Playtex gets women talking

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In an attempt to create an interactive conversation with its customers, the latest marketing campaign from Playtex includes a bigger emphasis online than past efforts.

In the multimillion-dollar Girl Talk campaign, which launches this week, consumer-generated content, viral marketing and online advertising are mixed with traditional TV and print ads in what Playtex is calling one of its largest marketing endeavors in the brand's history.

"While the campaign uses traditional media outreach through TV and print ads, our research shows that women are using the Web to seek out their solutions," said Vicki Seawright, marketing director for Playtex intimate apparel.

Which is why Playtex, Winston-Salem, NC, is relaunching the microsite at www.playtexfits.com, this week with a new look and an emphasis on fostering conversation about finding a great-fitting bra.

Visitors will have the opportunity to submit a line about bras and breasts like those featured in the campaign ads. They can also vote for their favorite lines submitted by others. Popular responses could be highlighted in future executions of the campaign. The site also lets women send a Girl Talk e-card, and to submit videos of their personal bra stories. The site will also include a virtual bra fitter named Roz.

The campaign attempts to capture the realness of how women talk about the quest for finding a well-fitting bra.

"After two years of in-depth research with our consumers, we came to understand how women truly feel and speak about bras and their bodies," said Seawright.

The results are often funny and irreverent, as shown by some of the quotes that are featured in Playtex's new TV ads and Web videos: "Gravity is no longer my enemy, but brownies are," and "Wearing a bra shouldn't be punishment."

The microsite's new interactive functions will be promoted on YouTube and American Greetings. Print ads, which make their debut in women's lifestyle and fashion magazines in September, will also drive consumers to the microsite. In mid-December, Playtex will launch a series of online advertisements.

The traditional advertising component was created by Kraftworks LTD and will run into December. Multiple versions of TV spots highlighting Playtex 18 House and Playtex Secrets bras will air on network and cable channels.

The Playtex apparel line is owned by parent company Hanesbrands Inc., Winston Salem, NC, which owns Hanes, Bali, Champion and L'eggs among other brands. The Playtex line touts its flexibility in fitting a variety of body types.

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