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Ads for liquid dishwashing soap traditionally focused on everything from how gentle it was on hands to how well it cut grease or killed bacteria. Ads focused least on the one thing consumers use the stuff for most-cleaning pots and pans.

Then last year Colgate-Palmolive Co. launched Palmolive for Pots & Pans. Company research showed 71% of consumers use liquid dish soap to wash pots and pans at least four times weekly.

"We knew pots and pans are considered the most bothersome items and the items that people will hand wash even if they have a dishwasher," says Suzan Harrison, VP-general manager, U.S. household surface care.

In less than a year, Palmolive for Pots & Pans has grabbed a 3% share of the $777 million category and helped overall Palmolive sales grow 10.1% to $201.4 million for the 52 weeks ended March 29, according to Information Resources Inc., nearly four times the pace of category growth.

Ms. Harrison, 40, who joined Colgate 14 years ago, says positioning played an important role in Pots & Pans' success.

Ms. Harrison was category manager for light-duty liquids in 1992-1995 and was involved in discussions on product development for Pots & Pans when the concept was first developed in 1995.

Ads, too, have been reformulated. Instead of showing the transition from dirty to clean, a new TV spot that broke in May, titled "Ecstasy" from Y&R Advertising, New York,

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