Sally Hansen would like to reintroduce itself.
The Coty Inc.-owned brand — the longtime category leader in the nail market — is unveiling this week its biggest brand overhaul to date, complete with a new logo, tag line and 360 ad campaign. It also marks the first time Sally Hansen has produced a global campaign focused solely on the brand itself, and not centered on a specific product launch.
Sally Hansen’s modernized logo and tag line — “self-made beauty” — will debut this week in a 40-second television spot, alongside a comprehensive digital campaign encompassing programmatic and banner ads, video, paid social media and influencers. In January, Sally Hansen fixtures in-store will unveil the brand’s new colorway — a poppier version of its signature orange.
“Beauty isn’t about the actual polished look, but the feeling and emotion and joy that comes with that,” said Jeremy Lowenstein, Sally Hansen’s vice president of global marketing. “It’s even more empowering when you can do it yourself, and [our] new brand platform with the purpose of empowering women to achieve self-made beauty translates across multiple with touchpoints with consumers and how she sees us in the market.”
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The television spot features a diverse group of women ranging in age across several generations, and highlights the breadth of Sally Hansen’s product offering — an assortment that includes nail polish, treatments, beauty tools such as tweezers and eyelash curlers, hair removal products and the Airbrush Legs franchise.
The idea was to showcase Sally Hansen as a brand with something for everyone.
“We’re a multigenerational brand that’s been around since the Forties,” Lowenstein said. “Brands [now] are pivoting to say, ‘We’re all about the Millennial [consumer], but for me it’s about honoring and cherishing the consumer who has been with us since the beginning, and showing women today how relevant we are no matter what life stage she’s in.’”
Life Proof, a global campaign behind Miracle Gel featuring content inspired by real women, launched in June and was brought to life through influencer content was a first step forward in the brand’s new direction. At the time, WWD reported that retailers were hopeful that campaigns like Life Proof would revitalize lackluster sales in the mass nail category. According to IRI data tracking the 12-week period ended Aug. 13, the category overall was down 11 percent in drugstores, and nail polish specifically was down 13 percent.
But it’s not just flailing nail sales that the Sally Hansen re-brand is coinciding with — it is also happening in tandem with the culmination of a side project Lowenstein embarked on two years ago: the search for Sally Hansen herself.
Frustrated with the lack of information available about Hansen — who died in 1963 and Coty acquired the brand from Del Laboratories in 2009 — Lowenstein hired two private investigative journalists to dig up information about her.
The search was particularly challenged because Hansen had no biological children, but what Lowenstein ultimately uncovered and presented to Coty executives was the life of a lively, entrepreneurial-minded woman. Much of the redesign was inspired by Hansen herself, such as an updated logo created from her original signature, which Lowenstein unearthed during his search.
But don’t expect Hansen’s visage to grace any of the brand’s marketing materials just yet. “It’s not about making her the face of the brand, it’s about making her the inspiration for the brand,” Lowenstein said. “Think of all the iconic beauty founders, like Elizabeth Arden and Estée Lauder. It’s her tone of voice and why she created the products and her point of view on beauty,” which involves empowering women to do their own beauty treatments. “We want to start to think about that as we move the brand forward. The brand isn’t just here because we have great products — there’s a purpose to it.”