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Claiborne Aims to Ignite Scent Market

NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne Cosmetics is planning to add a spark of interest to a challenging fragrance market with a new masterbrand launching in September. <br><br>The new offering, called Spark, also is offering the venerable brand an...

NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne Cosmetics is planning to add a spark of interest to a challenging fragrance market with a new masterbrand launching in September.

The new offering, called Spark, also is offering the venerable brand an opportunity to focus on 25- to 40-year-olds, something Art Spiro, president of Liz Claiborne Cosmetics, is anxious to do.

“For the past few years, we’ve been focusing heavily on youth-oriented brands, particularly those aimed at 18- to 24-year-olds,” said Spiro. “Spark is taking the 25- to 40-year-olds out of a secondary role and making them the primary target.”

It offers a few other opportunities as well, noted Sue Hochman, vice president of sales for Liz Claiborne Cosmetics. “Spark gives our family of fragrances room to grow —?we don’t have anything like it in our olfactory lineup or age reach,” she said.

Spark for Women and Spark for Men were both formulated by Firmenich. The women’s juice by perfumer Jean-Claude DeVille, and the men’s is by perfumer Harry Fremont. The women’s juice is an oriental with top notes of honey, rose petals and champagne; middle notes of cinnamon and exotic orchid, and a drydown of musk, woods and vanilla. Spark for Men, also an oriental, has top notes of cayenne pepper, cardamom and rum; middle notes of cognac, honey and figs, and a drydown of amber and sandalwood. The bottles, by Pochet, are of heavy clear glass with red side panels and amber-tinted juice.

Spark for Women includes 10 stockkeeping units: a 0.5-oz. perfume spray, $60; a 3.4-oz. eau de parfum spray, $52; a 1.7-oz. eau de parfum spray, $39; a 6.7-oz. body lotion, $30; a 5-oz. shower souffle, $25; a 7-oz. candle, $25; a 6.7-oz. shower gel, $20; a 3.5-oz. body powder, $20; a 4.2-oz. massage gel, $15, and a 5.5-oz. bath soap, $12.50.

Spark for Men includes 11 sku’s: a 3.4-oz. cologne spray, $52; a 1.7-oz. cologne spray, $39; a 3.4-oz. aftershave, $39; a 4.2-oz. skin soother, $30; a 6.7-oz. body moisturizer, $20; a 6.7-oz. hair and body wash, $17; a 6.7-oz. hair gel, $15; a 4.2-oz. massage gel, $15; a 2.6-oz. deodorant, $14; a 4.2-oz. shave cream, $13, and a 5.5-oz. bath soap, $12.50.

The name is intended to “show that a spark can happen anywhere,” noted Spiro. “It’s an undefinable attraction.” That feeling will be carried out in both print and TV advertising. Print advertising, shot by Troy Word, will break in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, while TV, featuring models Andres Velencosa Segura and Manon Von Gerkan and directed by Michael Engler, will begin appearing in September. Two versions of the TV ad will be produced: one 30-second spot and a 23.7-second spot which will be used for co-op advertising, noted Margo Sokol, vice president of marketing for Liz Claiborne Cosmetics.

Spark will be available in Liz Claiborne’s full U.S. distribution of 2,300 department and specialty stores. While none of the executives would comment on projected first-year sales, industry sources estimated that the Spark masterbrand would do upward of $50 million at retail in its first year and that $15 million to $20 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.

Intensive sampling — upward of 50 million pieces — also is planned. But rather than the typical blotter cards, Claiborne is “aiming to be different and innovative,” said Sokol. Case in point: blotter paper matchbooks with the fragrance’s name on the front and its tagline on the inside. “Touches like that show the retailer that with these new launches, we’re aiming for unique strategies,” added Hochman.

The brand also is aiming to be unique in its approach to gifts-with-purchase. The first gwp’s will be “weekend escape” packages, noted Spiro — one set for men and another for women. Each includes a scented votive candle, a CD that the brand worked with Sony to produce and scented massage gel.

Spark will be available in Liz Claiborne’s full U.S. distribution of 2,300 department and specialty stores. While none of the executives would comment on projected first-year sales, industry sources estimated that the Spark masterbrand would do upward of $50 million at retail in its first year and that $15 million to $20 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.