AVON LAUNCHES LAST PHASE OF CORPORATE REVAMPING
Byline: Kim-Van Dang
NEW YORK — Avon Products Inc. entered the final phase of a three-year corporate facelift on Tuesday, when executives unveiled a new advertising campaign, updated Web site functions, redesigned direct-mail brochures and the addition of a home furnishings catalog.
Avon also announced plans to launch a host of skin care products under the global brand Anew for less than $20. These include a trio of Anew All-In-One products that contain alpha hydroxy acids and Anew Retinol Recovery Complex PM Treatment, which delivers the pure form of vitamin A to the skin through “microsponges.”
Renewed efforts in skin care represent the last step in the direct-marketing company’s product overhaul strategy, following similar moves in color cosmetics and fragrance. Treatment is a category that executives will focus on building over the next two years through proprietary technology, heavy advertising and sampling.
Avon’s new reimaging campaign, aimed at the 25-to-40-year-old consumer, is due to get under way this month.
“This is a deliberate plan to turn up the volume,” said Andrea Jung, Avon president of global marketing. “We began working on our image in 1996 when we learned through consumer monitoring that non-users perceived the brand as old-fashioned and dated. The ‘Just another Avon Lady’ campaign last year was a way for us to redefine Avon. Now, we want to convince and challenge women.”
“Dare to change your mind about Avon” is one of many taglines in the new “Dare” campaign created by the company’s New York ad agency, N.W. Ayer & Partners. Print and outdoor ads as well as TV commercials will feature the slogans in white against a black backdrop, product shots and portraits of real Avon users.
The company, with more than $4.5 billion in annual revenues worldwide, earmarked $24 million for U.S. advertising last year. Jung said she will increase ad spending by 20 percent this year to $28.8 million. The bulk of that will be devoted to skin care.
Additionally, Jung and Lynn Emmolo, group vice president of global product marketing, plan to step up Avon’s sampling efforts. The company will issue some 40 million skin care samples this year, compared to 4.5 million in 1996.
“What we’re saying is: ‘Try it, and you’ll be converted,”‘ Jung said.
Underscoring the message is a more spare and modern look to packaging. Even the company logo boasts a new typeface.
The 16 million sales brochures that some 450,000 U.S. Avon representatives hand out every two weeks have also been redesigned, as has a direct-mail vehicle the company tested in 1996: a catalog for consumers who want to bypass sales representatives called “Avon Beauty and Fashion by Mail.” Jung said that six issues, with a circulation of one million each, are planned for this year.
A Web site launched last year — http://www.avon.com — will feature new options starting this month, including on-site selling.
And then, there is Avon Home, a catalog featuring home furnishings and accessories, which will make its debut in March.
“We tested a sheet pattern last spring and a dinnerware pattern last fall in our brochures, and we knew we had a winner on our hands,” Jung said.