NEW YORK — After 36 years, Clinique’s most recognized — and enduring — skin care product, Dramatically Different Lotion, is getting a new sibling.

In late August, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel — a lightweight version of the original that is specially formulated for consumers with oily and combination skin — will debut at Clinique counters, which currently number upward of 2,200 department and specialty store doors in the U.S.

The original Dramatically Different launched in 1968 as part of the then-fledgling brand’s first group of products. Designed to be used as part of Clinique’s three-step facial cleansing system, it remains one of the brand’s top-selling products. “If Dramatically Different was its own department store beauty brand, it would rank eighth,” said Susan Akkad, vice president of skin care marketing for Clinique, adding that “a bottle of [the original] Dramatically Different is sold every four seconds, globally.” Akkad also added that the gel version is the first domestic update to the Dramatically Different family since the Sixties.

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel’s formulation is similar to that of its much older sister, although the new gel formulation is oil-free. A 1.7-oz. pump bottle will retail for $11, while a 4.2-oz. bottle will be $22. The lightweight, cooling formula will likely also attract a younger consumer, noted Janet Pardo, senior vice president of product development at Clinique.

Advertising for the new moisturizer was photographed by Irving Penn and will break this month in fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. While none of the executives would comment on projected sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the new gel formulation could add as much as $35 million at retail to Clinique’s domestic bottom line in the next 12 months. Sources also estimated that Clinique will spend about $2 million on advertising and promotion; in addition to the print advertising, the campaign will include more than 2 million samples.

Clinique also is tapping its heritage to add to another of its best-selling lines, Superbalanced Makeup. The new addition is a compact, oil-free version of a liquid foundation the brand introduced in 1994. “We’re taking a lot of evolutionary steps with [Clinique],” said Julie Howard, vice president of makeup marketing for Clinique. “Our formulas have always been the finest — now, we’re expanding some of them into new directions.”

This story first appeared in the July 23, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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Superbalanced Makeup — in both its forms — uses Clinique’s proprietary capillary shell technology, which is a time-release microsphere that is said to both control oil and provide moisture, explained Howard. Superbalanced Compact Makeup SPF 20 will retail for $26.50 and will be made in 18 shades. It hits counters in September, said Howard, who added that in January the company will begin selling refills for the foundation, which will retail for $19.50. Industry sources estimated that the new addition could do upward of $40 million in its first year on counter. Sources estimated that about $4 million will be spent on advertising, which will include more than 3 million BeautiSeal samplers.

In October, Clinique will roll out Colour Surge Eye Shadow, which borrows its name from a franchise that began as a lip color in March 2003. Colour Surge Eye Shadow also introduces a new eye shadow package for the company, noted Ted Owen, executive director of package design at Clinique. Rather than the traditional sliding compact, the new packaging features a silver top and a bottom color matched to the shade inside. The new eye shadow will be available in three finishes: Super Shimmer, a six-shade, high-sheen range; Velvet, a matte finish in five shades, and Soft Shimmer, a creamy formula with a slight luminosity, in seven shades. All retail for $13.50. Clinique also will offer six eye shadow duos, each $17.50. Industry sources estimate that the new line could do $25 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter.

In addition, Clinique has just begun revamping its counters, said Gene Fina, vice president of store design at Clinique. Square footage will vary by store — ranging in size from 100 to 1,200 square feet — but all counters will be “lighter and brighter,” with a greater emphasis on segregating product lines, making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for, said Fina. Many of the larger installations also will showcase Clinique’s men’s products. About 100 redesigned counters will be in place by the end of August, he said. Macy’s Herald Square, one of the brand’s largest counters, will be redone by January, he added.

— J.N.