Smashbox Cosmetics and Sebastian Professional were intrigued enough by the small-town-girl-makes-it-big plot of the film “Burlesque,” and its cast, that the brands created products associated with the movie — and they are betting consumers will be intrigued enough to buy them.
“Burlesque,” which stars Cher and Christina Aguilera, marks the first movie tie-in for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned Smashbox Cosmetics, whose employees got a behind-the-scenes glance at “Burlesque” during filming at Sony Studios, near the brand’s Culver City, Calif., offices.
Inspired by the movie’s makeup and fashion, Smashbox developed two products — a Nordstrom-exclusive $79 Burlesque Train Case & Beauty Collection with eight items and a $35 Burlesque Beauty Collection, with four items rolling out to the brand’s full national distribution — launching this month before the Nov. 24 release of “Burlesque.”
“In order for us to do a partnership, we wanted to make sure it was a partnership that enabled us to make a strong beauty statement,” said Grace Ray, Smashbox’s vice president of global marketing. “Makeup wasn’t the backdrop of the movie, but actually was a very strong voice in the movie.”
The Burlesque Train Case & Beauty Collection has an insert describing two looks, called Nightclub and Stardom, the only ones featured in the Burlesque Beauty Collection, that draw upon the movie’s heavy use of dark eyeliner and pink hues for lips, cheeks and eyes, which also get highlighted with a Smashbox eggplant shade. The packaging is decorated with fishnet patterns, which are etched into the train case on the Nordstrom exclusive offering and laser cut into the covering of the Burlesque Beauty Collection.
“You definitely want a collection that is going to mirror what is seen in the movie, but you also want it to be easy to replicate,” said Lori Taylor, Smashbox’s pro lead makeup artist. “It is almost taking something from the movie and paring it down and making something that women can achieve.”
Sebastian Professional has linked “Burlesque” to the 25th anniversary of its Shaper hair spray with a $30 gift set, including Re-Shaper hair spray and Drench shampoo, that is entering salons nationwide this month.
The P&G Professional Care brand has had experience with Hollywood hook-ups, most recently producing limited edition versions of the Ultra Clutch Shaper and Shaper Plus hair spray for the 2007 movie “Hairspray,” and judges their merits based on a film’s resonance with brand equity and its key customer base of salon owners, stylists and salon clientele.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better fit,” said Reuben Carranza, president, P&G Salon Professional North America, of “Burlesque.” “Having someone like Cher in the movie, as well as Christina Aguilera, coupled with the story line that has themes of fearlessness and aspiration — this really speaks to the brand Sebastian as well as our targets.”
Smashbox and Sebastian are each running sweepstakes associated with their “Burlesque” products that give winners the opportunity to attend the movie’s Hollywood premiere. Ray and Carranza, neither of whom has seen the movie yet, are also crossing their fingers that scenes shot with Smashbox and Sebastian product cameos will make it into the final cut of the movie.
Regardless of whether it appears on screen, Smashbox is advertising in the November issue of Marie Claire with imagery of products and the movie’s leading actresses. Point of sale displays with “Burlesque” imagery will spotlight the brand’s movie partnership as well at retail.
Carranza said he expected Sebastian’s limited edition Burlesque gift set to outperform the brand’s previous holiday introductions. “We expect this to be bigger than any holiday promotion we have done in the past, and that it will keep fueling the momentum for the brand,” he said.