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Procter & Gamble Co. has turned Pantene, a brand that's been around since the 1940s, into a very trendy product.

Under the watchful eye of Brand Manager John Peoples, 26, the brand was reformulated and relaunched in 1992 as Pantene Pro V, a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner.

A separate line of conditioners was added at the same time, turning the brand into a complete treatment system.

"Pantene always had a strong image in the U.S., but it was a struggle to go higher than a [1%] share," says Mr. Peoples, who added Prell to his brand management responsibilities in November 1993. So he looked to duplicate results achieved overseas.

"In Taiwan, P&G tried a different formula, a slightly different positioning ... that raised our share to [7%]," he adds. "We did what we could to bring those learnings to the U.S."

What also paid off was advertising, from Grey Advertising, New York, that plays up Pantene Pro V (the V stands for vitamins) as the product best able to give "healthy, shining hair."

According to Information Resources Inc., Pantene shampoo and conditioner sales jumped by more than 75% for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 27, giving the brand a leading 10.7% share in shampoos and 9.1% share in conditioners.

Importantly, Mr. Peoples says, the advertising was able to "show consumers what healthy hair looks like, in a visual context they understand." And that includes, he adds, "showing how the vitamins in Pantene penetrate hair."

Advertising Age 1994

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