Deodorant: Dove line extension soars; P&G freshens up Old Spice

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Though fairly quiet in the 1990s, the underarm deodorant/antiperspirant category has heated up in recent years amid new brands and efforts to defend or rejuvenate old ones.

Following the 2000 launch of Dove antiperspirant, the Unilever brand captured nearly 5% of the $1.7 billion category through the first seven months of 2001. Dove has reached No. 2 in the women's segment, ahead of Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s Mennen Lady Speed Stick, though still behind segment leader Secret, marketed by Procter & Gamble Co.

MORE OF A CHALLENGE

"Year two is always more of a challenge because your competitors are coming at you," says Andrea Grostern, brand director for Dove. Still, Dove topped a 5% share in the second quarter of 2001.

On the men's side, P&G is rejuvenating its once-tired Old Spice brand, whose market share has doubled during the five years of its 1-800-PROVE-IT TV campaign. Though P&G deep-sixed a new campaign-despite one ad making the short list at the International Advertising Festival at Cannes- P&G is using other humorous radio spots from Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, plus local sports tie-ins and extensive sampling to reach younger men.

Meanwhile, category leader Colgate this month broke a $40 million marketing effort targeting males 15 to 25, including TV and magazine ads via WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, behind a new "Power of Nature" lineup for Speed Stick.

Next year could get more interesting, as P&G anticipates Unilever will launch a new U.S. men's underarm deodorant line, extending global brand Axe/Lynx.

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