By  on January 28, 2005

NEW YORK — Among the new crop of celebrity hairstylists surfacing in the mass market, Marc Anthony is one of the scarce few to nab national distribution for his namesake hair care collection, Marc Anthony True Professional. His peers, namely Ken Pavés and Cristophe, have made inroads into drugstores by signing exclusive distribution deals with Walgreens and CVS, respectively.

Marc Anthony True Professional’s national retail penetration across 26,000 doors makes the timing right to launch a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, said Anthony, a Toronto-based hairstylist who founded Marc Anthony True Professional.

The advertising campaign, which kicks off in April beauty books, is big on introductions. It gives consumers a glimpse of the line’s founder — a glamour shot of Anthony appears in each ad — introduces a new product called Moisture Gloss Color Extender and unveils new packaging.

To introduce himself to Middle America, where celebrity hairstylists are not household names, Anthony will launch a series of at least 12 print ads for the line to build consumer awareness. To make his name even more familiar, Anthony’s photo will appear on each bottle and product package, along with the company Web address, where consumers can view three-minute hair demonstrations by Anthony.

To tighten ties to the Hollywood crowd, Anthony and his team have signed on as the official hair sponsor of Red Carpet ’05, a weeklong series of fashion and beauty events leading up to the 77th Annual Academy Awards, to be held Feb. 27.

Along with Anthony, the print ads will spotlight Moisture Gloss Color Extender, billed as the line’s star product. The ads, shot in black and white, are designed to promote the gloss as the necessary third step, after shampoo and conditioner. All product formulas have been updated to include the gloss, a mixture of water-soluble silicones that is said to seep into the hair cortex to seal in color and create shine. Moisture Gloss will bow this spring for a suggested retail price of $9.99, two dollars more than the other Marc Anthony True Professional item prices of $7.99 each.

Additional new products slated for spring include Be Brunette, a collection of hair care products designed for natural or color-treated brown hair. Marc Anthony True Professional also will add a 60-Second Mask to each of the seven collections in the line, namely Simply Straight, Strictly Curls, Instantly Thick, Forever Long, Rich Reds, Brilliant Blondes and Be Brunette.The company will unveil the brand’s new look for spring hair care planograms. Collections are still organized by color, but the original packaging has been replaced with sleek, rectangular-shaped bottles. The Marc Anthony True Professional logo has been moved from the bottom of the label to the top, and a detailed product benefit description has been placed on the front of the bottle.

With a $10 million marketing campaign in place, the company is gearing up for brisk sales growth. Anthony said he expects current sales of $30 million to reach $55 million by the end of 2005.

After working to build drugstore accounts over 2004, the company recently broadened its distribution reach to include Target and Ulta.

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