Rexona deo ropes in Preity Zinta as brand ambassador

MUMBAI: Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has roped in Bollywood actress Preity Zinta as the brand ambassador for Rexona roll on deo.

The FMCG major has also changed the positioning of the product from a "fragrance category" to health and hygiene. Says Lakme Lever vice president Anil Chopra, "A larger awareness needs to be built around the roll on deo product as against the aerosol sprays. Rexona has decided to look at the health and hygiene category instead of limiting itself to merely a smell good product."

Chopra also revealed that although a market leader globally, the brand category itself was in a very nascent stage in India at Rs 1.78 billion.

Rexona deo fetched HUL Rs 220 million in 2006 and the plan is to grow it to a Rs 1-5 billion brand. This will be fuelled by an increase from 3.5 million to 20 million users.

"We are aiming for a 70 per cent growth in this market for 2007", he added.

The Rexona roll on deo is available in two editions- Free spirit for women and Ice Cool for men. The television commercials for the product will launch on 1 March alongside a print ad campaign followed by danglers, posters and standees. The marketing campaign will also concentrate on mall shelves rather than small local shops.

The body copy for the deo reads 'who will you meet next' followed by 'Be Ready' as its tagline.

HUL will launch a major marketing drive around the product to boost the brand salience of Rexona deo. Says HUL deo's marketing manager Shubhranshu Singh, "Apart from the television commercial featuring Zinta, the campaign will involve on ground activity like direct sampling and a contest which allows a lucky winner to enjoy a movie date with Preity.

In terms of a media mix we are divided equally between television and non television medium."

While the brand has stayed away from celebrity endorsement so far, Singh is "confident about Zinta lending a positive image to the product. She embodies 'confidence, passion and active uninhibited lifestyle' and our brand is also targeted at the SEC AB group which is always on the go."

The Rexona brand has been unable to beat stiff competition by deo sprays despite its relatively low price point at Rs 30 as against other deo sprays in the market which range from Rs 100- 150.The Rexona deo spray is priced at Rs 70.

Rexona is a leading deo brand worldwide and is available in 90 countries. HUL claims it is the number one brand in over 40 countries in Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

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