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Procter & Gamble Co. didn't get to the body wash category first. But when it launched Oil of Olay 2-in-1 Moisturizing Body Wash in 1994, it quickly cleaned up.

Today, it's the market leader with a 30% share, nearly a third of the $285 million category.

Mark Levy, the 48-year-old VP of personal cleansing products at P&G who oversaw the launch, credits the brand's success to several factors: technology, consumer research and a unique cleansing puff enclosed with the product.

While all new P&G products are technologically driven, research showed a clear consumer preference for a body cleanser that also moisturized skin, he says. The company was correct in believing a two-in-one would be a major benefit to consumers and distinguish its product from others.

But talking about changing consumer habits is one thing, doing it quite another, Mr. Levy says.

To accomplish that goal, P&G created a soft puff that enhanced the body wash's performance by not only exfoliating dead skin cells but also creating mounds of lather.

The puff, when combined with a premium sample package that went to half of all U.S. households, was a major factor in changing consumer habits, says Mr. Levy.

The other major plank of the estimated $50 million marketing plan was an ad campaign from Wells Rich Greene BDDP, New York, with its central claims of "You may never need a body lotion again" and "moisturized skin no bath bar can touch."

Mr. Levy credits P&G Marketing Director Gina Coleman for playing "a major role in working through all of the marketing challenges" with the agency.

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