P&G brings coronavirus-killing Microban 24 to UK with integrated campaign

Dive Brief:

  • Procter & Gamble is broadening the rollout of a hit brand of 24-hour disinfectant that saw surging sales during the pandemic. In the first market expansion outside the U.S., the consumer packaged goods company is introducing Microban 24 to the U.K. with an integrated marketing campaign that aims to reach 95% of shoppers, per an announcement.
  • P&G’s two-month launch campaign for Microban 24 includes activations on key media touch points, along with takeovers on social platforms Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. The company also is running a brand ambassador program to reach consumers throughout the country, according to its announcement.
  • Microban 24 became a hit brand in the U.S. as consumers rushed to buy cleaning products amid concerns about COVID-19. P&G was set to sell $200 million of Microban 24 in the U.S. last year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Dive Insight:

Procter & Gamble is looking to maintain the strong sales momentum for Microban 24 with its first expansion of the disinfectant outside the U.S. The company has an aggressive target of reaching almost all key decision-makers of household purchases within two months, an effort that includes brand takeovers of popular social platforms and outreach by brand ambassadors. The digital effort is a sign off how the global company seeks to reach consumers in a country that has imposed strict pandemic lockdowns since last year.

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Microban 24 became an unexpected hit after its introduction as a niche product in the U.S. last February. As consumers emptied store shelves of established brands of disinfectants like Clorox and Lysol amid concerns about the coronavirus, they were more willing to buy less familiar products like Microban 24. The product had marked a departure for P&G from its usual process of centralized decision-making and the meticulous test-marketing of products before committing its significant corporate resources to a launch, the Journal reported.

The development of Microban 24 is another sign of how P&G has revamped its approach to innovation and marketing new products. Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard in the past few years has described that process as “constructive disruption,” or a willingness to quickly switch strategies to meet the demands of a society under pressure. He echoed that theme in a speech last month during the virtual Consumer Electronics Show, saying the company is “combining 183 years of expertise with the entrepreneurial spirit of a startup.”

P&G highlighted Microban 24 among its latest products, and its Oral-B dental hygiene brand that saw a 20% jump in electric toothbrush sales during the December quarter. Amid continued demand for cleaning products like Tide and Mr. Clean, P&G’s revenue climbed 8% from a year earlier to $19.7 billion during the period. The company increased spending on marketing by 7%, a lift that management described as “appropriate” with its sales growth.

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