By  on January 19, 2007

Clinique's best-selling 3-Step skin care regime may be pushing 40, but its marketing is taking a decidedly forward-thinking focus for 2007.

The cornerstone of the year's plans is a $10 million TV campaign developed by Arnold Advertising, which is reinforced with a dedicated Internet microsite, in-store promotion, street teams, marketing on college campuses and print advertising.

Each aspect is targeted to a slightly different consumer, noted Jim Nevins, worldwide creative director for Clinique. The TV spots, which will run on MTV, VH-1, E! and the CW and Fox networks, are aimed at a consumer in the 18- to 29-year-old-age range. Women in the 30- to 45-year-old group are targeted with the print campaign in fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, and the radio spots are expected to appeal chiefly to consumers from 45 to 60 years old.

"It's promotion with all [facets] that makes brands — and this product collection — successful," said Lynne Greene, global president of Clinique, stressing the importance of investing behind classic hits. "You just can't place your media and walk away."

And the multifaceted view is critical for the 39-year-old 3-Step lineup, which is said to generate upward of $180 million at retail yearly in the U.S. alone. "Print is always going to be the baseline, but we have to follow the direction in which the consumer is evolving," said Alicia Sontag, vice president of North American marketing for Clinique. "For instance, our young consumers are spending 26 percent of their time online and 63 percent watching broadcast TV. What we've seen is that there is a stark contrast between campaigns with one media element versus those which are surrounded by animation: the Internet, in-store, radio, TV. If you do that, it's successful. Otherwise, it's not enough to break through the clutter."

The commercial is "very stylized and clean — sort of a play on the game Mousetrap or falling dominoes," said Nevins. "One thing hits another to activate: The water activates the Facial Soap, a bubble travels around the Clarifying Lotion and pops on the cap." The final emphasis is on Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion.Subtly poking fun at 3-Step's birth in the Sixties, the music playing in the background is the Simon & Garfunkel hit "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)." The tag line is "Why not wake up to good skin?"

An Internet microsite, do­yousayyes.com, is now live on clinique.com and thus far has yielded 100,000 visits, said Sontag, adding that Clinique expects the site to result in about 200 million impressions.

Clinique has just begun running the campaign with Dillard's in Dallas, Houston and Tampa, Fla., and will repeat it with additional retailers and markets to follow throughout 2007. The TV spots in each market will invite in consumers for deluxe samples (personalized to their skin types) that contain enough product for at least seven days of use.

"Getting people to try the product is the greatest aim of this campaign," said Jane Lauder, senior vice president of global marketing for Clinique, who added that the brand aims to get more than one million of the sample sets into consumers' hands in the next six months. "We're trying to connect emotionally with our consumers, not only about our products but about their lives."

It's a strategy the brand has already started seeing results from. "Doing TV along with a promotion that has more than just a TV angle has already produced incredible results," said Greene. "When we have done TV and a rally, we're seeing double-digit total growth in local doors on the total brand."

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