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NEW YORK — Coty Beauty has signed Texas-born actor Matthew McConaughey as the new spokesman for Stetson, injecting a hefty dose of celebrity into another one of its beauty brands.
Coty will leverage McConaughey’s brawn to build muscle behind the Stetson fragrance franchise for the pivotal holiday season, which typically accounts for 60 percent of mass fragrances purchases.
The multiyear deal marks the latest move by Coty to align its brands with players in the entertainment industry. While the company has had great success turning celebrities’ names — most notably Celine Dion — into brand names, Coty is also looking to harness star power by recruiting celebrity spokespersons, John Galantic, president of Coty Beauty U.S. explained earlier this fall.
“What we’ve found with Celine is that celebrities are emotional icons,” said Marsha Brooks, vice president of new business development for Coty Beauty U.S. Brooks added that McConaughey, who wore his own vintage Wranglers and silver horseshoe necklace for the advertising photo shoot, “embodies a simple, down-to-earth cowboy.”
His Southern drawl and rugged good looks make him a perfect match for a fragrance that seeks to capture the “lifestyle of the modern man with the soul of the American cowboy,” noted Stephen Brodeck, Coty Beauty U.S. group marketing director. “We did a lot of consumer testing to make sure Matthew was the right fit.”
Stetson will spend $10 million in advertising to introduce its spokesman to consumers, a figure that does not include McConaughey’s take. The goal of the campaign is to update Stetson’s brand positioning, giving it a more modern feel while retaining its macho, cowboy heritage. In Coty’s view, McConaughey captures “the spirit of Stetson, while elevating the brand with a cooler, more relevant image.”
Print ads featuring McConaughey will break in November, followed by TV spots at Thanksgiving. Given that women purchase 65 percent to 70 percent of men’s mass-market fragrances, Coty is funneling 60 percent of the print ads to women’s magazines.
The company recruited feature film director Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu of “21 Grams” fame to direct the television ads, which were shot entirely in black and white.
This story first appeared in the October 22, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This spring, Coty will circle the wagons around its leadership position in the category with the launch of a flanker fragrance, one intended to be used for more formal occasions. It will also be supported by McConaughey.
The 23-year-old brand got some new blood last fall with the launch of Stetson Untamed, a younger, edgier version that targets men ages 20 to 30, a few years shy of the traditional Stetson user. Since its launch just over a year ago, industry sources estimate it’s generated between $14 million and $18 million in sales.
Next fall, the company intends to widen the Stetson portfolio with the launch of a new female fragrance. The fragrance, which comes 18 years after the introduction of Lady Stetson, will likely be supported by a celebrity spokesperson, as well. Brodeck said that while the men’s portfolio will stick to fragrances for the time being, the introduction of the new women’s scent may warrant a move into ancillary categories such as bath and body.
The first Stetson was introduced in 1981 and is still the best-selling men’s mass-market fragrance with an estimated market share of 8 percent. “This campaign shows Coty is a company that invests in its brands — even a brand that is 23 years old,” said Brooks.
As it has done with the Celine Dion’s two fragrances — supported with ad visuals of Dion on a swing, Coty will use one consistent image for Stetson across all marketing channels — McConaughey parked on a wooden fence.