Calgon mixes up approach

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The slogan "Calgon, Take Me Away" has been around for more than 30 years, and the brand is far better known by today's grandmothers than a new hip-hop generation.

But Coty U.S. is giving its Calgon brand an edgy new attitude with a promotion using scratch deejay music to target women ages 18 to 34 through mass-market channels.

Enlisting DJ Skribble, well known from MTV, Coty has created a 20-minute custom music CD featuring the "Take me Away" slogan sung and whispered throughout a series of songs and dance music riffs created for the promotion. The CD is offered free through a mail-in offer with purchase.

Tropical Dream, the ninth fragrance in Calgon's fast-growing line of specialty bath products, is a major focus for the promotion, which includes a sweepstakes to win one of three trips for two to Puerto Rico, where winners will attend a DJ Skribble performance.

Coty is bridging distinctly different audiences for a single brand name. Its newer line of Calgon body mists, lotions and bathing gels for young women are sold in a separate area of most stores as opposed to its 80-year-old traditional Calgon bath powder, which is still sold next to traditional bath oils, said Charlotta Perlangeli, Coty's marketing director of global fragrances.

brand heritage

Calgon's brand heritage includes the "take me away" TV commercial theme line handled by various advertising agencies in the 1970s. It has been harnessed to "help people escape a whole new set of stress factors today," she said. Badger, Kry & Partners, New York, handles Calgon's print advertising.

"Getting the attention of young women requires going deeper into their lifestyles than merely through advertising, and research showed that DJ Skribble's sound was in sync with this target group," said Andrew Klein, president-CEO of Revolution Marketing, New York, which handled the promotion.

Coty recently announced that its other line of specialty bath products, The Healing Garden, will be a major sponsor of this fall of BBC America's "Ground Force," a show centered on garden makeovers.

"We don't do TV commercials, but the brand will become part of the programming here, which is all about deepening our brands' relationships with consumers' lifestyles," said Ms. Perlangeli.

Using a DJ to create custom promotional entertainment is a new trick other marketers may adopt soon, said Jameel Spencer, president-chief marketing officer for Blue Flame Marketing, New York, the agency owned by hip-hop music mogul Sean P. Combs.

"The deejay tape is flexible and can be used in a lot of different ways with brand names both for consumer promotions and for live events," Mr. Spencer said. His agency is currently in talks with Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Navigator for an entertainment-themed marketing effort that will target adults under age 30.

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