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NEW YORK — Coty Beauty is out to show Celine Dion is more than a one-hit wonder in the fragrance department.
Later this year, the pair will launch an encore scent called Belong, which aims to duplicate the rousing success of Celine Dion Parfums and its flanker scent, Celine Dion Notes.
The house of Celine Dion — as Coty executives refer to the celebrity’s growing fragrance portfolio — already has amassed global retail sales close to $100 million. The addition of Belong is expected to bump retail sales across the franchise to $120 million. Industry sources estimate celebrities earn 3 to 5 percent in royalties, meaning Dion could take home $3.6 million to $6 million, not including any signing bonus she may have received.
The singer’s sophomore effort, which hinges on the tag line “Belong to the moment,” is designed to reveal the candid, offstage personality of Dion.
“This fragrance is about celebrating life,” professes the performer in a mood video that will be shown in some retailer accounts. “Let the world see the real you and always belong to the moment. It’s about a women’s inner beauty, her confidence, her passion, and her sensuality. It’s the way I like to feel about myself.”
The ‘real Celine’ concept was crafted to broaden the celebrity’s appeal to a more youthful demographic — women 30 years old. Like her music, her original scents resonated overwhelmingly with women in their mid- to late-30s.
“We tried to make the concept more fresh and vibrant, and, therefore, a bit younger,” commented Eric Thoreux, president of Coty Beauty Americas. “The new fragrance reflects where Celine is right now in her life.”
In Coty’s view, Dion’s dynamism is what will expand the franchise. “We are going to evolve this fragrance business as Celine evolves, and whatever path she takes with her career and her life, we’ll see as a potential opportunity,” said Marsha Brooks, vice president of new business development for Coty Beauty.
Coty has leveraged the star persona of Dion for Celine Dion Parfums, the more romantic side of her for Notes and now her candid demeanor for Belong. Thoreux also noted Celine’s role as a doting mother and her status as an empowered woman, who balances career and family, as potential fragrance concepts to explore in the future.
This story first appeared in the January 28, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Belong, created by perfumer Christophe Raynaud, is described as a “refined and joyful” scent. Key notes are a unique “Joie de Vivre” composition that includes red pepper berries, bergamot and pineapple. Middle notes contain sherry baby orchid, crystal peony and cotton flower. The base relies on hinoki wood, which is used to build Buddhist temples in Asia.
This spring, the fragrance will be available in midtier and specialty stores, such as J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Sears, Roebuck & Co., Kohl’s Corp. and Ulta, in a 0.5-oz. bottle for $20, a 1.7-oz. bottle for $35 and a 3.4-oz version for $48. For the mass rollout, Coty will swap the 3.4-oz. version for an exclusive 1-oz. bottle. Belong will also include two ancillary products, a shimmer powder in a puff for $16 and a body lotion for $12.50.
Belong is housed in a pentagon-shaped glass bottle with an engraved silver collar topped with a floating, silver cap. The outer carton is lavender with accents of white and orange.
Coty will introduce this softer side of Dion through a black-and-white print campaign photographed by Peter Lindbergh. The single-page ads — 24 million of which will contain scent strips — will break in May beauty and lifestyle books. In a marked departure from the Celine Dion Parfums ad — where she sits on a swing perched above a mystery city — the Belong imagery captures her in a moment of candid laughter, sitting lazily on a director’s chair against the backdrop of an old-fashioned movie set. The fragrance name and tag line, Belong and “Belong to the moment,” will appear in lavender font across the image. “The black-and-white photos play into the whole documentary style we wanted to portray of the real Celine,” said Brooks. While a plan for television advertising has not been confirmed, Coty will send e-mails to Dion’s fragrance users registered at celinedionbeauty.com.
Coty will use the ad imagery for its in-store execution, creating banners of the ad on one side and the Belong’s bottle against a lavender background on the other. As it did with the launch of Celine Dion Parfums in 2003, Coty plans to blanket its retail accounts with point-of-sale materials, which range from tester units to pentagon cubes for countertop displays.
Coty has also piggybacked off the performer’s Las Vegas act at The Coliseum — constructed by Caesars Palace specifically for Dion. Her fragrances are the highest-grossing sales items in the dedicated Celine Dion boutique there, and interactive scent machines pump her scent through the lobby of Caesars.
“We broke new ground for a mass market launch with the original fragrance, and it worked,” said Charlotte Magee, director of marketing, global fragrances for Coty Beauty. “So we plan on doing it again.”
Like the previous Dion fragrances, Coty has a staggered launch strategy, bowing in midtier department stores and in Europe April 1, and in the mass channel six months later.
Coty’s global consumer research, which spawned the Belong concept, revealed that 82 percent of those who tested the fragrance reported they liked or loved the scent, and nearly 80 percent reported they would probably or definitely buy the fragrance.
“As we launch Belong, we will continue to advertise the classic Celine fragrances,” noted Thoreux. “The object is to protect the existing success so that Belong is mostly incremental business.” When choosing celebrity partners, Thoreux said the company looks at their abilities to create emotional connections through the aspects of their careers and personalities. “The more multifaceted a celebrity is, the more we feel good about the ability to create a successful business.”