Brasso Adds Polish to Brand, E-Gadgets


Brasso metal polish, the venerable 105 year-old brand, is keeping up with the iPod generation.

Parent company Reckitt Benckiser is relaunching its Brasso brand by targeting owners of digital devices such as MP3 players and e-readers.

Previously marketing to tradesman and professionals, the Brasso Gadget Care formula debuts in November with an underlying message that it’s safe to use on iPods, laptop computers and mobile phones.[more]

It’s also brandishing a smarter look in keeping with its contemporary application. Brasso polish originated in Britain in 1905 and quickly gained popularity, with the distinctive metal tins becoming a collector’s item as a sign of classic British ad design. The iconic “sunburst” has changed only once in the past century.

The original product, a simple brass polishing powder and soap jelly dispersed in white spirit, also remained unchanged until 2008, when the current US version was reformulated to comply with federal volatile organic compounds laws. In tandem with the formula tweak, a plastic bottle replaced the tin in America.

Brasso is already used to polish out scratches in plastics including CDs, DVDs, screens, and pools, even Lego minifigures, to remove scratches. It can also removes in the acrylic crystal cases on watches and is widely used by US Armed Forces personnel to remove scratches from brass fittings – particularly belt buckles. (Remember An Officer and a Gentleman?)

So the Gadget Care product was a logical product extension, and (interestingly) the idea of a first-year graduate marketer at Reckitt Benckiser, according to Brand Republic. Stefan Gaa, marketing director, says this is indicative of the “non-hierarchical” structure of the company.

A brassy move for an old brand, learning new tricks and vying to keep up with the Jones … and the iJones.