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NEW YORK — Now that Lab Series has talked men into using skin care, here comes the real test: night cream.
This story first appeared in the November 22, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The brand, a division of Aramis, will launch Night Rescue Skin Revitalizing Therapy, an oil-free, nighttime moisturizer for men, in April. It will replace the existing Sharp Shooter, which had bowed in 1996 as the first Lab Series night cream. Night Rescue uses updated technology, noted executives.
In February, Lab Series will also release a limited-distribution product, Ab Rescue, its first abdominal sculpting gel. Both products will be released in all Lab Series global markets simultaneously.
“Our positioning for this brand has always been cutting-edge technology, and we believe we’re delivering that with our newest introductions,” said John Karp, president of Aramis and Designer Fragrances. “These are not women’s products simply tweaked a bit for men’s skin.”
“Men’s skin is physiologically different, and these products take that fact into account,” added Matt Teri, vice president of corporate product development worldwide for Aramis and Designer Fragrances.
The Lab Series for Men lineup was introduced by the now 38-year-old Aramis brand in 1987. Today, Lab Series includes more than 26 stockkeeping units of men’s skin care products, including cleansers, shave products and treatment items. The brand is now available in upward of 60 markets across the world, noted Karp. The total men’s skin care market — both mass and class, but excluding razors — currently generates about $80 million yearly in the U.S. and about $500 million globally on a yearly basis, said Mary John Baumann, executive director of global marketing for Aramis and Designer Fragrances.
“With Night Rescue, we wanted to create a blanket of moisture for the skin,” said Teri. “We’re also aiming to provide the best protection we can for the skin — not just at night, but with effects that last throughout the next day as well.”
Teri noted that key ingredients in Night Rescue are biofermented red grape extract, which is said to help protect the skin from environmental damage; vitamins C and E to provide antioxidant effects and micronutrient-activated spring water and botanicals to hydrate skin. For Ab Rescue, key ingredients include creatine and caffeine, both said to increase cell energy, even when applied topically. The brand is targeting baby boomers — 35-plus male consumers — with Night Rescue, and those in their 20s with Ab Rescue.
Night Rescue will retail for $30 for 1.7 ounces, while Ab Rescue will retail for $30 for 6.7 ounces, on par with the other sku’s in the range, which vary from $11 to $37.50, with many in the mid-$20 range. Night Rescue will be available in Lab Series’ full 1,700 department and specialty store lineup in the U.S., while Ab Rescue will be in about 200 to 400 urban U.S. department and specialty store doors, said Carol Russo, vice president of sales and marketing for Aramis and Designer Fragrances. Both products will also launch globally at the same time that they are launching in the U.S.
While none of the executives would comment on projected first-year sales, industry sources estimated that together the two products would do about $3 million at retail in the U.S. and close to $10 million at retail globally.
Industry sources also estimated that the brand would spend upward of $1 million on advertising and promotion in the U.S. in the products’ first year on counter.
Advertising will break in March men’s books, including Men’s Health and GQ, for Ab Rescue, and in May books for Night Rescue. Separate ads for both products will be featured. The brand is also planning an extensive sampling campaign for Night Rescue, with more than one million samples planned. The brand is also working with the Sports Club/LA to promote both products.