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Hornets' Paul To Star In Right Guard Ads

Right Guard/Chris Paul

Right Guard is playing a strong defense with the NBA. The official deodorant of the NBA is launching a new ad push during the April NBA Playoffs that backs Right Guard's new premium anti-perspirant, Right Guard Total Defense 5. Doug Weekes, general manager of the Dial Corporation brand, tells Marketing Daily that ads will feature Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets.

"We have a multi-year relationship with Paul, who happens to be another great defensive player," says Weekes. "In the spot, he is something of a metaphor for defense on the court, in life and of the product itself." He says ads will most likely have game footage, "for instance where, in the final seconds of a game, he steals the ball, runs it down the court, gets the final point -- that sort of thing." Chicago-based Energy BBDO handles.



Weekes says that while the spot is built around an NBA thematic, the media buy isn't limited to hoops, but will include a heavy presence around other sport networks. "We also plan to run it across multiple other media not specifically sports to broaden our reach to core consumers." The tag for advertising, point of sale and online for the new Right Guard Total Defense 5 product is "Upgrade Your Defense." Weekes says the Right Guard brand still uses "Never Get Caught Off Guard" as its umbrella tag line.

As part of the campaign for Total Defense 5, Right Guard has signed on as third founding partner of the NBA's new youth basketball initiative called iHoops, an effort to find and cultivate talented young players. Adidas and Nike are also sponsors. Among other things, Right Guard will be official sponsor of "The Right Guard Total Defense Challenge," a nationwide search for the best high school defensive stopper, which starts next month. Right Guard will get online branding and a presence at grassroots events and online.

Said iHoops CEO Kevin Weiberg at a New York event on Wednesday to announce the program: "It fits with Right Guard's Total Defense 5 product, and offers them an avenue to extend their basketball positioning to grassroots." He said the company will get display ads on a number of pages at The Right Guard Total Defense Challenge includes an online-contest component wherein players, coaches and parents can upload videos of defensive highlights at the site through July. IHoops judges and online voters will select 30 winners, who get one-on-one training with NBA players and staff coaches and tickets to games.

Right Guard's new product replaces Right Guard Xtreme, which has been Right Guard's premium product for 15 years. Weekes explains that the market is bifurcated. "There are two price points in the category. Right Guard Sport is our opening price point, but the premium end of the business is growing very nicely across the category as well for us, and that's also the end that's especially relevant to younger males," he says. "They are willing to pay a little more for better performance."

Weekes said that in addition to the reformulation, the name needed a change. "We launched Xtreme when extreme sports were new, but they have become more mainstream over the last two decades, so I felt the relevance of the name wasn't as clear. Now people want more straight talk and so Total Defense was just a very clean and simple way to communicate it. And it tied in very nicely with what the NBA was doing."

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