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Reynolds to put some muscle behind Doral; tobacco brand, fighting share erosion, is stuck in a no-man’s land By Fran Warne

NEW YORK– The once strong Doral discount brand from R .J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is feeling

To ward off further market share erosion, Doral will receive an influx of marketing dollars over the next four months that should push its spending levels back up to the $2-3-million range. The brand spent next to nothing in the first quarter of 1993 after being heavily advertised for the past two years, primarily when it rolled back its prices last year.
Cliff Pennell, vice president of savings brands, said the campaign will retain the image of Doral as a price-value brand, but it will have an increased level of awareness nationwide. He also is not ruling out the possibility of a continuity program such as Camel Cash.
He also will keep any consumer advertising for the Monarch discount brand at the in-store level so the brand doesn’t cannibalize Doral. Instead of following Philip Morris’ plan to nationally advertise Basic, Reynolds will focus on increasing distribution for Monarch by offering incentives to the trade.
“It doesn’t make sense to add bells and whistles to the brand that cost me more money and run the risk of attracting image-conscious buyers,” Pennell said.
Doral has underperformed this year after being the bellwether brand at Reynolds since it pioneered the idea of an image-driven discount brand in the late 1980s. Doral’s market share dropped from 4.66 last year during May and June to 4.28 for the same time period in 1993, according to statistics compiled by Gary Black of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
Doral once vied for the attention of buyers who didn’t want to pay full-price, but didn’t want to drop to deep discount. Now it’s caught in a no-man’s land competing against both premium brands and P-M’s downscale Basic.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)