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Revlon’s Second Skin

New York — Revlon finds older women very attractive. So much so that the beauty company is trying to woo mature women with the introduction of a face makeup collection called Age Defying with Botafirm, designed to reduce wrinkles in two weeks...

Select offerings from Revlon’s new face makeup collection, Age Defying with Botafirm, slated to debut in January.

Select offerings from Revlon’s new face makeup collection, Age Defying with Botafirm, slated to debut in January.

George Chinsee

New York — Revlon finds older women very attractive. So much so that the beauty company is trying to woo mature women with the introduction of a face makeup collection called Age Defying with Botafirm, designed to reduce wrinkles in two weeks flat.

Fortunately for Revlon, the marketplace is teeming with older women — “Every eight seconds someone turns 50,” noted Rochelle Udell, executive vice president and chief creative officer for Revlon.

The brand professes that women at any age can be beautiful. To create this collection, Revlon gave its 10-year-old Age Defying line a facelift, repackaging and reformulating the face products to fortify the line’s place in the antiaging category.

“When Age Defying came out 10 years ago, it revolutionized the [face makeup] category, because it was the first antiaging foundation in the marketplace. We felt it was time to re-create it,” said Stephanie Klein Peponis, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Revlon.

Revlon is quick to point out that Age Defying still occupies the No. 1 spot in the antiaging face makeup category within the mass retail channel. The revamped line will debut in January.

What separates the new generation of Age Defying from the earlier version, and also from competitors’ offerings, is its bold claim: to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by up to 50 percent within two weeks, according to clinical tests. Botafirm, the ingredient responsible for this feat, is a complex of botanicals and hexapeptides said to work with the skin’s naturally occurring proteins to fight the formation of lines and wrinkles.

Revlon plans to trumpet Age Defying’s impressive claim everywhere — at the beauty wall, and through a media blitz featuring celebrity spokeswomen Julianne Moore and Susan Sarandon, who celebrated her 58th birthday on Monday.

“Revlon is an ageless brand, and we wanted to represent that to our consumer,” said Peponis, speaking on the selection of newly signed Sarandon. Peponis added that having Sarandon and Moore, along with the collection, “is an incredible one-two punch, in terms of creating excitement and relevance for a consumer who has felt somewhat underserved in the market.”

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Age Defying with Botafirm also takes a novel approach to antiaging by creating two formulations, for different age groups: an oil-free formula with SPF 20 for women 35 to 49 years old who are still prone to breakouts, and a hydrating formula for women over 50 with dry skin. The dry skin formula with SPF 15 claims to boost skin’s moisture content by 40 percent. Both the normal/combination skin formula and the dry skin formula, both available in 12 shades, will sell at a suggested retail price of $13.99, a premium point in the mass retail channel.

In response to in-house research that showed mature women want lighter coverage — one that doesn’t settle into lines and wrinkles — Revlon will introduce Age Defying Light Makeup with Botafirm for Every Skin, a sweatproof formula for active types and for women who prefer a healthy glow rather than a heavily made-up look. The light formula will be available in six shades for a suggested retail price of $12.99.

Revlon has also restaged its existing offering of Age Defying concealers and powders, formulating them with Botafirm, and outfitting the entire collection — 44 stockkeeping units — in new red packaging with a prestige aesthetic. Udell, showing the line’s current, soon-to-be retired black packaging, explained, “Age Defying has been fairly consistent, slightly evolving over time.” Pointing to the revamped collection in red, she added, “We wanted to give the new collection something special and have it stand on the beauty wall distinctly as its own franchise. It’s easy to find. It pops and it looks good.”

When asked if, in its quest to own the antiaging category along the cosmetics wall, Revlon will extend Age Defying to skin care, Peponis commented, “We are going after the antiaging category through cosmetics — that’s our heritage, it’s our place to own, where we can best serve our customer.” She added, “Age Defying hits that sweet spot between the benefits of skin care and the beauty of cosmetics.”

For retailers, particularly chain drugstores, Age Defying speaks to their target consumer: female Baby Boomers.

“We’ve made a huge commitment to Age Defying through new product, packaging and advertising,” said Peponis.

Industry sources project that the Age Defying with Botafirm collection will generate approximately $80 to $100 million at retail in its first year.

Revlon will launch a dedicated advertising campaign for Age Defying with Botafirm in mid-January, several weeks ahead of marketing support for its 2005 product launches. The beauty brand will kick off the effort with 30-second television spots featuring Sarandon and Moore, appearing together. The pair will also appear in spreads and single-page print ads in February beauty books, which will hit newsstands in January. Revlon also will run dedicated print ads featuring Sarandon and Age Defying Light Makeup.

Like the cinematic Bellissimo campaign that debuted in April, Revlon’s 2005 effort will rely on storytelling but will call out product benefits, which are virtually unheralded in this year’s campaign, much more loudly. What’s more, the company will flip the switch on its advertising three months earlier than last year to be in sync with what’s happening in-store and to drive category growth earlier in the year for retailers, noted John Collier, Revlon vice president of customer marketing, North America. “Every single retailer customer is ranking Age Defying as a priority,” said Collier, adding that retailers intend to merchandise the collection in premiere display locations and call attention to it in their circulars.

To help retailers prep their cosmetics wall for the onslaught of new products, Revlon will accept all old merchandise.

In the last two years, mass beauty players have bolstered sales growth in the face makeup category by unleashing a slew of introductions, from delivery systems to formulations. Revlon’s sister brand Almay got attention for its touch-pad foundation Nearly Naked and its blemish-fighting Clear Complexion; Sally Hansen created a stir with Fast & Flawless airbrush foundation; Cover Girl solved color matching issues with TruBlend, and most recently Maybelline introduced a lightweight formulation with Dream Matte Mousse.

Revlon sees the flurry of activity as an opportunity. “All the activity in the face category demands a unique proposition,” said Collier.