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Episode after episode through 16 cycles of “America’s Next Top Model,” viewers have watched and waited for executive producer, host and judge Tyra Banks to announce a winner and induce a flood of tears as the triumphant winners from Adrienne Curry to Brittani Kline rejoice in their glorious achievement on the road from obscurity to fame, at the very least of the TV sort.
After the CW Network series caps off its “All-Stars” edition for the 17th cycle, the public will get to take home a product inspired by this emotional finish. Dream Come True, the first fragrance associated with “America’s Next Top Model” developed under license by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Hatch Beauty, will hit Target stores in January in an exclusive arrangement with the retailer.
“That is an exciting, heartfelt moment of the show when you know for one of those girls their life is going to change. So, we knew we wanted to bring that to life,” said Ben Bennett, Hatch Beauty’s creative director and managing partner. “The concept of Dream Come True is something anyone can relate to. You are always hoping for something.”
Aimed at females in their late teens to early 30s, Dream Come True’s top notes are red currant, honeydew and pink freesia; the middle notes are Amazonian lily, plum blossom and empress peony; and the bottom notes are blondewood, Tahitian vanilla, pink sugar and sparkling musk. “If you were announced as winner of the show, it would be an optimistic, sweet moment,” said Bennett. “In thinking about the customer, we know she loves fantasy. That is what the show is all about. We wanted there to be a very sweet, ethereal sensibility to the fragrance.”
Pink is the packaging’s primary color and is a reference to several of the notes used in the scent such as red currant and pink freesia. There’s also graphics of spotlights and flashing bulbs on the packaging to allude to the celebrity that comes with winning “America’s Next Top Model.” Dream Come True is priced at $21.99 for a 1-oz. eau de toilette and $12.99 for a 30-ml. perfume rollerball. Industry sources estimate it will generate $10 million in retail sales during its first year at stores.
“America’s Next Top Model” has had affiliated products produced under license before, including apparel that entered Wal-Mart at the end of 2008, but is no longer distributed. However, Dream Come True marks a licensed product’s debut in the storyline of the television show. Bennett is featured in the episode that aired Wednesday, during which the contestants are challenged with designing and promoting a signature fragrance. The winner of “America’s Next Top Model” this cycle will be in an ad for the fragrance.
The apparel at Wal-Mart “led us to think about really expanding the brand in different ways and taking a different direction,” explained P.J. Pierce, vice president of licensing at CBS Consumer Products, a division of CBS Entertainment. (CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. and CBS.) “The production team from Tyra on down got excited about the idea of integrating products along with the direction of the show, and thus began the discussion of what could be done with fragrance. It just so happened about that time Hatch Beauty came on my radar. Now, we are moving forward with everything.” Pierce continued, “The intention is to do it cycle after cycle and see where it goes.”
The tie-ins between entertainment properties and beauty products are popping up in many varieties from L’Oréal Paris’ limited edition Colors Take Flight makeup collection to Jabot Cosmetics, a fictional brand on the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” that’s been made real — and both Bennett and Pierce believe there are bound to be more as ancillary revenue streams for entertainment companies and branding opportunities for beauty marketers. “Any intellectual property that can grab your attention and stop you at a moment when you are shopping even out of curiosity, for developers and branding people, that’s what we want,” said Bennett.
The tie-in with “America’s Next Top Model” gave Bennett a newfound respect for the show’s producers and its participants. Over the course of roughly 11 hours, he conducted interviews with the contestants exploring their personalities and scent preferences, and then concocted 14 fragrances that were later presented at a party attended by 400 of the show’s fans who voted on their favorites. A controversy emerged over the party because a few of the contestants didn’t want to strut around in bikinis at it, but Bennett didn’t take their side. “If a client has a job to promote a fragrance in a bikini, then that is the job,” he said.
Overall, reflecting on his experience while the episode was being filmed, Bennett concluded, “It was a lot of fun, and it was a lot of work. This was a longer challenge than they normally film because I literally spent one-on-one time with each girl.”
A viewer of “America’s Next Top Model” since the program’s premiere in 2003, Bennett was pleased to learn that the audience isn’t being duped. “It is exactly what you see. It is absolutely real,” he said.