EASY RIDER: L’Oreal execs in Paris are swapping their pinstripes for black leather. They are getting ready for the launch of the company’s newest men’s scent, named after that icon of the American road — Harley-Davidson. The fragrance, developed by L’Oreal’s Gemey Paris division, is set for a French debut in the mass market in early November and there are plans to roll it out internationally next year. L’Oreal got into the spirit for the launch festivities. Journalists invited to the Oct. 13 unveiling of the fragrance were given the choice of being chauffeured in a taxi or on the back of a Harley. Two days later, Harley-Davidson is organizing its own trip to Hog heaven. Some 600 bikers will take a spin through Paris, then chow down at an American-style barbecue.
PHONE HOME: France’s hottest new advertising medium fits in your wallet, lasts up to six months and gets stared at more than two dozen times before it’s thrown away. That’s why Paco Rabanne is advertising its Pour Homme scent on the telephone cards the French use at public phones. France Telecom will issue one million of the cards with a version of the Rabanne magazine ad on Oct. 17. The cards show a closeup of a man and the line: “Whether she calls back depends on you.”
There’s a product shot on the reverse side.
France Telecom calculates that users look at the cards, which are purchased in post offices, the Metro and tobacco shops, an average of 27 times before the cards are used up. The cost for one million cards is $120,754 (640,000 francs) at current exchange rates.
Large French industrial groups began using the cards for institutional advertising three years ago, but Rabanne is the first prestige beauty company to try them, according to France Telecom.
L’Oreal had unusual results earlier this year with a card promoting its mass-market teenybopper Kookai fragrance. The only problem was the reaction to the tagline: “To stamp out the boys, dial 18.” Unfortunately, teenage readers followed instructions and called 18, which is the national emergency number for the fire department.