COVINGTON, La. – Retired Louisiana pharmacist George Boudreaux hasn’t needed Madison Avenue pitchmen to get the word out about his concoction to treat diaper rash. He just lets the name do it for him.
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
“Would you be talking to me if it was called George’s Diaper Cream?” Boudreaux recently asked a reporter.
And a paste with any other name probably wouldn’t have gotten attention from Oprah Winfrey, ESPN and Jay Leno.
It certainly wouldn’t have created waves in auto-racing circles, as Butt Paste has managed to do with its logo – a grinning baby covered by a blanket – adorning the car of NASCAR driver Kim Crosby with the product’s full name across the rear bumper.
Boudreaux has a serious product – marketing techniques aside – in a diaper-rash ointment that he began mixing in his Covington pharmacy in the 1970s, much to the delight of mothers who came from as far as New Orleans to buy it.
The product went nameless for several years until a woman took her baby, who had a bad diaper rash, to see Covington pediatrician Buddy Terral. Terral, the story goes, offered to write her a prescription.
“She said she was going down to George Boudreaux’s store to have him whip up some of that butt paste,” Boudreaux said.
The name stuck.
After selling his pharmacy in 1994, Boudreaux began marketing his product widely, with manufacturing in Alabama. In July 2003, with major buyers lining up for Butt Paste, manufacturing was switched to New Orleans.
Butt Paste is stocked nationwide by Wal-Mart and Target stores, and Walgreen’s will be adding the product this summer, Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux’s privately held company – Boudreaux’s Family Pharmacy d b a Boudreaux’s Butt Paste – has only three employees, the inventor included. The company made just under $2 million in sales last year and projects $4.5 million to $5 million this year, all with a product ranging in price from $3.99 for a 1-ounce tub to $24.99 for a 1-pound jar.
“My goal over the next three years is to do $12 million to $15 million,” he said.
What’s the secret?
Boudreaux says he’s using a variation of several formulas for diaper rash he learned as a pharmacy student, along with a dose of Peruvian balsam that he believes speeds up healing.
The product also is being marketed as a salve for other woes including chapped lips and skin, heat rashes and jock itch.
Over the long haul, Boudreaux says, the product will prove itself to buyers no matter what it’s called.
“We have something that is very cost-effective and works very well,” Boudreaux said. But there aren’t any plans to change the name.
“It’s instant name recognition,” race driver Crosby said. “How can you forget the name Butt Paste?”
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