B.O. Be-Gone: Antiperspirant Update

November 15, 2005

Antiperspirant sales may be sluggish, but innovation is not.

Axe Dry follows the successful debut of Axe body sprays in 2002.
B.O. Two little letters that can cause so much personal angst for consumers. Body odor, which is almost obsolete in most mature consumer markets, is still widely feared due to the embarrassment it can cause. Several new products have been introduced in the past year to put minds at ease, some even promising no “sniff checks” during the day! It’s one less worry on the daily to-do list.

Experts told Happi that mass market manufacturers continue to worry about increased competition in the antiperspirant/deodorant (AP/Deo) category. Moreover, sales have slipped in the channel. Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI) reported sales dropped 4.2% in 2003 in the deodorant category to $1.1 billion. Unit sales also fell 6.5% to $397 million. Only select brands showed any gains at all, and most of them were newcomers such as Dove, or had forged new partnerships like Degree and triathalon promoter Ironman Properties.

What’s The Stink About?
There are a lot of theories as to what consumers are looking for in the AP/Deo market. Wetness and odor protection are expected with added perks too. The need for wetness protection has increased, according to Procter & Gamble executives, as more trends point to active lifestyles.

Secret Platinum was designed to mimimize wetness for active women.

Secret Platinum, the No. 6 brand with sales up 15.5% to $52.1 million in 2003, will add the Secret Platinum Invisible Solid AP/Deo collection in April. The solids contain a new time-release formula that masks malodors, extends scent for 24 hours and has a non-flaking, slow-evaporation formula to stay on the skin longer.

P&G research revealed more than 85% of women perform “sniff checks” throughout the day to make sure their deodorants are still working. The Secret Platinum Invisible solid, available in Mystic Rain, Ocean Breeze, Glacier Mist and Powder Fresh, targets women 12 and older. The Platinum line is also sold in clear gel and soft solid AP/Deo forms.

Also, the new, colorful Secret Sparkle collection offers maximum wetness protection in invisible solid and clear gel forms, executives said. P&G also developed five scents geared to teenagers: Pear Shimmer, Moonlit Rose, Violet Dazzle, Pear Illusion and Berry Sparkle.

While most consumer research is focused on what consumers want, AP/-Deo marketers must know what consumers don’t want as well.

“Consumers base their buying choices on whether an antiperspirant will have the absence of negatives—whitening, greasiness, stinging and stickiness,” explained Maureen Collins, Dove antiperspirant and deodorant marketing director, Unilever Home & Personal Care North America. “In addition, most women look for an antiperspirant that will be efficacious and provide wetness and odor protection.”

There is also a gender divide in the AP/Deo sector. While women seek out skin conditioning claims to prevent after-shaving rashes, men are looking for no-fuss products that will last all day long. But even within the men’s category, there are differences.

“Older men tend to fall into a brand and stay within a limited set,” observed Scott Harmon, category manager of Arm & Hammer, Church & Dwight. “The younger generation, however, is catching on to the new fragrances.”

Speed Stick Stays No. 1
Colgate-Palmolive’s Speed Stick remained in the No. 1 in the AP/Deo category last year. Here is a list of the leading AP/Deo brands for the year ended Dec. 28, 2003. All dollar figures are in millions.
Brand $ Sales % Change $ Share Unit Sales % Change
Speed Stick 92.9 2.7 8.3 37.3 1.6
Degree 69.9 -1.9 6.2 25.9 -4.4
Right Guard Sport 66.6 -14.4 5.9 20.8 -18.1
Old Spice High Endurance 64.7 -2.1 5.7 23.3 -5.2
Dove 58.4 11.3 5.2 23.6 7.6
Secret Platinum 52.1 15.5 4.6 13.6 14.7
Secret Sheer Dry 46.0 -14.6 4.1 19.9 -15.2
Secret 42.5 -22.9 3.8 15.4 -25.2
Mitchum 40.5 -13.4 3.6 10.9 -5.0
Ban 36.3 -13.4 3.2 10.5 -17.6
Category Total 1,120.4 -4.2 100.0 397.7 -6.5
Source: Information Resources Inc., Chicago. Wal-Mart sales are not included.

Old Spice’s Red Zone features a time-release scent mechanism.

Sporty Spice
Fragrance is definitely a selling point in the men’s AP/Deo market. Unilever’s Axe, which debuted in North America a couple of years ago, is extending its popular body spray deodorant line with Axe Dry, a new collection of AP/Deos. Unilever executives said Axe grew the men’s deodorant category 5% in 2002. Executives hope that this line will also mature with pre-teen boys, who used Axe deodorant body spray before using AP/Deos. Axe Dry is available in four invisible solids and two gels in several fragrances: Essence (solid), Phoenix (solid and gel), Tsunami (solid and gel) and Kilo (solid).

Other marketers also know that scent sells. “Guys want something with good scent expression,” insisted Brent Miller, an Old Spice spokesperson. “They want something that smells like a fragrance to them, not like a deodorant, to reflect their sense of style and taste.”

According to Procter & Gamble research, there are two types of male consumers: those who want a simple AP/Deo that works well and others who want better technology, fragrances and packaging. More men are edging into the second segment.

“Guys have a better understanding of the category now and have higher expectations,” explained Mr. Miller. “The main reasons are the men’s grooming category has just taken off, and secondly, the category is much more competitive.”

P&G executives said the new Old Spice Red Zone invisible stick AP/Deo has a system that tackles odor at its source, before it starts, with long-lasting scents. This is largely due to the products’ Core technology which features a time-released scent mechanism. Old Spice is the No. 4 deodorant brand in the U.S. with sales of $64.7 million in 2003, according to IRI.

To capture the attention of guys, P&G has signed Chicago Bears football star Brian Urlacher, a three-time pro-Bowl linebacker, as spokesperson for Red Zone deodorant.

As the old saying goes, women glow, men perspire and horses sweat. But how would you categorize football players? After the Super Bowl last month, Old Spice named the game’s sweatiest players: Carolina Panthers’ Jeff Mitchell and New England Patriots’ Joe Andruzzi. For those of you keeping score at home, Mr. Mitchell produced 28.3-oz. of sweat during the game, while Mr. Andruzzi contributed 25.4-oz. Together, the Patriots and Panthers generated 711-oz. of perspiration—more than 5.5 gallons of sweat!

Old Spice is also continuing to sponsor the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Joe Gibbs Racing, and driver Tony Stewart, the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion.

Red Zone Invisible stick AP/Deo is available in Metallic Ice (a modern spicy scent), Glacial Falls (an edgy, watery fragrance) and Aqua Reef (an aromatic citrus scent). The Red Zone deodorant is also available in Old Spice’s No. 1 selling scent, Pure Sport.

Just last month, Old Spice launched an Invisible Soft solid under the Red Zone banner. “Men don’t want stains on their clothes or deodorant to wipe off on their shirt,” Mr. Miller asserted.

In other sports news Gillette has paired four-time Cy Young winner and Arizona Diamond-back baseball pitcher Randy Johnson with comedian Jim Breuer in a Right Guard commercial featuring Xtreme dodgeball in a high school gym. Mr. Johnson throws colored balls, representing Right Guard Xtreme Power Caps’ odor-fighting capsules, at a group of sweaty basketball players. Right Guard is the No. 3 deodorant brand, according to IRI. Right Guard Extreme Power Caps, a clear gel antiperspirant, is available in Adrenaline and Overdrive scents.

Adidas Active uses Smart technology to kill odor-causing bacteria on demand.

Stronger than Iron
Unilever’s Degree brand, the No. 2 deodorant brand according to IRI, teamed up with Ironman Properties to launch co-branded antiperspirants. The Degree Ironman line will consist of five SKUs, which include three scents, Extreme Blast, Sport and Cool Rush. All are available in a 2.7-oz. size, and the Extreme Blast and Sport scents in a smaller 1.7-oz. size.

Executives said Ironman has been synonymous with everyday athletes achieving their best and expecting performance. Together, the integrated ad campaign has recruited Degree athletes for endurance sports events such as the Ironman Triathlon World Championship last fall in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. This year, Degree executives launched the Degree Everyman Ironman contest to find one man and one woman who will train for six months for a triathlon in southern California and receive salary reimbursement. The prizes are worth $100,000 each.

Also for athletes, Adidas, a division of No. 10 deodorant vendor Coty, launched several new AP/Deos in the past year. First to debut was the Adidas Active AP/Deos for men with modern fragrances and sporty packaging. The formula contains Smart Technology which kills odor-causing bacteria as needed. They are available in three scents: Team Force (fresh, woody, citrus scent), Dynamic Pulse (aquatic floral-fruity scent) and Sport Fever (fresh and invigorating fragrance).

Just last month, Adidas added a women’s version of the AP/Deo, Adidas Active AP/Deos for Women. These sweat stoppers also feature the Smart technology, but have more feminine and crisp scents, such as Pure Powder (bergamot blend with rose, vanilla and soft spices), Icy Burst (citrus, floral and ozone) and Unscented.

Botulinum Toxin Type A Stops Excessive Sweating

Botulinum toxin type A is safe and effective for treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, according to results from a Phase III clinical study by Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, associate professor of dermatology and vice chairman of the department of dermatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Experts said 8 million people in the U.S. suffer from primary axillary hyperhidrosis. The study found that four weeks after treatment, 75% of patients receiving botulinum toxin type A versus 25% on placebo achieved at least a two-point improvement from baseline on the Hyperhidrosis Severity Scale (HDSS), a four-point scale. Quantity of sweat production in the axillae was also significantly decreased, according to the results.

As little as four weeks after treatment, botulinum toxin type A markedly improved patients’ quality of life. For example, a standardized patient questionnaire revealed 85% and 84% of patients treated with 50 units and 75 units of botulinum toxin type A, respectively, reported that they were much more satisfied with the current study treatment than with previous treatments, versus 20% of patients on placebo.

Researchers said no serious treatment-related adverse events were reported. The most frequently reported problems were injection site pain, injection site hemorrhage and non-axillary sweating.

Revamped and Ready to Go
Several marketers are hoping to gain leverage in the AP/Deo category with new packaging. Arm & Hammer changed graphics on many of its personal care products, including the Ultramax AP/Deo. “The Arm & Hammer logo now features the arm prominently to be more masculine,” explained Church & Dwight’s Mr. Harmon. “The yellow containers are also very intrusive on the shelf and easy to find.”

Ultramax is available in Cool Blast, Active Sport and Fresh. Executives are also updating the fragrance portfolio and recently added Victory, a classic fougére scent, to the line.
“Overall, fragrances are becoming more creative,” insisted Matt Knip-meyer, category manager of Arrid, Church & Dwight. “Different types and names are beginning to pop up.”

Church & Dwight’s Arrid Total is expanding this year with aerosol and gel AP/Deos and new silver packaging. The aerosol will be sold in two fragrances, Passionflowers and Powder, while the gels are available in Morning Clean, Cool Shower, Powder, Ultra Fresh and Regular. Executives said all Arrid Total AP/Deos contain skin conditioners, go on clear and have feminine fragrances; however, product form is also an important consideration.

“Antiperspirant is very much a form-loyal category,” commented Mr. Knip-meyer. “However, we do see forms shifting; gels are definitely gaining popularity with women.” Mr. Knipmeyer added body sprays have been especially popular with men in the past year.

Red Zone Soft Solid AP/Deo, launched in 2002, will debut in an updated package later this year. It retails in Original, Fresh, Pure Sport, Mountain Fresh, Arctic Force and Unscented.

Gillette’s Soft&Dri was recently relaunched with a new package featuring a pearl pink dispenser and a black cap. Soft & Dri is also getting an image makeover. A new print ad campaign will launch in April entitled, “Strong & Beautiful.” Conceived by the late Helmut Newton, the photos were taken by his wife, Alice Springs. They showcase women in typically male-dominated roles, including that of a truck driver, biker and construction worker.

“Like the Soft&Dri product line, the new ad campaign speaks to the confidence and boldness of the everyday woman,” said Bracken Darrell, vice president, personal care, Gillette.

Soft&Dri is getting an updated formula as well. DermaStripe reportedly contains protective, soothing and nourishing ingredients such as aloe and lavender. Dermastripe will be sold in Cotton and Whisper scents. DriGels, the driest gel, will be improved with microbeads, executives added. Soft&Dri PowerStripe will continue to be available in three existing SKUs.

Ban uses the healing power of lavender in its new Ban Beautifully Smooth formula.

A Natural Competitor
As mentioned, women are looking for odor and wetness protection as well as enhanced formulas with skin benefits. Andrew Jergens will update its Ban Beautifully Smooth. Ban was the No. 10 brand of deodorant with $36.3 million in sales in 2003, IRI reported. The new purple-colored formula contains lavender extract. Coined “Purple Power,” the new antiperspirant glides on clear to keep underarms dry. Executives said that lavender extract helps to soothe skin irritated by shaving.

“Shaving causes folliculitis and irritant dermatitis,” explained Dr. Mary Lupo, spokesperson for the Andrew Jergens Company. “It can be improved with OTC hydrocortisone or botanical chamomile. Lavender is also a botanical anti-inflammatory that protects the barrier of the skin to prevent razor burn and rash.”

Ban Beautifully Smooth is available in Fresh Cotton, Petal Bliss and Satin Breeze scents in both Invisible solid and roll-on forms. The introduction of a lavender extract variant also speaks to consumers’ desire for natural products. “Patients like the idea of ingredients found in nature,” commented Dr. Lupo. “They perceive them to be gentler.”

In other news, Andrew Jergens, a subsidiary of Japanese multinational Kao, will change its name to Kao Brands Company in August.

A Reformulated Dove
Dove’s Invisible solid AP/Deo was recently reformulated with the company’s well-known 1/4-cup moisturizing cream as well as sunflower seed oil, dimethicone and glycerine. “This year, the 1/4-cup moisturizer in Dove’s Invisible solid has been reformulated and contains a unique combination of skin-friendly ingredients that deliver improved results,” said Ms. Collins of Unilever HPC North America.

Dove was the No. 5 deodorant in the mass market with sales up nearly 8% to $58.4 million in 2003, according to IRI. Executives attribute the collection’s success to moisturizing claims.

“Dove antiperspirant was able to tap into this heritage to deliver a product that addresses an unmet consumer need,” insisted HPC’s Ms. Collins. Dove Invisible solid is said to go on clear and reduces irritation caused by shaving. Executives said it also offers unbeatable wetness and odor protection.

The new invisible solid joins Dove’s original solid, soft solid, aerosol and roll-on antiperspirants. It is available in several versions, including Sensitive Skin Formula, Fresh, Powder, Original Clean and Soft Floral.

Whether it’s new fragrances, packages, ingredients or superior wetness protection, consumers have a lot to choose from in the AP/Deo market.

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