By  on July 27, 2007

While men are glued to their computers playing fantasy football this fall, Mark is giving women their own fantasy league. Avon's Mark brand has teamed up with the Fantasy Fashion League to create a beauty edition game. Mark also plans to introduce a customizable Little Black Box compact along with expanding its palette shades for concealers and foundations.

In order to capitalize on the online gaming trend, Mark has entered into a strategic partnership with the two-year-old Fantasy Fashion League, which features 20,000 registered users.

"Mark is about a lifestyle brand, and our consumers live and breathe online," said Claudia Poccia, president of Avon U.S. Beauty and global president of Mark. Consumers can log on to Mark's Web site to join the league. The site also offers women advice on how to create certain celebrities' looks and allows them to purchase Mark products.

Although the first 10-week-long competition began a month ago, the start of next season is set to coincide with September's fashion week, followed by "red carpet" competition early next year.

"We've seen that 51 percent of our demographic is into the Fantasy Fashion League and other online gaming events," said Poccia.

In November, Mark will launch its Little Black Box, which will feature Italian-baked shimmer bars and cubes designed for the face, cheeks and eyes.

"It's the next generation of mix-it-ups and make it your own for Mark," said Poccia. "It was really important for us to include this customizable aspect as well as creating an allover product."

With six rectangle shades and six square shades, the bars are designed for all skin tones. To change shades, customers can slide the blocks into the compact and lock them down in place. While both the Little Black and Shimmer Bars retail for $6, the Shimmer Cubes will be sold for $5.

"This idea was inspired by Lego sets, and each compact was built on tracks so you can slide them in and out," said Gail Boye, Mark's vice president of product development.

To help Mark customers attain a more flawless look, the company is broadening its shade palette by making all eight of its face coverage products available in eight shades including ivory, nude, honey, golden, almond and mocha. Company research showed that Mark consumers wanted the brand to offer one universal palette, rather than carry only certain items in select shades. According to Poccia, Mark worked with celebrity makeup artist Jillian Dempsey, who created her own collection with Avon in August, to identify key shade ranges.Although the company does not disclose sales projections, industry sources estimate that Mark's Little Black Box collection along with the new shade ranges for the face will generate between $3 million and $5 million within first-year retail sales.

Mark is also working with its spokesperson, reality TV star Lauren Conrad, to develop an exclusive line of accessories and jewelry, scheduled to be unveiled early next year. The company has plans to launch a separate site, which Mark executives refer to as a 'virtual boutique' for this initiative, which will link to Mark's home page. Conrad will be featured in the first Hook Up print advertisements, scheduled to break in September and October books along with other digital initiatives.

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