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It's not enough that Glidden Co.'s Dulux paint is the largest-selling premium paint brand in the world. The Cleveland-based company felt it didn't have the entire world covered until Dulux was marketed in the U.S.

But it took more than three years before Glidden could convince itself there was an opportunity in the premium end of the $2 billion U.S. consumer house paint category. The entire consumer paint category is mature, growing at rates of 1% to 3% annually, as more individuals choose to hire professional painters rather than paint their homes themselves. Premium paints, which cost $15 to $25 per gallon at retail, account for 20% of category sales.

Glidden, whose Spred paint shares the top spot with Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s Easy Living and Weather Beater paints, discovered, much to its initial surprise, that no one had put together a program to appeal to women.

Thousands of interviews with homeowners, focus groups and store exit surveys found that more than 80% of the time, women make the decisions to redecorate and also choose the color. "We decided that should be the way to approach the introduction," said Chris Maby, Glidden VP-marketing and strategic planning.

Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York, conducted an "anthropological" study, among other research, to help uncover the underlying motivations for decorating with paint. More than 2,800 interviews were conducted among adults ages 25 to 54 years old. The conclusion: Women have a lot of ideas about how they would like to decorate with paint, but lack the confidence to translate that onto their walls, said Regina Kelley, Saatchi & Saatchi director of strategic planning.

Copy for the introductory 30-second TV spot is to the point: "For every idea you have in your head, we have a way to get it on your walls." The Dulux line, will be backed with an estimated $4 million campaign. A full national campaign is slated for 1996, Mr. Maby says.

Supporting the TV and newspaper campaign are 24-page color guides and painter's companion brochures, available at the "Dulux Towers of Power" point-of-purchase displays.

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