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Dawn Rises With Ads

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In an age when every high-tech service touts its time-saving features, why shouldn't dishwashing liquid get in on the act?
A new campaign for Dawn detergent, by New York shop D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, re-emphasizes the Procter & Gamble brand's positioning as a strong grease fighter and extends it by touting its time-saving benefits, said D'Arcy executive creative director Graham Woodall.
TV, print and outdoor work, which broke last week and has an estimated budget of $10 million, is tagged, "We all need a little Dawn time." The effort never shows anyone washing dishes, but suggests the leisure activities people can do while soaking cookware in the liquid.
One cable and network spot shows a mother and daughter painting their toenails while Dawn "works" in the kitchen. Another has a woman answering e-mail on her laptop by the kitchen, where Dawn is "working."
The positioning had been the same for about 20 years, but the shop "wanted to make it contemporary to show that there's more time for ladies who still have to do the washing up," Woodall said.
Kristin Nostrand, P&G's marketing di-rector of the North American homecare division, said the strategy extends the prior "moving on"-themed effort of 1998-99 (in which one spot had a woman finishing the dishes to make cupcakes with her child). Now, Dawn lets people do what they want instead of the dishes, she said.
The campaign is also Dawn's first mainstream one to use outdoor, which previously targeted Hispanics via Bromley Aguilar, Nostrand said. Print is running in women's and mainstream magazines; each ad reads, "Cut tough grease faster," before lines such as "Test hammock sooner." Spending on D'Arcy's prior Dawn effort was $6 million, per Competitive Media Reporting. K