Hopes to Seize Market Share From Armor All and Turtle Wax

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DETROIT ( -- Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. enters the auto products' care segment with a
Watch Arnold Palmer take a shine to Pennzoil's Total Care. (RealPlayer required)
national all-TV campaign beginning today.

The $8 million dollar campaign for Pennzoil's Total Care wash, wax and protector broke last week in 19 spot markets with a 60-second spot starring pitchman and golf legend Arnold Palmer. Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, worked with MVP Films, New York, on the concept. MVP, preferred by Mr. Palmer, produced and directed the spot.

Shell acquisition
Faramarz Khaze, brand manager, said the campaign will continue through June. Wal-Mart Stores is the largest of several retailers where the product is initially available. Total Care will be sold at Shell Oil Co. gas stations if Shell completes its estimated $1.8 billion acquisition of Pennzoil-Quaker State, Mr. Khaze said. Zenith Direct, New York, and The Direct Network, Hoboken, N.J., handled media planning and buying.

Mr. Khaze said

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sales from the liquid product, which comes in a box with a microfiber towel and sponge, will be plowed back into additional TV buys.

"The objective of the campaign isn't sales, but to help launch the brand," he said.

Crowded field
And Pennzoil is launching its product in a crowded field led by the category's two top leaders, Armor All Products Corp. and Turtle Wax. Which is the top brand is a matter of debate.

According to Information Resources Inc., Armor All is tops, with sales of all its auto waxes and polishes sold at supermarkets and drug stores totaling $14.5 million in the 52 weeks ended March 24, while Turtle Wax product sales totaled $9.2 million. The other players are well behind. Sales of Clorox Co.'s auto care products were a distant third during the period at $2.57 million.

Chuck Tornabene, president of worldwide consumer and industrial products at Turtle Wax, said Information Resources' data is misleading since supermarkets and drug stores account for less than 10% of sales in the category. The bulk of sales are at mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart Stores and auto supply chains like Pep Boys, he said. But the mass merchandisers started withholding the segment's sales data last year.

'We're No. 1'
"I feel comfortable saying as a company, we're No. 1 overall," Mr. Tornabene said. "Our market share is at record levels. We have more than 50% of the retail [car] wax business." He said Armor All is a close second, with Clorox Co. "probably a close third."

Armor All did not return calls by press time.

Mr. Tornabene said he welcomes Pennzoil as a competitor, noting that the brand's ad spending will increase interest in the category.

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