packaged goods

New Owners Prep Marketing For VO5


Alberto VO5's new owner says it will reposition the old haircare brand, with marketing and advertising expected to appear early next year.

Brynwood Partners, a Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm that just bought the brand from Dutch giant Unilever, will own Alberto VO5 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as the Rave brand globally. (That line will be repositioned too.)

"Our intent is to reinvigorate the brands with product innovation, and by re-engaging with the consumer," Brynwood's managing partner Dario U. Margve tells Marketing Daily, including new packaging, new marketing and new ads.

"We just completed the acquisition, and we plan, as we have already done with Zest soap, to reconnect with past users who are already familiar with VO5, as well as those who haven't used it."

Alberto VO5 is a budget brand, which he says is used most by large families, and competes with such names as Suave and White Rain. Women's Wear Daily reports that the brand is estimated to generate about $100 million in sales in the U.S., and that it has ranked as a top 15 haircare brand for years, with more than 80% consumer awareness.



Brynwood acquired Zest soap -- first launched in the 1950s -- from Procter & Gamble back in January, and he says radio and FSI advertising is already in place, as is new packaging. "The plan for VO5 is to slowly get it under our wings, and we hope to have the same success we have had with Zest," Margve says.

Colangelo, in Darien, Conn., is the ad agency.

Unilever bought the Chicago-based Alberto Culver back in May, for $3.7 billion, and the divestiture of Alberto VO5 and Rave is a requirement of the U.S. government. The acquisition gives Unilever such brands as TRESemmé, Nexxus, and St. Ives, which join such other Unilever brands as Dove, Clear, Suave, and Sunsilk.

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