 2,000 parts.
television ad, breaking next week, people far from soap and water are shown using the Lever 2000 Wipes to clean up. When a woman in a convertible sees a ship on the horizon, its sails morph into a wipe for her to use on her face and neck. Similarly, a sunbather spots a cluster of white balloons that transform into a wipe for her arms. And a boy playing outside reaches for a cloud that becomes a wipe with which to clean his mouth.

"Thick, soft and alcohol-free gentle," a voice-over says. "Like nothing you, or your 2000 parts, have ever felt before."

The 30-second spot, by WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York, breaks nationally March 12 on CBS and NBC daytime programming. A print campaign is scheduled to run later this year.

Unilever declined to reveal its media spend, but the company spent nearly $20 million in the first 11 months of 2000 supporting the Lever 2000 soap brand, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Crowded category
Because Lever 2000 is joining an established category with its wipes, Adlai Wang, brand manager for Lever 2000, said promotional messages will aim to persuade parents and other busy adults who never wanted to try a wipe before to reconsider with Lever 2000.

"People know what [wipes] are. So what makes us different is it's pleasant to use, feels good on your skin and smells good," Wang said.

Other cleansing wipes brands include Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s Huggies, Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pampers and Luvs, and Playtex Products' Chubs and Wet Ones. Unilever, through its Dove brand, also has facial cleansing wipes on the market, as does Procter & Gamble's Oil of Olay.

In addition to the ad campaign, Lever 2000 plans to conduct sampling events around the country at "point of dirt" sites. Such venues, Mr. Wang said, include train stations, food courts and movie theaters, where wipe samples will be attached to popcorn bags.

Lever 2000's wipes are sold in stores' soap aisles, while most competing wipes are displayed closer to baby products.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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