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Du Pont Co. is looking for an ad agency to move Teflon out of the frying pan.

Teflon brand managers are meeting informally with a number of ad agencies and evaluating budgets for expanded marketing efforts, including a consumer campaign, according to Teresa Kleinhans, Teflon's global brand manager for apparel and furnishings.

Du Pont plans to boost its ad spending for the brand in mid- to late 1999. According to Competitive Media Reporting, the marketer spends approximately $2 million in measured media annually promoting Teflon's uses. That doesn't include expenditures to and with licensees.

The account is currently not assigned to an agency.


Du Pont has been working to reposition Teflon as a useful product rather than something that only keeps food from sticking to the pan.

"We decided to try to leverage the high brand equity we've always had . . . to consumers outside of our regular channels," said Michael Kullman, global brand manager.

Du Pont has established additional uses for Teflon over the past two years. It licensed the product for a variety of household and apparel uses, including clothes and nail polish.

Mr. Kullman said the company's marketing activities will expand as those licensing deals develop.

Del Laboratories' Sally Hansen division last month launched Teflon Tuff, a new nail protector licensed by Du Pont, with magazine ads that tout the product as "fortified with Teflon."

Its ads, handled in-house, prominently display Du Pont's Teflon logo.


Mr. Kullman said Du Pont has also licensed Teflon-invented 60 years ago-for house paint, infant car-safety seats and automobile wiper blades, and is negotiating to license Teflon for a line of hairbrushes and combs.

Also, Du Pont began to promote Teflon as a fabric protector to the apparel and home furnishings trade last year, with marketing efforts that included events, collateral and in-store displays.

Teflon is riding "this whole trend of 'make me look better and make my life easier'," Ms. Kleinhans said. She added Du Pont's focus is on using its brands to tap into the public's desire for durable and easy-care products.

Du Pont has been increasing ad support for several of its brands, including its Lycra fibers (see story below) and Corian countertop material, which last year

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