By Published on .

Steve Shanesy, exec VP-global brand management for Rayovac Corp., knew his brand had arrived this year when Energizer battery advertising stopped trashing category-leading Duracell exclusively and added Ray-O-Vac to the mix.

While Gillette Co.'s Duracell and Energizer, which owner Ralston Purina Co. just recently decided to spin off, have hurled insults at each other in their respective Advantage and Ultra launches in the past year, No. 3 brand Ray-O-Vac has been gaining ground.

According to AC Nielsen data cited by Rayovac its share of the alkaline and heavy-duty battery category was 14.2% for the first quarter of 1999, up 3 points from a year ago and more than 5 points from when investment bank Thomas H. Lee Co. acquired the company in 1996.

Mr. Shanesy, part of the new management team at Rayovac, leads a marketing team that redeployed pitchman Michael Jordan from an exclusive focus on Renewal rechargeable batteries to also work on the alkaline brand.

"It was an undermarketed, underadvertised brand," says Mr. Shanesy, 42, who led the brand recharge after joining from Kraft Foods in 1997.

"We wanted to emerge . . . from the pack of also-ran brands and get consumers to look at [Ray-O-Vac] as one of three big brands."

"The 'Battery Gobblers' campaign that broke in late 1997 from Y&R Advertising, Chicago, did just that, he says, increasing Ray-O-Vac's consumer scores for

Most Popular
In this article: