Skin care and sexual intimacy aren’t always considered similar categories, but new tactics being used by marketers of products such as Zestra are mimicking that of beauty aids.


The result could be more cross merchandising of sexual health products in health and beauty are departments and the relocation of sexual health departments to be adjacent to cosmetics.

Celebrity endorsements have worked wonders for cosmetics and skin care. That strategy is expanding to many other drugstore categories. Last month, Zestra followed that model with the announcement that Kris Jenner, the “momager” of the Kardashian clan, is the official ambassador for Zestra Essential Arousal Oils.
With the signing of a Kardashian, the product certainly moves to the forefront. “Men are able to talk openly about sex,” Jenner said. “Since so many women turn to me for advice about their love lives and marriages, many wish they could enjoy more fulfilling sex lives and it starts with being honest about their issues and their hopes.”

Jenner will be featured in Zestra’s new television campaign — breaking in the second quarter of 2012 — and play a role in the company’s integrated marketing efforts, including public relations, and its digital campaign.

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There are also parallels in marketing beauty products and other women’s feminine needs that are evident on the shelves. Packaging today takes a cue from skin care and has been upgraded to improved graphics and a more sophisticated look.

Improvements in the overall look of sexual health products have some retailers integrating them into beauty for more exposure and impulse sales. Rite Aid, for example, offered smaller vibrators in cosmetics last year. And, most retailers including CVS and Walgreens have fully developed intimacy departments that are often not too far away from the beauty department since that is a high traffic area for female shoppers.  Condoms are also being clip stripped in beauty since more women are purchasing them.

Beauty and the sexual health items have more in common and will continue to be merchandised in tandem for two reasons. One is that exposing more of these products in cosmetics helps build sales and women can buy them without feeling any embarrassment. The other major impetus is that products such as lubricants yield high gross margins that can boost the overall productivity of the beauty and health and wellness department.

The trend to merging beauty and all health areas continues to grow and as visible spokespeople join the movement, sales of these areas is likely to grow. The move also supports drugstore efforts to be more of a total health care resource.

People, Places and Things

A few words with Julie Gutierrez, a video blogger who now has her own line of nail colors created by Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics — believed to be the first of its kind, according to market reports. Rite Aid will launch the line called the JulieG Collection.

WWDBeautyNews: How did you get started video blogging?
Gutierrez: I was always interested in beauty and color, especially because my mom is colorblind. I started making YouTube videos in 2008 in my bedroom. People started watching my videos [there are more than 100 million hits]. I liked using drugstore brands, which everyone could buy. Jessie Lawrence of Jessie’s girl found me and asked me to design my own color line.

WWDBeautyNews: How did you select colors for the line?
Gutierrez: I like picking up colors from my travels. For example, one color is Gelato in Venice. Many of them are just my personal favorites and range from those who want something bold to more wearable neutrals.

What’s In Store

NYX Cosmetics Launches Spring and More Doors: NYX Cosmetics is expanding its doors in tandem with more marketing muscle. International growth is being beefed up and the brand is being touted with more social media, said Scott Friedman, NYX chief executive officer said.

Walgreens Couponing Goes Mobile: Walgreen Co. is enabling mobile device users to immediately get a coupon when they “check in” at any of its stores.

Walgreens said that through a new mobile coupon program with social networking site foursquare, users of iPhone, Android or BlackBerry devices who check in at one of its stores nationwide will instantly receive a unique scannable coupon via their smartphone that can be redeemed in the store, with no texting, reply or other steps needed.

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