Come February, Herbal Essences will reintroduce two classic ranges — the Smooth Collection and the Shine Collection — housed in the brand’s trademark translucent, botanically bedecked packaging, which was available from 1995 until getting a new look in 2006.
Although the items are dead ringers for their former selves — scent included — formulas have been updated slightly to be sulfate- and silicone-free. “These are the perfumes inherent to what really spoke to the consumer,” said Walter Geiger, vice president and general manager North America Hair Care. “[The move is meant to] re-create the impact of the original campaign that resonated so strongly with women in the Nineties, but with a modern sensibility.”
Many consumers will remember the range for its sexual-innuendo-filled advertisements (think: woman in an airplane bathroom screaming “Yes, yes, yes” unknowingly over the intercom, culminating with the tag line “A Totally Organic Experience”). Although the details have not been revealed, the brand will be unveiling its first national ad campaign — said to make a nod to its predecessor — at the Grammys on Feb. 10. “There is a trend for nostalgia and bringing them back to simpler and more carefree times,” said Geiger. “We are [returning] to an iconic time for the brand.”
According to Symphony IRI, unit sales have been on the decline for Herbal Essences over the past three years in mass retailers, not counting Wal-Mart stores. Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 2 this year, there was a small increase in sales (up .04 percent), but sales numbers had been down the two years before that, 5.4 percent and 1.94 percent, respectively. Although the brand would not break out figures regarding the new launch, industry sources believe the four stockkeeping units could generate $20 million in their first year at retail.
Through the relaunch, Geiger is clearly trying to reignite some of the brand’s former glory. “We are trying to get those consumers who liked the brand in the past,” he said. “What also excites me is that I believe it will also appeal to a new user base that doesn’t overlap with the current [Herbal Essences] customer.”
Why look backward to move forward? According to Geiger, the move comes after thousands of consumers clamored for the company to bring back Herbal Essences’ previous formula and look, even sending a formal petition. “In my career at P&G, I’ve never seen so many consumer reactions for a certain item, which is much easier to track now with social media,” he said. “The most important thing here was the consumer demand.”
Originally introduced in 1971, during the height of the hippie movement, Herbal Essences (originally called Herbal Essence) is often referred to as the first sensorial or experiential shampoo. It was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2001 with the purchase of the Clairol business. In 2006, in a move to “reenergize” the brand, the entire Herbal Essences line was repackaged and restaged to appeal to a younger audience. To wit, outer packaging became opaque and color coded, with a curved shape so that shampoo and conditioner bottles could fit together on a shelf, encouraging the purchase of both items.
“We moved away from classics, at the time, for a strategic reason,” said Geiger. “In order to reenergize the brand, which had become more for ‘every woman,’ we needed to reset our target ‘who,’ and focused on Millennials.” According to the company, today’s target Herbal Essences consumer is 18 to 35.
According to Geiger, the two returning lines were chosen because they were the top two ranges for Herbal Essences at retail in the early Aughts. The Smooth Collection, which features a soft pink packaging shade, contains rose hips, vitamin E and jojoba extracts, while the marigold-hued Shine Collection includes a blend of chamomile, aloe vera and passionflower extracts.
Coinciding with the launch will be national marketing support in print, digital and television. Additionally, the brand’s media plan centers on a “robust sponsorship” of the Grammys, including an in-show experience and integration with the Grammy Awards’ social channels. “We know women are deeply influenced by their social networks and pop culture, so we are creating an expansive sponsorship with the Grammy Awards that will reach her everywhere she is — digitally, socially, through mobile, on TV, through music and more,” said Geiger.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion