Coca-Cola, Reckitt Benckiser, Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble are among the major brands that expect to be spending more this year on marketing. Encouraged by reception of the Magnum ice cream bars, Unilever is investing in social media and mobile marketing and is expected to top its overall $6.6 billion media spend from last year. PepsiCo says it will spend $500 million to $600 million more on brands such as Pepsi, Tropicana and Gatorade.
One new product that Unilever has begun to introduce in the United States is a brand named Simple, a skin-care line that is already sold in countries like Australia and Britain. A campaign now under way promotes Simple products as “sensitive skin experts.”
Procter & Gamble, a principal competitor of Unilever’s, started last week what it described as the “intrigue phase,” or teasers, for its introduction of Tide Pods, a one-step laundry tablet that will be promoted with a marketing budget estimated at $150 million for the first year. The “reveal phase” is to begin on Sunday, with a commercial for Tide Pods during the ABC broadcast of the 84th Academy Awards.
The growth in ad spending is “a trend we started seeing about a year ago, when the economy started coming out of its deep recession,” Mr. Steinlauf said, and “I don’t think there’s any turning back.”