GIORGIO DIVES IN WITH OCEAN DREAM
Byline: Soren Larson
NEW YORK — Giorgio Beverly Hills hopes that amid a sea of fragrance launches this fall, the tide will turn its way when it launches a women’s brand called Ocean Dream.
While acknowledging that introductions from heavyweights like Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger and Christian Dior will make the season especially competitive, Giorgio predicts that its new product will fast become the best-selling fragrance in its stable.
“This is the year of the mega-brands,” said Linda LoRe, Giorgio’s president and chief executive officer. “We’re taking on the giants of the category, but we think we can cut through the clutter. We’re positioning Ocean Dream to be our biggest brand.”
When the new scent is launched in Giorgio’s 1,800 U.S. doors between Aug. 25 and the end of September, it will be accompanied by an advertising and promotional blitz that LoRe said is the company’s most concentrated effort to date.
“We’re packing a wallop,” she said. “We’re looking at an integrated approach of advertising, in-store activity and sampling.”
As a result, LoRe said, the company intends for Ocean Dream to end up “solidly” in the top 10 rankings in department stores by Christmas.
According to sources close to the company, Giorgio is spending more than $15 million this year in the hope of generating volume topping $30 million at wholesale. LoRe declined comment on both figures.
While it plans to grab attention through extensive advertising, Giorgio also feels the concept for its new brand will set it apart from the rest of this fall’s launch lineup.
“We think our message to the consumer is different than the others,” she said. The specific target audience is women ages 25 to 34, and as with all of Giorgio’s products, the new brand “is about projecting the Southern California lifestyle — which of course focuses on the ocean.”
Ocean Dream is also intended to make a bigger splash than Giorgio’s other introduction this year, an extension of the firm’s signature brand called Giorgio Aire. Aire was launched at the Giorgio boutique in Beverly Hills this month and will roll out to department stores through the summer. Although it expects Aire to give a real boost to the Giorgio franchise, the company is banking on Ocean Dream to draw in a new group of consumers.
One way is through an unusual packaging strategy. Instead of using one design for the entire Ocean Dream line, Giorgio is going with four different bottles and four different colors for the juice.
One version will be a perfume, and the other three will be various sizes of eau de toilette. The fragrance itself is the same throughout the range.
The appearance of the bottles is meant to evoke weatherbeaten antique glass products that may have washed up on shore, LoRe said.
“The diversity of the packaging is symbolic of the different feelings people have about the ocean,” she said. “It’s supposed to offer a sense of well-being and familiarity, but it also allows room for individual interpretation.”
In addition, the company hopes that having four versions will induce repeat purchases.
“It has an element of collectability,” LoRe said. “This could drive volume because if they like one, they might come back for more.”
She said Giorgio used extensive consumer research to hone the concept for the new scent. In the end, LoRe said, the company decided on the notion that amid uncertainty, the ocean is a constant — imagery she hopes consumers will find attractive.
“It’s meant to evoke the mystery and tranquility of the ocean — but that doesn’t mean it smells like the ocean,” she added.
Exactly what it will smell like remains undecided, as Giorgio has narrowed its choices for the final version to offerings from two fragrance suppliers: Firmenich and Givaudan-Roure.
“Both are outstanding — it will be a difficult choice,” LoRe said, adding that the decision will be made in mid-April. She said that in either case, the scent will be a “modern, bright fragrance, atmospheric and airy.”
The collection will include a 0.5-oz. perfume for $125, a 3-oz. eau de toilette for $57.50, a 1.7-oz. version for $44.50 and a 1-oz. size for $37.50.
Also sold will be three ancillary items, available in each of the four colors: a 6.7-oz. moisturizer for $35, a same-size body wash for $27.50 and a 5.3-oz. dusting powder for $35.
In keeping with the ocean imagery, the bath and body products will contain botanical sea extracts, which the company claims provide skin care benefits.
Once the fragrance has been decided, the company will go to work on creating an immense sampling campaign. More than 100 million scented pieces will be distributed by the end of the year, according to LoRe.
Scented strips will be attached to the print ads and to mailings made in conjunction with retailers. In addition, the company will install an interactive sampling unit at its counters, so shoppers may try the fragrance in whichever color they prefer.
“We need to be very competitive with all the big boys out there,” said Carolyn Tastad, vice president and national sales manager. “But we’re confident we’ll stand out, even in this environment. The in-store visuals are compelling, and having vehicles like the interactive [sampling] unit gives a point of difference.”
As for the print and TV campaigns, the company has signed model Elaine Irwin, wife of rock star John Mellencamp, to be the face of Ocean Dream.
On TV, what LoRe described as “continuous network advertising” will begin airing in August and will run through Christmas.
The print ads will first appear in August magazines, with the campaign extending through this year and well into 1997, according to the company. The tag line will be: “If you come very, very close, you can hear the ocean. Ocean Dream by Giorgio Beverly Hills. The light, soft, yet mysterious fragrance. Let it take you there.”
In all, 38 ad inserts will appear in at least 25 different magazines through the fall, according to the company. The media list, not yet complete, will include women’s fashion magazines along with publications including People, Vanity Fair and George.
Before rolling out to department stores, the product will make its debut at the Giorgio boutique in Beverly Hills at a benefit for the American Oceans Campaign, an environmental organization.
In a first for Giorgio, the new fragrance will also have a global launch: It will be shipped to Europe, Canada, Latin America and Asia through the fall.
While Aire was launched to add a modern twist to the original Giorgio brand, Ocean Dream signifies another big step away from the company’s association with the flashy, self-indulgent Eighties, LoRe noted.
“We’re trying to make this the evolution of the Giorgio consumer,” she said. “It’s an improvement and an enhancement of what we’ve been doing all along.”