Jonathan Rhys Meyers is expected to inject some youthful vigor to the Hugo brand of Procter & Gamble’s Hugo Boss fragrance franchise.
Rhys Meyers, the Irish actor perhaps best known for his role in Woody Allen’s “Match Point,” has signed a contract with Procter & Gamble Prestige Beauty to appear in a print advertising campaign that will begin running in December men’s and lifestyle magazines, including Men’s Health and Blender. The ad visual was shot by Rankin.
The ads are intended to be the leading edge of an effort to boost the 11-year-old Hugo Boss fragrance franchise in the U.S.
“We see a real opportunity with this brand,” said Don Loftus, president and chief executive officer of P&G Prestige’s U.S. division. “Hugo Boss does very strong business on a global scale, but the U.S. fragrance business is underdeveloped. We haven’t peaked with it yet.”
The twentysomething Rhys Meyers is intended to entice the younger, edgier set for the Hugo franchise, while the Boss franchise draws a slightly more mature and sophisticated user, said Nicholas Munafo, executive vice president of sales and marketing of P&G Prestige.
The campaign marks the first time that the franchise has used a celebrity model, added Munafo. Although neither Munafo nor Loftus would discuss the terms of Rhys Meyers’ contract, industry sources estimated that the actor is earning about $1 million a year as the face of the brand.
While TV is not currently planned in the U.S., Loftus said he would like to consider it for the Christmas 2007 selling season. Outdoor advertising is also on his wish list.
Shortly after the fragrance ads begin running, P&G plans to bring out Hugo by Hugo Boss Limited Art Edition, a flanker that will hit 2,000 department and specialty store doors in February. Eaux de toilette will retail for $40 for 1 oz., $55 for 3.4 ounces, and $68 for 5 oz.
“We’re aiming for a top-10 ranking for the Hugo Boss franchise [as a whole],” added Loftus.
Rhys Meyers is in post-production on “August Rush,” also starring Terrence Howard and Keri Russell, and is currently filming “The Tudors” with Sam Neill and Jeremy Northam. He is also said to be in pre-production on two additional films, “Bronte,” with Michelle Williams, and “Adina,” with Neve Campbell.

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