NEW YORK — Britney Spears has gone from being Curious to having a Fantasy — and Elizabeth Arden executives hope that her fans will make the leap along with her.
The pop princess' sophomore fragrance, Fantasy Britney Spears, will hit U.S. department store counters in September, and will be bolstered with advertising not only for Fantasy, but also with a new round of promotion for her initial effort, the best-selling Curious Britney Spears.
Curious is said to have done $30 million at retail in its first three months on counter, and Elizabeth Arden, Spears' fragrance licensee, clearly has similar hopes for Fantasy. Arden chairman and chief executive officer E. Scott Beattie declined to comment on numbers, simply saying that he wants a number-one ranking for Fantasy and plans to make every effort to keep Curious in the top 10. A number-one ranking for Fantasy would put it in the $30 million at retail range for the fall season, and to stay in the top 10, Curious will need to maintain retail sales of at least $30 million for the year.
One way the brand will do that, noted Tamara Steele, senior vice president of marketing, fragrance for Elizabeth Arden, is to strongly differentiate the personality differences between the brands — and to spend heavily against both, running TV and print for both scents. None of the executives would comment on that budget, although it is said to be upward of $15 million between the two.
"Our aim with Fantasy is to capture Britney in a new phase of her life," said Steele. "Curious was about taking chances, being rebellious, bold and young. Fantasy is more romantic and sexy. Now that Britney is married and starting a family, it's time for a more seductive, elusive fragrance. We're developing brand concepts that resonate with consumers."
The Fantasy juice, developed by Ann Gottlieb and Givaudan, has top notes of red lychee, golden quince and exotic kiwi; a heart of cupcake accord, jasmine petals and white chocolate orchid, and a drydown of creamy musk, orris root and sensual woods.
Its bottle, designed by Jean Antretter, is a fuchsia orb studded with pale green Swarovski crystals, with a neck of interlocking rings meant to symbolize the pursuit of everlasting love and a cap of transparent fuchsia.Fantasy will be available in 1,800 U.S. department store doors in September. The target market for the scent is 18- to 30-year-olds, although Steele is quick to point out that the brand has fans "well into their 30s."
The Fantasy collection will consist of eaux de parfum in two sizes, 1.7 oz. for $45 and 3.3 oz. for $55. Ancillaries, available in October, are a 6.8-oz. Body Souffle, $25, and ColorKit, a limited-edition color cosmetics palette that will retail for $25.
TV ads for Fantasy will break first at launch, run for five weeks and return for the holiday selling season, said Steele. In between TV flights, the company will run print advertising, which will break in November fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines.
In addition to what he terms "traditional venues," Beattie is turning back to one of the strategies that he feels was a key element in the blockbuster success of Curious: a viral Internet campaign. "What resonated with us, both for Curious and now for Fantasy, is that you can't just reach this demographic in a traditional way, because they're not shopping in the same ways that consumers have in the past, and they're not reading the same media as the traditional fragrance consumer."
Instead, said Beattie, this age group lives on the Internet and text-messages constantly, and for the launch of Curious, both strategies were employed. Beattie said that similar strategies are planned for the launch of Fantasy, although he declined to offer specifics, citing competitive concerns.
When Curious launched, Arden previewed the TV ad on its Web site. Curious consumers "crashed our server three times, they were so anxious to see what was going on," said Ron Rolleston, executive vice president of global marketing for Elizabeth Arden, who said that the campaign was being downloaded 500,000 times a day during that period.
"We reached millions of people that way, and created a pent-up demand," said Beattie, who plans to repeat the strategy with the new launch. "The great thing is that the Internet strategy complements the traditional advertising vehicles. It's a much more effective way to leverage the ad spend, and the two reinforce each other."Going forward, said Beattie, "Our objective is to build a family of products, an entire beauty franchise around Britney Spears." While the deal that Arden signed with Spears allows for the possibility of separate color cosmetics and skin care lines, Beattie noted that neither is imminent.
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