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In 1997, shout was the No. 2 brand in the $200 million stain remover category, facing new competition from Unilever's Wisk Away. Rather than surrender market share, S.C. Johnson & Son fought back with new-product innovation.

Into a category made up of sprays and sticks, S.C. Johnson brought Shout Wipes, individually wrapped towelettes designed to be carried in purses or pockets for instant treatment of spills.

Shout Wipes went where other stain removers couldn't.

It was Joseph Mallof, president-consumer products, who led the new-product development team in instituting an ad campaign that focused on its non-traditional use-to prevent spills from staining dry-clean-only garments. Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, handled the TV and print advertising.

Consumer panels from AcuPoll, a concept-testing service, rated Shout Wipes one of the top 10 new product concepts of 1997. Shout sales were up 9.7% overall in the category, to $81.6 million, for the 52 weeks ended April 26, according to Information Resources Inc.

Despite stepped-up competition in the category, the Shout Wipes launch helped propel Shout past DowBrands' Spray & Wash (since sold to Reckitt & Colman) to become the No. 1 brand.

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