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Gillette Co., seeking to grab more business from disposable razors, will make the Sensor Excel Challenge the focus of a $95 million-plus integrated marketing campaign in North America and western Europe next year.

Advertising from BBDO Worldwide, New York, will feature the rallying cry, "Take the Sensor Excel Challenge. One shave. We bet you won't go back to disposables."

"We want to really turn up the heat on disposables," said Peter Hoffman, senior VP-business management, who said the company's media advertising for Sensor will increase 10%, to $80 million, in those regions in '97.

$30 MIL FOR U.S.

The U.S. shaving system will get $30 million of that total, also up 10%.

Gillette's decision to stop advertising disposables and instead push technologically advanced shaving systems-such as Sensor and Sensor Excel-has paid off, he said.

Industrywide, shaving systems are now used by 50% of all men who shave, compared with 40% seven years ago. Gillette is the leader in the $1.2 billion U.S. blades and razors market.

Nevertheless, the marketer believes more gains are possible by reaching out to diehard disposable users, 50% of whom Gillette says have never heard of Sensor Excel.

Gillette will rely on prime-time TV and sports programming with the campaign, beginning Dec. 22. In January, radio ads will kick in with country-customized spots with creative featuring characters who have been converted to Sensor Excel and travel with missionary zeal proselytizing the brand and the challenge.


The company also will give out more than 15 million razors and cartridges through direct mail. That will include an 18th-birthday program where young men will get an Excel and coupons for$95 mil Gillette Sensor effort

GILLETTE from Page 3

Gillette Series toiletries products.

There will be other mailings in areas where sales may be lower.

Rapp Collins Worldwide, New York, a unit of Omnicom Group, is handling those programs.

Couponing through newspaper free-standing inserts and other means is planned, Mr. Hoffman said.

In other product news, Gillette currently is introducing a new form of Soft & Dri antiperspirant/deodorant called Silken Solid, made with silk for a smoother application and less mess, the company said.

Silken Solid will be supported with $10 million in advertising next year, from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston.

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