The Lasting Appeal of Antonio Banderas


Antonio Banderas isn’t the only celebrity with a fragrance. He isn’t the biggest seller and he doesn’t have the most flankers in his stable. But his appearance at a launch event Wednesday night shows that he ranks among the classiest of the stars with a fragrance to hawk.


Banderas was tireless during the day, with appearances on the “Today” show (where he spritzed hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb) as well as a stint on “The Martha Stewart Show.” He then walked a “black carpet” to help herald the formal introduction of his new scent from Puig, The Secret by Antonio Banderas.


There are now seven scents in the portfolio and each has sold well, helping to make the brand the number-two celebrity house in mass fragrances. That’s quite impressive in a men’s category that is still struggling. The latest television advertisement shows his sexy and light side. While Banderas was obviously thrilled with the product, his main passion about doing good came through at the event. He debuted a new talent of his, photography. There were 23 very provocative photographs, with seven auctioned off for charity. “I knew when I got involved with Puig that this was more than a commercial venture,” Banderas said. The funds will go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.


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Two years ago, Banderas also appeared on behalf of Puig to tout a new fragrance. At that time, he showcased his efforts to help kids in the Bronx get a chance to perform. Banderas isn’t afraid to get out and make public appearances to help support his fragrances, as well as his charities. Banderas appears to have a lasting appeal across all ages and cultures. Perhaps it is his altruistic spirit—not just his dashing looks—that has made him so popular. Research shows more and more consumers are interested in the people behind the celebrity and want to support those who they feel are authentic.


Men’s celebrity brands appear to have a particular place in the mass lineup. Retailers praise the sell-through of Banderas and another big name, Tim McGraw. The thought is that drugstore chains are putting more emphasis on selling to men, and men are comfortable buying in a food, drug or mass store. Retailers believe the future looks bright for the men’s fragrance category in mass doors.




People, Place and Things


A few words with Tom Ryan, CVS chief executive officer, as he discusses plans to step down next year. Company veteran Larry Merlo steps into the spot as of May 2011.


Tom Ryan: I felt this was the right time to move forward with our transition plan. In my 36 years with the company, including 16 years as president, I have never felt better about our position than I do now. We have tremendous assets, an incredibly talented management team and a strategy that is resonating in the marketplace. I made my decision knowing that CVS Caremark is in an excellent position and that we have the right team in place to build on our success.


The plan we are announcing will provide for a smooth, seamless transition in the leadership of CVS Caremark. Larry Merlo is a high-energy, customer-focused leader who has delivered outstanding results in every position he has held. He has worked alongside me for the past 20 years and has been instrumental in developing our vision for CVS Caremark as an integrated health-care company. With his experience and proven track record, Larry is the ideal executive to lead our business forward.


What’s In Store


Kate Hudson Perfect For Almay: When consumers think of a natural beauty, Kate Hudson comes to mind. That makes Revlon’s announcement of Hudson as an Almay ambassador, a role that kicked off Thursday with her appearance at a Rain Forest event, a solid match. Retailers said Revlon gets good mileage out of its spokespeople and that Hudson will boost Almay.


PCPC Steps Up to Charges: John Bailey, chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council, stepped up to defend the industry against a new report alleging that a number of popular brand-name perfumes and teen body sprays have secret chemicals that could be harmful.

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