Surf expands line amid redesign of packaging

Unilever is expanding its Surf range and supporting a revamp of the

brand's packaging with a £5m TV ad campaign with the strapline,

'Fresher for longer'.

New products in the range include capsules, a double layer tablet and a

fragrance called Cotton Fresh. The products hit store shelves this


The redesign, by Vibrandt, dispenses with the red keyline that

surrounded the logo, and features bubbles in the background.

Surf brand manager Shahla Rushworth said the redesign aims to complement

the ex-pansion of the range and build on the brand's recent growth. "We

don't want to stand still," she said. "We want to move the brand on with

a more modern, dynamic look."

Rushworth added that the redesign tested well among both core and

competitor customers. The Surf consumer, she said, "is pretty ad-savvy

and they don't like to be patronised. They have pride in the results of

their laundry and aren't obsessed with the actual process."

The ads, created by Lowe Lintas, continue the Birds of a Feather theme

the brand has used for six years.

The campaign will run nationally for six weeks from October 8. Media

planning was handled by Initiative Media.

Surf, which was launched in 1952, suffered heavy losses in the 80s and

early-90s. In 1994, when its market share stood at 2%, the brand was

delisted by Sainsbury's.

In 1999, Unilever dropped its Radion detergent brand and concentrated

its resources on Surf advertising.

The brand has rebounded strongly in the past few years and recently

overtook its nearest competitor, Procter & Gamble's Daz, in sales.

The latest figures from IRI, the retail register, show that Surf has 8%

of the market, a 0.2% lead over Daz.

The brand has seen particularly strong gains in sales of its tablets,

which grew 43% last year as Daz tablets declined by 11.4%.


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