Garnier Nutrisse: Ketan Patel

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As senior VP-marketing for L'Oreal's Garnier brand, Ketan Patel immersed himself so thoroughly in the Garnier Nutrisse hair color line that he dyed his black hair blond for the 1999 launch.

The color he chose-Sugar Cane 101-is the same one used by "Sex & the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker in a $60 million campaign from Publicis Groupe's Publicis USA, New York, that has helped propel Nutrisse sales well beyond expectations. For the 52-week period ended July 15, Nutrisse racked up sales of $51.9 million, up 36.9% from the same period a year ago, according to Information Resources Inc.

The campaign targets women over 30 by touting a gentler conditioner-based formula to cover gray hair with sexy colors. The timing of signing Ms. Parker was a coup for Mr. Patel, 35, who says: "She sets trends, she's approachable and she has a warm personality that fits perfectly with Garnier."

Before joining L'Oreal in 1994, Mr. Patel worked at Procter & Gamble Co. handling fragrance brands. Recently, he was promoted to general manager of L'Oreal's Maybelline Worldwide. And these days Mr. Patel says he's trying out a plum tone from Garnier's hair color line.

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