Andrex unrolls premium Gold
Scott Paper Co will launch Andrex Gold, a super-premium brand of toilet paper as part of its Andrex line. Thicker and more absorbent than other products on the market, Andrex Gold will be launched in polyurethane-wrapped four-packs. Scott expects the new brand to cut into the rising market shares of own-label toilet tissue products, and to account for sales of 16.8 million pounds sterling, or 10% of Andrex's total sales.
Scott is launching its "most important" extension yet to Andrex in a move the company admits will test the limits of the UK's fourth biggest grocery brand.
Andrex Gold, described as a "super-premium" toilet tissue, is being rolled out nationally from this week in a bid to escape the clutches of own-label copycats as well as rival Kleenex.
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Retailing in a four-pack only, the brand costs 10p more than the regular Andrex equivalent.
With thicker, more absorbent sheets, packaged in a "unique" polyurethane wrap instead of the usual paper, the new brand is expected to make up 10% of Andrex's 168m [pounds] sales and carve out an ambitious 3% market share of its own.
Andrex marketing director Paul Duncanson admits that although he "expects a success", the extension, is "testing the limits of the brand", which already retails at a sizeable premium over most other players in the market.
The move, which closely follows the launch of Andrex Moist Toilet Tissues, Andrex Kitchen Towels and Andrex Facial Tissues, has been prompted by a dramatic rise in sales of premium own-label rivals - particularly Sainsbury's Super-Soft - which now account for 60% of the total market.
An ad campaign is in development and scheduled for a national run in November. Duncanson won't go into detail, but says it will steer clear of the famous Andrex puppy, which is "too closely associated with our main brand."
Andrex Gold will, however, benefit from a new promotion for Andrex, runner-up in Marketing's Adwatch of the Year (see page 30) which, claims Duncanson, will be its biggest ever.
Put together by CSP Promotions, the agency which created the instant-win Peugeot campaign one year ago, "Puppy Tales" features four specially commissioned children's books from author Gerald Durrell, all centring on the Andrex puppy.
Backed by a 2.5m [pounds] spend, the promotion offers the books free in return for six on-pack tokens. Purchase of a six-pack brings all six tokens. In an unusual twist, CSP has arranged to have the books stocked at 2000 Esso forecourt shops, where they can be collected as an alternative to the mailing house route.
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A 1m [pounds] 20-second ad will support the promotion. Called "JR Puppy", it is a spoof of the highly-recalled Yellow Pages "JR Hartley fly fishing" ad.
"There has been massive pricing and value activity in the toilet tissue market this year," says Andrex product group manager Richard Moss. "The books are designed to change that by bringing Andrex's unique and highly successful puppy advertising into the consumer's home."
Andrex has a 28% share of the 600m [pounds] toilet tissue market, compared with 43% for own-label and 13% for Kleenex owner Kimberly- Clark.
Up, up but too
The so-called "super-premium" sector appears to be emerging as a viable brand defence against post-recessionary price-cutting.
But how high do you go? Asked if the 10p premium is perhaps too small to differentiate Andrex Gold as a clear step above Andrex, Duncanson responds: "It's a difficult question, but we can't afford to jeopardise the launch with an over-ambitious price. That can be reviewed later.
And we were very concerned that this shouldn't be seen as a frivolous money-making opportunity."