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Marketer of the Year: Mass

WWD celebrates the marketer of the year in the mass beauty category.

2012 WWD Beauty Inc. Awards - Mass Marketer Of The Year: Gina Boswell, Unilever Executive Vice President
Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 12/14/2012

GINA BOSWELL
Executive Vice President, Personal Care, UNILEVER

This story first appeared in the December 14, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Unilever’s Gina Boswell looked to Europe to create a big splash in the U.S. mass market this year, bringing both Simple skin care and Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Stateside. Before Simple hit store shelves in the U.S., Boswell built buzz with a robust social-media campaign and a cadre of bloggers. Simple, designed for sensitive skin, was already the number-one facial skin-care line in terms of units in the U.K., and got off to a solid start in the U.S., where retail sales totaled more than $37 million from its launch in January through Oct. 7 in the mass market, not including Wal-Mart, according to the SymphonyIRI Group. The brand’s formulas may be gentle, but the advertising messaging Boswell and her team backed was bold and disruptive. One TV ad starts with a beautiful white rose and a voice-over that says, “With something as pure and as beautiful as this, would you add artificial chemicals, dyes, perfumes….” Then comes a visual of pink liquid dousing the flower, followed by the statement, “Neither would we.” For Clear’s U.S. introduction, Boswell tapped Heidi Klum as a spokesperson backed by a hefty $250 million two-year ad budget. Its message, too, was concise and compelling: Beautiful hair starts with a healthy scalp. Boswell said, “We believe this is going to shake up America’s $6 billion hair-care category, because it’s the first new national brand to hit shelves in a few years, and it is doing that with a different message about feeding the scalp.” Attention-grabbing innovation: a magic formula for success if ever there was one.

 

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