NEW YORK — Consumers got a first glimpse of Nivea’s fresh brand message last week in TV spots for new Visage face care products in which the tag line, “Inspired by the Way Skin Works,” made its debut.

Susan Savoie, vice president, Cosmed marketing for the Beiersdorf division, said that Nivea is seizing a position in skin care not currently occupied by any major mass brand. That is, talking about a healthful direction in skin care. “The consumer is really becoming concerned with how products work and how good they are for you,” said Savoie. “Nivea is going to step out with a very wholistic approach.” She added marketing efforts will stress that it is a brand “consumers can feel safe using.”

In 2003, Nivea’s U.S. retail sales reached $180 million for the franchise that includes face, body and men’s products. Savoie declined to provide details, but said in 2004 the brand expects to accelerate sales. “We have been growing in double digits for the last five years and it will be dramatically more than that, particularly in face care.”

As reported, the Visage collection is getting a packaging makeover and has been infused with four new items: an antiaging treatment called Multiple Results, and three moisturizers, Simply Glowing and All Around Protection, the latter in cream and lotion versions. Industry sources estimate $50 million is being spent on the relaunch, which lands in stores this month.

But there’s more. In May Nivea is bulking up some other areas of its business.

To complement its Nivea Body Night Renewal Creme, it is adding a night lotion in 8.4-oz. and 13.5-oz. sizes, for $6.99 and $9.99, respectively. Key ingredients include vitamin F, a fatty acid found in grape seed oil said to have a renewing effect on skin; vitamin H, known as biotin, an ingredient used to restructure and strengthen the upper layers of skin for moisture retention and elasticity, and ceramide, to help form a barrier against moisture loss.

Also new to the body range is Silky Shimmer Lotion for Medium to Dark Skin. Since its launch in 2002, the shimmer lotion had been available only in a light to medium shade. A 6.8-oz. bottle is $6.99.On the heels of launching the mass market’s first antiaging treatment for men with its Nivea Revitalizing Lotion Q10, the brand is adding Fresh Cooling Shaving Gel, Oil Control Face Wash and Oil Control Lotion.

The shaving gel, noted Savoie, gives men a product offering the refreshing feel of an aftershave while they shave — but without the sting of alcohol. The item features menthol and vitamins E and F, to moisturize and maintain skin balance. A 7-oz. can is $2.99.

Oily skin is a condition found in 45 percent of men, according to Nivea data, so the face wash is designed to meet that need. The deep cleanser removes dirt and excess oil and prevents clogged pores. The soap-free foaming gel formula is also said to leave skin without residue. Meanwhile, the Oil Control Lotion features ingredients to absorb oil and reduce shine without blocking pores. The 5-oz. wash and 2.5-oz. lotion are priced $5.99 each.

— Laura Klepacki

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