NEW YORK — Olay Total Effects is getting a nighttime partner.This month, Procter & Gamble will begin shipping Olay Total Effects Night Firming Cream. The product, featuring a more concentrated dose of VitaNiacin, the exclusive ingredient found in Total Effects day cream, is said to firm skin and fight the signs of aging on the face and neck "while you sleep." The night cream also introduces hydrolyzed wheat protein, which is combined with VitaNiacin to improve the moisture barrier of the skin. The wheat protein is credited with helping retain moisture as well as creating a seal that penetrates wrinkles and superficial hollows for smoother skin.The evening complement to the popular day cream was almost three years in the making. Olay Total Effects day cream hit U.S. stores in June of 2000, but had previously tested in the U.K. for several months. Michael Kuremsky, Olay marketing director, said Olay took its time in designing the night product. "It had to take night creams to the next level," he said. Olay Total Effects quickly became a top seller among mass-market antiage creams when launched, and sales have continued to grow. "Repeat sales rates are very strong," noted Kuremsky. He added that the trial rate for Total Effects "nearly doubled" in its second year.Marketing plans for Night Firming will target Total Effects day cream users and also try to convert shoppers of prestige skin care brands. For Total Effects day cream, P&G has advertised claims that it outperforms some top-selling department store brands. Ads for Night Firming are likely to use a similar theme.Prior to the debut in-store, the night cream was made available to consumers via the Olay Web site. The suggested retail price of the night cream is $19.99 for a 1.7-oz. jar.The marketing plan includes TV and print advertising, which breaks in September, and sampling via the Internet, at retail and direct-to-consumer. There will also be a major in-store component with shelf signage. Kuremsky said there will also be more cross-selling among the Olay brand, such as on-package sampling. Although Olay executives declined to comment, sources expected first-year retail sales of $20 million.

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