New Celebrities Seek Alternative Route To Markets

Two new product launches — one already a hit, the other showing strong potential — exemplify how many young/reality celebrities are seeking non-traditional paths to market their names and goods.

Sure, Coty and Elizabeth Arden still get the A-listers for fragrances. But many stars are finding different paths to success. “There seems to be an entertainment trend that does not follow traditional cosmetics marketing rules,” observed industry consultant Allan Mottus about some of the newest launches. Reality stars in particular are looking for new avenues, perhaps because their shows offer them opportunities to build awareness without big company marketing budgets.

Two examples are Justin Bieber and Bethenny Frankel. Bieber has been a hit with the babes, with girls flocking to buy his women’s scent called Someday. What’s unique is not only that Bieber launched a women’s fragrance first — an unusual twist for a man — but that he did it with a company that wasn’t associated with the mega launches — although its key executives do have industry expertise. The company is Give Back Brands and it is also unique since it earmarks proceeds of products to go to charity. Someday has something for everyone — Bieber backing and a “doing good” positioning.

Then there’s reality TV star Bethenny Frankel who hit gold with her Skinnygirl Margaritas and is now hoping to leverage her food knowledge (she’s a trained chef) with skin care ingredients that help consumers improve their skin and body. At first glance, it is a big leap from booze to beauty. However, upon closer examination, she does have the platform to give beauty advice and tout a line — even cluttered categories such as skin and body. What makes this unique is she’s teaming up with a brand that is best known for lip products, although it has dabbled in bath. Her business went to Lotta Luv and it has been a fast learning process for the company to find vendors to expand into the other categories. The result includes 30 items that will hit Wal-Mart by the end of the year.

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Frankel doesn’t claim to be an expert in the categories she’s building; instead she goes to experts. Lotta Luv knows a lot about fragranced products from duplicating the scents of chocolates and even margaritas in lip products. While this includes categories outside its realm, the company found what it considers excellent resources to produce the merchandise.

Reality stars could just be the next hot “category,” especially in the mass market. No matter what, the traditional rules of the game are changing — daily.

People Place and Things

A few words with Ali Goldstein, vice president of marketing for Maybelline, New York, about the 40th anniversary of Great Lash. Three designers, Max Azria, Tracy Reese and Vivienne Tam have done their own versions of the iconic Great Lash mascara tube in honor of the brand’s birthday.

WWDBeautyNews: Will all three “takes” on the mascara be available at once?

Goldstein: Yes. All three versions of the Great Lash Limited Edition Designer Mascara will be available exclusively on beginning August 14th and in Target stores beginning August 21st.


WWDBeautyNews: Will there be advertising? Social media?
Goldstein: Maybelline started to advertise the Great Lash 40th birthday in a print campaign that debuted in April magazines. In addition, to further celebrate Great Lash Mascara’s 40th birthday and the launch of the limited edition designer collection, Maybelline New York is launching a significant social media campaign behind the brand on Facebook and on Twitter beginning in late July and continuing throughout August and September. The Facebook campaign will reveal the limited edition designs one by one to fans and give them the opportunity to win the designer mascaras before they hit Target stores. Other birthday-themed prizes, including designer accessories, shopping sprees, iPads and Target gift cards, will be given away every 40 hours as part of a Facebook instant-win game. In addition to giveaways, Maybelline fans will be able to post Great Lash Mascara video birthday cards to their friends’ Facebook walls as well as share with their networks why they love the iconic mascara. The Great Lash Mascara social media efforts extend to Twitter where Maybelline New York will be hosting a virtual party on Sunday, August 14th to celebrate the iconic mascara’s 40th birthday. Great Lash fans will be invited to tweet live with @Maybelline using the hashtag #GREATLASH. The Twitter party will be a great way to ignite conversation around the Great Lash brand and introduce the limited edition designer mascaras in an exciting way to a highly receptive audience. Our Twitter followers and Facebook fans are such an enthusiastic group. We’re excited to connect with them in interesting new ways.

WWDBeautyNews: Do you expect a big sales lift?
Goldstein: In cosmetics, when a product continues to sell for 40 years, it signifies great trust and confidence in the brand and satisfaction with what the product delivers.  Women everywhere have always loved Great Lash mascara for its classic volumizing look and its buildable formula. It was an enormous success 40 years ago when it was launched and it continues to perform well. We anticipate that the 40th birthday events and the limited edition designer collection will have great success both in terms of strong sales, as well as reinforcing the emotional bond that women have with the brand.


WWDBeautyNews: Describe current sales and market position of Great Lash.
Goldstein: In the United States, Great Lash continues to be a top-selling mascara brand representing over 8 percent dollar share [year to date D2011 through June 11, 2011 IRI].  Around the world, one tube of Great Lash is sold every 1.7 seconds.

What’s In Store

Mintel Research:
Women in the higher income bracket won’t object to buying private-label cosmetics if they think that their quality and performance are on par with national brands, according to recent Mintel research. Mintel research found that 64 percent of women in the $100,000 to $149,000 income bracket planned to continue buying some store-brand/private-label color cosmetics and some brand-name color cosmetics; meanwhile, only 50 percent of those in the $50,000 to $74,000, and 48 percent in the $75,000 to $99,000, bracket said the same thing. “This does not mean higher-income women do not purchase higher-end, national brands,” Mintel senior beauty analyst Kat Fay said. “But they can be selective, often spending more on one category or occasion than another.” One-third of Mintel respondents (33 percent) said they are buying store-brand/private-label cosmetics more now than they did this time last year. More than half (51 percent) indicated that they purchased private label because it offered the best value for the money.

Nielsen and Wal-Mart:
Wal-Mart will once again start sharing its sales movement data with Nielsen. Nielsen has signed a cooperation agreement with Wal-Mart to receive and analyze sales information. The majority of U.S. food, drug, mass, convenience and dollar store retailers already provide Nielsen with sales information, and this will add to the existing market information, enabling Nielsen to provide a better, more precise view of consumer purchase activity for the benefit of the industry.

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