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P&G Chasing Sales With Animagical

Procter & Gamble Prestige is making a dash for the younger market with the help of the world’s fastest man.

BERLIN — Procter & Gamble Prestige is making a dash for the younger market with the help of the world’s fastest man.

The new Puma fragrance line, Animagical, fronted by sprinter Usain Bolt, is priced 30 percent lower than Puma’s latest releases, in line with P&G’s 2004 Puma Jamaica scent, its most successful launch. The smallest size eau de toilette, 20 ml. for women and 25 ml. for men, has a suggested price of 10.95 euros, or $13.64. The men’s and women’s eau de toilette also comes in 40-, 60- and 90-ml. sizes, priced at 17.45, 24.95, and 34.95 euros, or $21.74, $31.09, and $43.55, respectively. All dollar amounts are converted at current exchange.

Ancillary products — shower gel, deodorant and body lotion — will be priced at 9 euros, or $11.21. “Ten euro is a major threshold, especially for young people,” explains Heike Hindenlang, global marketing director for Procter & Gamble Prestige Products. “What we are trying to achieve here is to offer an opportunity to young consumers who usually buy mass fragrances and deodorants to upgrade them into the [lifestyle] fragrance category.” The target age for Animagical, inspired by “the joy of Africa,” is 14 to 19, primarily first-time scent users.

The brand is hoping to attract the Jamaican Olympic gold medalist’s swarms of admirers, both male and female, through several media. A Facebook application was designed to tempt Usain Bolt’s 1.8 million fans and Puma’s 1.5 million fans registered on the social networking site. Large in-store cutouts will show Bolt in his regular “lightning bolt” winner’s stance, legs apart with one arm bent and the other pointing toward the sky.

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And a flirty television commercial portrays the energetic athlete as a star on the dance floor. In the spot, directed by Hype Williams, who has made video clips for Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, Bolt enters a party, spots his target — bikini-and-sweatsuit-clad Brazilian model Gabriella Silva — and moves in. As they find a common beat and start to dance, some of their clothes begin to liquefy and fly off. Casting Bolt’s female counterpart was not easy, admitted Hindenlang, but Silva was “not only beautiful, but radiant and joyful.”

The TV spot will be shown in almost all markets, according to Hindenlang. “Even though online, of course, is a very important media, but for young people TV is still the number-one media. They just use it differently than they used to,” she said, pointing out that teens are likely to be text messaging or listening to music at the same time. Still, she’s confident Bolt’s appeal, and the color and energy conveyed by the scent’s packaging will break through the multimedia clouds and reach the multitaskers.

Animagical will be launched in more than 50 countries in June; key markets are Germany, The Netherlands, and Russia. Other destinations include Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Israel, South Africa, Poland, Greece, Denmark, Norway Sweden and Mexico. However, the distribution strategy does not include the U.S. and the U.K.

The line will be sold in 17,000 doors including perfumeries, department stores and high-end drug stores. Industry sources say Animagical could generate $40 million to $60 million in retail sales globally in the first year, outperforming Puma’s last fragrance launch, 2009’s Urban Motion.