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Duracell Plans To Reposition Its Line Of Alkaline Batteries

BETHEL, CONN. -Duracell, in an effort to strengthen market share for alkaline batteries, is planning to reposition its venerable Copper & Black brand.

Called a strategic initiative, the battery maker promises significant battery performance enhancement and plans to tell its story in North America as part of a $100 million global marketing campaign.

The brand’s repositioning includes a new name and product promise. Building on its status as a consumer brand known throughout the world, as well as the near-universal familiarity of battery design-a black cell topped with a copper band-Duracell will employ the Coppertop trademark for the first time as the battery’s new on-pack name. The new name will be supported with the promise, “quality that lasts.”

Due to technology improvements, Copper & Black alkalines will last significantly longer, said Duracell, and the company’s freshness guarantee will be extended from five to seven years, while performance enhancements will be extended globally over the next 18 months.

Duracell will spend more than $100 million around the world to advertise and market its enhanced Copper & Black alkaline batteries, nearly 40 percent more in ad expenditures than 2000 levels.

Broadcast advertising in North America, the first for Copper & Black in four years, will emphasize that Duracell Coppertop batteries work harder than ever. It will employ the charm and humor that has characterized Duracell ads, while in-store merchandising will reinforce the company’s battery promise and positioning.

New Coppertop AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt sizes will be available at retail in North America in June. Pricing will be consistent with current Duracell alkaline batteries, said the company.

Duracell’s aggressive repositioning follows a fourth quarter in which sales fell 6 percent, compared with the same three months the previous year. For the year ended Dec. 31, Duracell sales dropped 5 percent, while profits were down 28 percent, compared with 1999. Duracell is the battery segment of the Gillette Co.