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Gutsy Marketing

Metamucil Wants to Appeal to Younger Crowd

— March 24, 2007 — Unique
The company behind Metamucil, the stool softener, is looking to reach a younger audience than its usual 50+ crowd. Through new marketing techniques, they are trying to make Metamucil look like a beauty aid and a must have items for cleaner, fresher intestines.

Marketing experts have been putting a lot of focus on the bowels and intestinal health for some time now, launching products with probiotics meant to enhance your intestinal flora, and as a result, promote more regularity. Companies like Danone had models dance around happily after consuming Activia yogurt encouraging consumers to go out and buy the product to achieve similar feelings of euphoria. Metamucil has also hired attractive models to spread its messages.

Metamucil is using the slogan "beautify your inside" to shift negative associations from the laxative and market the product using a little more sex appeal. With the help of new pink packaging, Procter & Gamble is looking to promote its "colon cosmetic" to be used in conjunction with a "diva-conscious diet."

People feel a lot more at ease speaking about their bowel movements. A slew of products meant to regulate digestion have been marketed in recent years from probiotics to Peptobismal. It was only a matter of time before laxatives would be considered sexy.

Nothing without controversy though. Media critic Carrie McLaren of Stay Free magazine is worried that the new adds will spark an increased number of eating disorders in young women. Using laxatives as a form of purging after a meal could drive an increasing number of girls to participate in bulimic practices she says.

Most people who use laxatives are over 65. The new ads are looking to target beauty and health-conscious women in their mid-30s.