NEW YORK — July's Playboy Playmate is not the only bunny in the spotlight this month. Sharing the limelight will be Playboy's 50-year-old iconic logo, packaged on the company's first cosmetics line — Playboy Beauty, which will launch July 15 on beauty.com and at the Playboy Concept Boutique in Las Vegas.
"We tried to incorporate the icon that has withstood the test of time," said Kirk Summers, president and chief executive officer of High Maintenance, the licensing firm in charge of Playboy Beauty. "We used the Playboy bunny head throughout all of our packaging, more so than the actual word Playboy, to play up the iconic symbol."
Aaron Duncan, creative director and senior vice president for Playboy Enterprises Inc., said, "The rabbit head is a stronger [choice] than the word [Playboy] because our consumers for licensing are females, and they think it is a cute, sexy symbol."
The bunny will adorn the packaging of 94 products that range from a complete line of makeup to body balm, with sporty names such as "Centerfold Red" and "Pin-Up Pink" that commemorate the Sixties bunnies, as well as "Are Those Real?" and "Between the Sheets," relevant to a more contemporary audience.
"Without being too aggressive and too offensive, we tried to bring in more of the Playboy-styled names, such as drinks served in the mansion in the Seventies," Summers added, referring to Playboy Beauty's Liquid Luxe Lipstick line, with colors such as "Bikini Martini" and "Amaretto Tease." Items in the Playboy Beauty line will range in price from $12.50 to $36.
The new venture originated from a partnership with MAC cosmetics in 2003 that launched a limited-edition makeup set, including a glitter body cream and lipstick, for Playboy's 50th anniversary. The products sold out in five days, Summers said. As a result, Playboy Enterprises decided to "jump into [the beauty] category," he added.
Since the company already has the brand recognition, Summers said, "a lot of time was spent working on the packaging," adding that $1.5 million was spent on customized tooling, product development and the initial run for North American distribution.According to High Maintenance, sales for Playboy Beauty are expected reach $3 million by yearend, with a marketing plan targeted to what Duncan calls "the new Playboy: sexy, young, cool girls."
The colors in the upcoming line will highlight a new pink color that will be customary for every season, Duncan said. Playboy Enterprises and High Maintenance have also selected a "midnight, deep boudoir navy" and a "white gold that reflects the rich, glamorous, youthful feeling" of this particular line.
Subsequent to the launch, Playboy Enterprises Inc. has made plans for outdoor advertising with a billboard in Las Vegas of models showcasing the Playboy Beauty line.
In following seasons, High Maintenance and Playboy Enterprises plan to expand the line with two major color launches and three holiday sets per year, and move into European markets.
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