New Pig adds skin-care products to lineup of industrial cleaners

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With a clean, freshly scrubbed piglet as its mascot, there is no question which company the new Hoofmark brand of industrial cleaners comes from.


New Pig's flagship pig-a-log has become synonymous with humorously selling products to clean up leaks and spills, and the company's new Hoofmark catalog expands its brand of humor to a line of products designed mainly to keep workers clean.


"We wanted to expand our product line to our existing customer base," said Kathleen Chovit, vice president of product and catalog development at New Pig, Tipton, PA. "We already had products for keeping the workplace clean, so the next logical step was keeping the workers clean."


The new catalog offers a variety of skin-care products that remove dirt and grease while protecting skin from some of the damage caused by frequent washing. Wipes and sprays for cleaning working areas and protective gloves, coveralls and dust masks also are available.


Because the product line was mainly intended as an additional offering to the company's existing customers, only 10,000 of the books in the initial mailing of 320,000 dropped last month were mailed to prospects.


"It almost all went to our existing customers because we have a very loyal customer base and want to expand on that," Chovit said.


However, as the products in the catalog are slightly less specialized than those in the New Pig catalog, the company hopes that ultimately it will appeal to a wider audience.


"We will eventually be edging out into other markets," Chovit said. "For example the jan/san market of janitorial and sanitation workers is something that these products would appeal to, while that industry would not be able to use our pig product line."


The catalog, designed in house, employs the brand of humor associated with New Pig but lays it out with a slightly different flavor.


Rather than the flagship catalog's cartoon pigs popping up sporadically to point out product features, the products are described in regular copy with occasional pig puns.


To visually maintain the motif, the piglet displayed on the cover also appears throughout the book offering words of pig wisdom, such as "Don't squeal on your friends" and "Always stretch your hamstrings before you exercise." The piglet's snout appears at the top of each page, and faded hoof marks are occasionally visible in the background behind copy. To keep the association with its parent, the new catalog retains the New Pig name on its masthead.


"It has a different look from the pig-a-log, but it's clearly from the same company," Chovit said. "We didn't want to remove it from the New Pig name, but we wanted to make a different, distinct brand identity."


And just as the pig-a-log gives away hats and T-shirts with purchases, the new catalog also offers humorous freebies. A T-shirt, a fart detector (that was actually found to have certain gas-detecting capabilities when tested in a lab) and, of course, a piggy bank are given as part of different purchase offers.


The company has followed up the February mailing with a March advertising campaign in trade journals such as Occupational Health and Safety, and Industrial Safety and Hygiene News. The ads, designed by Interline Creative Group Inc., Palatine, IL, and created jointly by the agency and New Pig, are three pages long.


The first page of the ad shows foot prints accompanied by the line, "This is not Hoofmark …" and is followed by a similar ad on the second page showing paw prints. The third page, with piglet hoof marks running across the top, proclaims "... This is Hoofmark!" and displays a range of the company's products along with a toll-free number for ordering the catalog.


As it did with its pig-a-log, the company will follow the catalog mailing with a newsletter that will discuss workplace safety and regulatory issues and what products would best address them. If the company sticks to its tentative mailing schedule, a second issue will drop in June and a third in October.


In the coming months, the company will monitor the new catalog not only by studying response rates but by conducting brand-recognition surveys of the new line.
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