The product, Murine Earigate, is an ear-hygiene flush for adults and children that comes in 3.3-fluid-oz. cans and uses a reverse-spray nozzle that shoots fluid from inside the ear out and uses isotonic--a seawater-based solution.
The effort, via the new agency on the account, New York-based Duval Guillaume, N.Y., includes 15- and 30-second national TV ads, paired with a print campaign in pharmacist and physician trade pubs. There is also online and POP and other marketing and promotional support.
David Simpson, general manager of DGNY, says the agency was tapped to head the Murine Earigate account in the beginning of the year. Prestige, a publicly traded company, has a portfolio of iconic brands, including Comet, Prell, Compound W, Chloraseptic sore throat treatment, Cutex nail polish remover and Spic and Span.
"The challenge is to make ear hygiene as common as brushing your teeth," says Simpson, who adds that the product was developed by an ear, nose and throat doctor and is targeted at people who have chronic ear wax buildup as well as for the general market for use on a regular basis to keep ears clean. "Eight to ten percent of the population has chronic wax buildup," he says, "but we don't want people to think this will cure earwax. We think of it as an ear shower."
The TV spot shows a guy who bears a passing resemblance to singer Tom Jones trying different homegrown methods for removing earwax. First, he shakes his head, then lies on the couch upside down then uses a toilet plunger. The ad shows a product demo as well. The Web site, murine.com, shows a "director's cut" of the spot, in which the guy's efforts become more absurd: a vacuum cleaner, stringing straws together, putting one end in his ear and the other in his mouth and attempting to suck the wax out himself.
Prestige spokesperson Dean Siegel says that the company's strategy has been to purchase well-known consumer brands with a long history of consumer usage that are for some reason out of favor with their owners. "We buy them and put our attention to them," he says, adding that the company launched a new version of Comet, Comet Spray-Gel Mildew Stain Remover, in June with national distribution and advertising.
Bonita Bay Holdings acquired Murine and Clear Eyes from Abbot Labs in 2002. Prestige Holdings subsequently acquired Bonita Bay.