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Ren, the London-based skin care brand, is known for creating products that are free from what it calls “skin unfriendly ingredients,” such as synthetic fragrance, petrochemicals and parabens.
So it’s no surprise that the film shot by the brand to mark its 11-year anniversary is similarly stripped of adornments. The short film, which launches on Ren’s Web site Friday, features an amorous, naked couple frolicking in a Swedish fjord, which the brand said is designed to convey the feel of “beautiful, healthy skin.”
“You need to give people ammunition, you need to give them something to talk about, you need to give them a stimulus,” said Rob Calcraft, Ren’s founder, of his decision to commission the film. “Skin care is probably a little bit uptight as a market… I think skin care [marketing] should be more of this sense of how it makes you feel, and the joy of it and the sensuality of it.”
The film was directed by Vince Squibb, under the creative direction of Danny Brooke Taylor of the London advertising agency Dare. Calcraft said he doesn’t expect the film to impact directly on sales, but rather to raise awareness of the brand. “My sense is it’s a very long-term game of persuasion,” he said. “Skin care isn’t an immediate thing…it is a long-term consideration [for the consumer] of a brand that has values, that makes good products, will they be right for [the customer], and that takes a long time.”
The brand also has several products launching this spring. They are Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate, a treatment that contains nature-derived vitamin A, pro-vitamin A and a retinoid analog, which launches in March; Clarifying Toning Lotion, which follows in April, and a sun protection product, Photoactive Sun Veil SPF 15, that will launch in May.
Ren is stocked in more than 50 countries worldwide, including Sephora, Barneys and Fred Segal in the U.S., and in the 2010-11 fiscal year, the brand saw sales grow by 27 percent. Calcraft expects sales in the current fiscal year to rise at a slower rate, due to difficulties in countries hit by the euro zone debt crisis such as Greece and Ireland. But Calcraft said slower countries in Europe are being offset by strong growth in Scandinavian countries. In Norway, for example, Ren is the second-largest pharmacy brand behind Vichy, according to Calcraft. Overall, Calcraft said he still expects sales to rise 10 to 20 percent in the year, “with a good wind,” and he noted that he aims for Ren to eventually become “the leading independent skin care brand in the world.”