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Estée Lauder Takes Diverse View

Beauty company is powering its latest skin care launch with a multicultural themed campaign.

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Estée Lauder is powering its latest skin care launch with a multicultural themed ad featuring its three most recently signed spokesmodels — intended to convey with both products and advertising images that diversity is beautiful.

This story first appeared in the March 18, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Joan Smalls, Liu Wen and Constance Jablonski will appear together in the key advertising for the brand’s new skin care launches — Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator and Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator. The products launch first in North America in June, followed by a European launch in July and a rollout to the remaining markets through September. In North America, TV and print advertising will begin running in June.

“Estée Lauder always used to say that any woman can be beautiful, and she expressed that in many ways, including through advertising,” said Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director for Estée Lauder. “This campaign is a modern interpretation of some of the most memorable ads Estée created over the years. Joan, Liu Wen and Constance are all global beauties who will help us express all facets of beauty and write a new chapter for the brand.” Smalls is of Puerto Rican descent, while Liu is Asian and Jablonski is French.

“This is an important moment for the brand,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president for Estée Lauder. “These products are universal, and have both global and local relevance. We are going back to our heritage for our vision of the future.”

Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator is a fast-acting serum designed to address all key signs of uneven skin tone for all ethnicities, while Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator, a product with two shades, addresses dark circles and puffiness for all skin tones.

The serum is powered by the proprietary Triple-Optic Technology, a blend which is intended to immediately provide skin with a brighter, more luminous look, as well as CorrectTone Technology, which includes an optimized Glucosamine-DP molecule blend (Idealist’s signature glucosamine combined with dimethoxytolyl propylresorcinol), as well as Vitamin C and botanical extracts. Anti-irritants licorice and gentian are intended to minimize the visible irritation that can cause redness, as well as contribute to the formation of dark spots. The Cooling Eye Illuminator uses the Triple-Optic Technology for immediate results, as well as the proprietary Dark Circle Correcting Complex, which uses pinoxide and magnolia extract in conjunction with a cooling ceramic applicator to reduce under-eye puffiness.

The serum will be offered in two sizes — 30 ml. for $58 and 50 ml. for $85 — and the Cooling Eye Illuminator will sell for $58 for 15 ml.

While Hudis and other Lauder executives declined comment on the market opportunity for the new products, industry sources estimated that together, the items could generate global retail sales of more than $200 million in their first year. About $85 million of that figure is expected to be done in North America, said sources, who also estimated that Lauder’s first-year spend on advertising (comprising TV, print and digital) would be about $35 million in North America. The brand is in about 2,200 department and specialty store doors in North America and also sells at esteelauder.com.

Craig McDean shot the print ads, while Harris Savides shot the TV spots. Three TV spots — one featuring each of the three models — have been filmed, noted Charisse Ford, senior vice president of global marketing for Estée Lauder. In July, Lauder will unveil in-store images of Hilary Rhoda, Jablonski, Liu and Smalls globally, with the intention of bringing the “Every Woman Can Be Beautiful” concept to life at counter, said Ford. In addition to the key print ad image, each model will have a freestanding print ad image highlighting the uneven skin tone concerns that apply to her particular ethnicity.

Sampling will be a large part of the campaign, noted Ford. More than 200,000 packette samples will be distributed to the public at launch and, prior to that, the brand is sampling full-sized products to 10,000 “influencers” who will be charged with spreading the word about them.

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