By and  on June 23, 2006

PARIS — Backed by Hollywood superstar Hilary Swank, Guerlain is targeting a young consumer base with a new fragrance called Insolence.

It is the first time the brand has signed a celebrity to front a scent.

"She's a very, very talented actress," said Renato Semerari, president and chief executive officer of Guerlain. "She is more than just a spokeswoman for us. She was the muse for the project."

"Hilary is the perfect match with the project and how we're trying to position it," continued Pamela Baxter, president and ceo of the Perfumes and Cosmetics Group North America at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which owns Guerlain. "It embodies spontaneity and a daring personality. It's not just about connecting a face with the brand, but a voice. As the face and voice, she'll resonate with the younger consumer we are targeting."

"She is a feminine mix of Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro," added Laurent Boillot, Guerlain's international marketing director. "She is capable of transforming herself."

The signing of Swank played another strategic role for the company: to help expand the brand's image into the Anglo-Saxon market.

"Guerlain is very well known in France, with a quality image and notoriety, but it's nonexistent in England and in the U.S.," said Boillot.

While company executives would not comment on projections, industry sources estimated that the fragrance would generate more than $30 million worldwide in retail sales and $15 million in the U.S. the first year. It is estimated that about $4 million will be spent on advertising and promotional events during the launch season.

For Insolence's TV advertising, directed by John Mathieson, Swank — the Oscar-winning actress of "Boys Don't Cry" and "Million Dollar Baby" — showed her sexy side. In the 20- and 30-second spots, to debut in September, Swank is shown swaying. Flashes of light illuminate a close-up of her face and the Insolence bottle.

Print ads, shot by Vincent Peters and featuring Swank and the Insolence bottle, will run as single and double pages.

"Typically, Guerlain advertisements are much more subdued," said Linda Maiocco, vice president of marketing for Guerlain. "Here, she's very out there as a modern, confident and daring woman."

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