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Sex wins Americans back round to deodorant

By Simon Pitman

21/06/2006 - After two years of falling deodorant sales, it appears Americans have been won back to deodorant by a sex-infused marketing campaign by leading global brand Axe.

US sales of deodorant stalled between 2001 and 2003, but sales are now back on an upward trend as the country seems to be rediscovering the joys of under-arm roll-ons and sprays.
According to US-based Packaging Facts, sales of deodorant fell from $1.97bn in 2001, to reach $1.82bn in 2003, reflecting tough retail conditions and a more price-sensitive customer.

However, the statistics from Packaged Facts' latest market report entitled Antiperspirants and Deodorants in the US, show that in 2005 sales grew 2.3 per cent to reach $1.9bn, giving reason to believe that sales will top the all-important $2bn mark by 2010.

The biggest difference to the market has been the growth in sales of deodorants aimed at teenage boys and men. Those sex-laced Axe ads helped to push sales up by 67 per cent between 2004 and 2005.

“Audiences are being better served by a wider range of products and they are responding, as can be seen in the upswing in teen usage, particularly the use of sprays by teenage boys,” said Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts.

Another statistic that backs the growth is that deodorant launches for the male category grew by 58 per cent in 2005, indicating that personal care companies are already tapping into this growth potential.

Innovation is also helping to drive the market. According to Packaged Facts marketers are heralding products with more effective sprays as well as deodorants that promise protection that is 24/7, stain-free and aluminium-free.

Added to this has been a big re-think on the way deodorants are marketed, with personal care campaigns launching campaigns that are more hard hitting, imaginative and, you've guessed it, sexy.

“The trend of positioning products towards need states which appeal to particular conditions or concerns is gaining momentum as it doesn't limit purchase based on age, ethnicity, or gender,” added Montuori.

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