BAYWATCH: SCENT OF THE BEACH

Byline: Kim-Van Dang

NEW YORK — A new mass market beauty company, TreeTops Inc., hopes to parlay TV’s popular prime time program “Baywatch” into two hit fragrances. Steve Marks, a former Revlon marketing and sales executive who owns TreeTops, will ship a men’s and a women’s version of Baywatch fragrances to 10,000 doors in late May and projects gross sales of $20 million the first year.
The syndicated show, featuring tan blond young men and women splashing around in skimpier-than-lifeguard-regulation swimsuits, draws a billion viewers in 110 countries weekly, making it the most watched dramatic TV series in the world.
TreeTops, based here, obtained the license to do Baywatch fragrances, cosmetics and skin care in a “seven-figure deal” with All American Television, the Los Angeles production company co-owned by “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff, Marks said.
Baywatch Woman Eau de Parfum and Baywatch Man Eau de Cologne are priced at the high end of the mass range, Marks said. Prices for each line are $15 for a 1-oz. spray, $25 for a 1.7-oz. version and $32.50 for a 3.4-oz. size.
“Mass is changing,” Marks said. “Mass now means some department stores, too.”
The fragrances also will be distributed to South America, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Puerto Rico and will be sold at U.S. military bases.
Marks said he is still negotiating distribution agreements with retailers, mostly mass market outlets.
Developed by Givaudan-Roure in Paris, the scents will be packaged in surfboard-shaped bottles made by the French-based Pochet Glass. ProtAgA Packaging in Hillside, N.J., will manufacture the finished products.
Marks already has plans to extend the lines. In September, he will introduce bath gel for men and women, body lotion for women and an aftershave balm for men. Each container will hold 6.7 ounces. Prices have not yet been determined.
Marks will spend $4 million on advertising the first year. Advertising agency Cason Nightingale, here, developed the slogan, “Dive In” for the fragrances.
Fifteen-second spots to run on MTV will feature snippets of the “Baywatch” show. In July, Marks plans to run ads in Seventeen and People magazines. He is also talking with YM, Playboy and Cosmopolitan.
Marks is trying to arrange in-store appearances by “Baywatch” stars in late May, before the series resumes filming on the beaches of Malibu, Calif.
Marks is creating promotional contests to be broadcast in radio spots. Life-size photo cutouts of “Baywatch” stars have been fashioned into point-of-purchase displays for the stores.
As if the huge ratings of “Baywatch” were not enough, Marks has added insurance in the form of cross-merchandising. He sealed a deal with Mattel Toys to package its Barbie doll, dressed in a “Baywatch” outfit, with his women’s scent in a gift set for duty-free distribution.

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