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PZ Cussons MD: too many good ideas thrown out by research

The decision to resurrect an ad last seen 32 years ago, and bring the Imperial Leather brand back to TV for the first time since 1991, was taken without research or focus groups, the MD of brand owner PZ Cussons has said.

“It’s still one of the top ten ads recalled in Australia. There’s a lot of heritage there, and people have been asking us to bring it back,” said Wayne Horrobin, a former Coles and Kraft marketer and MD, who joined PZ Cussons 10 months ago.

Last week, the the detergents, soaps and toiletries company revived the 1978 classic ‘Simon, Tahiti’ Imperial Leather ad, recreated by DDB Melbourne.

“We did not use focus groups. I’m not a believer. There are too many good ideas thrown out through ad pre-testing,” he added.

TV was key to relaunching Imperial Leather and PZ Cussons stable mate Radiant, with more brand refresh initiatives in the pipeline, Horrobin noted.

Advertising spend for Imperial Leather has focused on sponsorship and has not increased since the move to TV, he said.

“The Radiant relaunch was one month ago. Imperial leather was reintroduced to TV this month. Cussons has had lower profile on TV front. But I’m a passionate believer that TV works. We made a conscious decision that we needed to do this.”

The company’s other key brands are Duo, Reflect, Morning Fresh, Pure, Pearl, Preservene, Trix and Graphite.

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