Untamed Heart

Ralph Lauren is letting loose with his latest teen scent under the Ralph franchise: Ralph Wild.

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Ralph Lauren is letting loose with his latest teen scent under the Ralph franchise, dubbed Ralph Wild. As the fifth edition in the portfolio, developed by L’Oréal USA, the “wild fruity” fragrance is set to launch in the middle of next month. It could generate up to $15 million at retail in its first year on counter, while the entire Ralph teen assortment could hit $35 million in U.S. retail sales.

This story first appeared in the January 11, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

When it came time to create the fifth fragrance in Ralph Lauren’s Ralph teen franchise, executives at L’Oréal USA, Lauren’s beauty licensee, decided it was time for the brand to let down its hair. The result is Ralph Wild.

Launching in mid-February in some 2,200 U.S. department and specialty store doors, Ralph Wild will be aimed at young women executives describe as not afraid to let loose.

“She’s an empowered, spirited and confident woman who likes clean, wholesome fun,” said Chris Stadler, vice president of marketing for Ralph Lauren Fragrances, a division of global beauty company L’Oréal. “The underlying road trip theme is ‘Go Ralph wild.’ It’s that true American right of passage.”

Created by Ralph Lauren Fragrances’ Linda Kramer in collaboration with Olivier Gillotin and Jim Krivda of Givaudan, the “wild fruity floral” fragrance has top notes of pink peppercorn, watermelon and wild strawberry; middle notes of cherry blossom, red rose pedal and sheer jasmine, and base notes of amber, sandalwood and musk. Packaged in a red bottle, Ralph Wild will be available in two sizes: 1.7 oz. for $45 and 3.4 oz. for $59.50. An ancillary lotion will launch the same month and retail at $22.50 for a 5.1-oz. bottle.

The new fragrance also will hit stores in Canada next month, and will then roll out to the rest of its international markets beginning in April.

While L’Oréal executives would not comment on sales projections or advertising budgets, industry sources estimate that the Ralph franchise could generate about $35 million in U.S. retail sales by the end of the year. Sources estimate that Ralph Wild will bring in $15 million at retail in its first year on counter with nearly $10 million spent on advertising and promotion. According to Stadler, the original Ralph by Ralph Lauren, which was launched in 2000, still makes up half of the overall business.

The company plans to have double-digit growth over the course of the year and hopes Ralph Wild will make up a third of the overall business, said Stadler.

While still targeting women between the ages of 15 and 25, the Ralph franchise will sport a new face with Amanda Charlwood. Shot by John Huba, the advertising will reinforce the road trip image.

According to Stadler, advertising will focus primarily on online initiatives for the first time. The company is looking to tap into interactive community sites on the Web, targeting this younger demographic.

“We’re not doing traditional methods of advertising. We only have a minor presence in a few magazines. Instead, we’re focusing on the Internet, which will be our number-one driver,” said Serge Jureidini, president of L’Oréal’s designer fragrance division. “It’s the first time we’re doing this in such a bold way.”

In addition to the online and in-store advertising, the company will make a major push on college campuses with grassroots initiatives and aggressive sampling campaigns, including scented strips featured in university newspapers.

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