NEW YORK (AP) — Nothing sells wipes like rock 'n roll.

Tampon maker Playtex has hired an unexpected spokesman for its new "Fresh and Sexy" intimate wipes: Rocker Andrew W.K.

The wipes, introduced in February, are designed for both men and women to use before and after sexual activity. They're the latest in a wave of items created by consumer product makers trying to expand feminine care brands into new categories

Battery maker Energizer Holdings Inc., which owns Playtex, has already attached the brand to consumer products from baby bottles to household gloves. But it's still mostly known as a tampon brand.

Hiring Andrew W.K. — a long-haired rocker known for songs with titles like "Party Hard" from his breakout 2001 album "I Get Wet" — to promote the brand is one way to push the message that the wipes are for both men and women. He kicked off his duties hosting a "Fresh and Sexy"-themed party at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, on Saturday.

"We wanted to be fun and playful and bold all at the same time," says Elaine McCormick, creative director at Grey New York, which helped create the accompanying ad campaign.

The product hit store shelves on Valentine's Day and sells for $5.99 to $7.99.

Energizer and other disposable battery makers are facing a decline in demand with more reusable, cost-effective products on the market. To offset this, Energizer is cutting jobs and spending.

In its personal care division, Energizer plans to drive growth by rolling out new products throughout 2013. These include razors, such as the disposable Schick Hydro 5, and the Playtex Gentle Glide 360 tampon.

Energizer is not the only consumer product maker that has built on its feminine care brands. Kimberly-Clark in July expanded its Poise brand, which formerly only included incontinence pads for women, into a line of menopause products.

Shares of St. Louis-based Energizer rose 74 cents to $95.12 in midday trading.

 

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