Procter & Gamble Co., seeking more sales to Hispanic consumers, is focusing this month's launch of Gain dishwashing liquid on that growing U.S. group.

The consumer products maker's first new hand-dishwashing brand in four decades will soon debut with a marketing campaign led by a Hispanic ad agency. While Gain brand managers expect non-Hispanic households also to be attracted, the campaign underscores that while P&G builds business in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil, it's also courting a growing group at home.

"That is the changing face of the consumer, and we need to reach those consumers," Kirk Perry, P&G vice president for North America, said of U.S. Hispanics. "We think there's a huge upside to that market."

Analysts say P&G and household competitors such as Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever are offering more products particularly popular with Hispanic consumers and trying to reach them with advertising everywhere from popular Spanish-language TV shows to the bilingual-oriented women's magazine Latina.

Hispanic consumers helped transform P&G's Gain laundry detergent in the past decade from a lackluster performer to one of the company's 22 billion-dollar brands in annual sales. P&G has found that Gain's scents have helped lure Hispanics, who make pleasing fragrances a high priority, according to demographic research by marketing firm Mintel.

Packages of Gain, with such scents as "Island Fresh," often have Spanish translations, and P&G has also begun selling Gain in bags, a more familiar packaging of detergent in Latin America, in the southwest U.S.

P&G is also looking to use Gain to draw Hispanics to its Febreze air freshener, adding Gain with "apple mango tango" scent to Febreze air freshener.

Dan Jackson, who manages dishwashing brands for P&G, said the company's research predicts Gain will draw shoppers who aren't using its best-selling Dawn brand.

"It's the first new dish brand in 37 years, so it's not a decision that was made lightly," he said. He said Gain dishwashing will be priced at about $2 per 30-ounce bottle, nearly a $1 less than Dawn.

Also, while Dawn advertising usually focuses on grease-cutting and cleaning effectiveness, the Gain campaign by the Chicago-based Lapiz agency highlights smell — "Fantastic scents that no one may resist," one Spanish-language ad pledges.

Source: Dan Sewell (AP)

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