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Revlon Ads Retain Hollywood Flavor

NEW YORK — Revlon’s ad campaign aims to do more than just deliver the company’s new product message. For the first time in years, Revlon’s TV, print, online and in-store ads will all reflect the same images concurrently, a...

NEW YORK — Revlon’s ad campaign aims to do more than just deliver the company’s new product message. For the first time in years, Revlon’s TV, print, online and in-store ads will all reflect the same images concurrently, a feature that’s likely to resonate a consistent message with consumers, and maybe even generate a sales boost. 

“In the past, we were never able to achieve this because in-store lead time is 12 months and ad lead time is three months,” said Martine Williamson, Revlon’s director of brand marketing. “We never knew what we were doing [product wise] a year in advance,” she added, so magazine ads didn’t match what consumers saw in stores during the same time period.

Now, the company is on track and is even making product and ad plans for 2006, Williamson said.

Revlon’s latest print and TV campaign features its newest spokesmodels: Susan Sarandon and Kate Bosworth. Strategically, each celebrity targets a different demographic: Sarandon, older women; Bosworth, the younger set.

Both Sarandon and Bosworth will tout Revlon’s new products, such as Fabulash Mascara, an item that takes the company into the everyday mascara business, and a retooled Age Defying line. 

Beginning Monday, Bosworth will be seen in TV ads touting Fabulash. Later this month, TV spots featuring Sarandon will appear for the Age Defying brand, along with Revlon spokeswoman Julianne Moore.

This year’s ad efforts tout a much heavier product message. Last year, Revlon’s new product portfolio was slim; in turn, its movie-like Bellissimo ad campaign featured A-List actresses Moore and Halle Berry, without much reference to product.

But Revlon held on to its Hollywood contacts: moviemaker Robert Altman directed the new ads, which also cast Eva Mendez, who will be the lead spokeswoman for SuperLustrous.   

For the second half of 2005, Bosworth and Berry are scheduled to appear in ads for Revlon’s color cosmetics and nail products. The ads are said to “detail sumptuous color, packaging and formula statements,” according to Williamson, noting that colors and formulations have been designed for the brand’s core nail and SuperLustrous products. Four 30-second and four 15-second spots were created.

This story first appeared in the January 14, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Print ads, which were photographed by Peter Lindbergh in New York, begin appearing in February beauty magazines. Industry sources estimate Revlon has earmarked as much as $100 million on advertising in 2005.

Maybe the new effort will bring much-needed sales gains. For the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, sales slid 7 percent to $294.4 million, compared with $316.5 million in the same period a year ago.