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The Body Shop Unveils a New Ad Campaign

Effort to focus on brand's heritage as firm introduces Wellbeing line and mineral makeup collections.

LONDON — The Body Shop is pumping up the volume.

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

The L’Oréal-owned beauty brand and retailer this month will unveil a revamped well-being line and a communications campaign aimed at underscoring its heritage as a natural and ethical brand. The Body Shop will also introduce a mineral makeup collection in September.

“What we’re seeing among consumers is a particularly high level of interest in the naturals market and ethically driven brands,” said Philip Clough, The Body Shop’s global brand director. “A lot of brands are communicating on both of these dimensions — not just in health and beauty — but generally. Because of this heightened awareness, people expect and want to hear from us again.

“Perhaps we’ve shied away from communicating proactively in recent years,” he continued. “Now, we’re getting the sense that people want to know what we’re doing. They want more detail on what we’re doing and to know that we’re still trailblazers.”

Working with advertising agency Leagas Delaney, The Body Shop came up with a series of images focusing on key elements of its brand philosophy, including community trade and environmental protection, which will run in The Body Shop’s stores, as press ads in some markets, as well as online.

There are also ads specific to its new 23-unit Wellbeing line, which features a model, a close-up of a key ingredient, a pack shot and text relating to the item’s selling point. An ad for Total Energy, a collection of energizing bath and body products, for example, features the tag line “Get your grrrr back,” between an image of a smiling model and guarana berries, among the line’s ingredients.

“In recent years, it’s been more about pack shots,” said Clough, adding he now aims to connect with customers on a more emotional level. “We decided to use models because we’re a living brand. We want the models to look natural and project natural beauty with spirit and personality.”

Each of Wellbeing’s subcategories — Total Energy, Simply Purify (which is also known as Pure Detox in some markets), Divine Calm and Deep Sleep — addresses different needs. Deep Sleep’s lineup, for example, includes Dreamy Pillow & Body Mist, while Divine Calm has a Relaxing Massage Oil. Cultural Touches, a collection of four massage products, is also part of the Wellbeing line. At least one ingredient in each product is sourced via The Body Shop’s Community Trade program.

“It’s for somebody who enjoys indulgent bath and body products, but who’s also looking for extra-sensorial and remedial benefits,” said Clough, of the line’s target customer. “It’s very problem-response oriented. Everyone’s lifestyle is different, but they’re all equally crazy.”

Prices in the U.K. start at 8 pounds, or $15.37 at current exchange, for a 10-ml. bottle of Essential Oil, and run to 14 pounds, or $26.89, for a 200-ml. tube of Refreshing Body Gel.

While Clough declined to discuss projections, industry sources estimate Wellbeing will generate 40 million pounds, or $76.8 million, in its first year.

In September, the firm will introduce Nature’s Minerals, a mineral makeup line comprising foundation, blush, eye shadows and makeup brushes.

“Makeup with skin care benefits is in line with our philosophy,” said Clough, regarding The Body Shop’s decision to tap into the mineral makeup trend. “It’s a natural for The Body Shop.”

Prices will range from 9 pounds, or $17.29, for a 1-g. jar of Make-Up Eye Colour to 15 pounds, or $28.81, for a 5-g. jar of Make-Up Foundation SPF 25.

In addition to bolstering the brand’s product portfolio and advertising, Clough intends to underscore The Body Shop’s message with booklets — one for customers to be distributed in stores and one for employees — reiterating its commitment to the environment, fair trade and promoting self-esteem. They’ll be available later this month.

“It’s important that we talk to customers about these kinds of things,” said Clough. “It’s important they understand they’re commitments we make constantly.”