LOULOU BLUE LOOKS TO YOUTH TO COLOR SALES
Byline: Alev Aktar
PARIS — Forget flowery ingenues, Parfums Cacharel has gone trendy.
To stabilize the eight-year-old Loulou business and recruit a fresh crop of young consumers, the company will launch a “techno-glamour” sequel to Loulou, called Loulou Blue, here in May.
Distribution will be rolled out across Europe, except for Spain and Germany.
The eau de toilette will be sold in about 11,000 European doors. Georges Klarsfeld, international managing director at Prestige & Collections, L’Oreal’s Paris-based fine fragrance division, estimates that wholesale sales in Europe for Loulou Blue this year could hit “at least $20 million and it could be a lot more.”
This represents about half of the total Loulou brand’s business in Europe. Like Givenchy’s Fleur d’Interdit and Gianni Versace Profumi’s Blue Jeans and Red Jeans for men and women — all launched last year — Loulou Blue is one of the new prestige scents targeted to young women aged 15 to 20.
“The success of Fleur d’Interdit with very little advertising support gave us every indication that there is a gap in the market place,” said Klarsfeld. “We have a very active youth market in Europe, but it’s mostly taken up by mass market products,” he added.
Cacharel’s three women’s scents — Loulou, Anais Anais and Eden — are targeted to an 18-to-35-year-old audience.
Other fragrances aimed at teens — but sold in both mass market and selective outlets here are Kookao’s Oui-Non, Naf Naf’s Une Touche de Naf-Naf and Legendary Harley-Davidson, all from L’Oreal’s mass market products division.
There is also the Un Monde Nouveau range, and Clin d’Oeilscents from Bourjois, part of the Chanel group.
Parfums Cacharel has developed a marketing mix that is hip. The eau de toilette is priced for student budgets: around 35 percent cheaper than Loulou. Prices include $32 (160 francs) for a 50-ml. spray eau de toilette and $50 (250 francs) for a 100-ml. version.
In addition, a 35-ml. spray priced at around $20 will also be available during the launch period.
The fragrance will be backed by a television and print advertising campaign directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and inspired by the look of Quentin Tarantino’s hit film, “Pulp Fiction.”
Klarsfeld said the European television and print advertising and promotional budget will total $14 million, about 70 percent of the volume shipped to the stores.
The commercial shows nine video screens flashing images of painted red lips and eyes, then the camera zooms in on a face then pulls back to reveal a black-haired woman in a blue vinyl dress lying on a mirror and next to a bottle of Loulou Blue.
The fragrance will be rolled out to 2,000 doors in Germany in the second half of 1995. The company is considering a launch in Spain, but there are no plans now for an American introduction.
Although Anais is sold in the U.S. and Parfums Cacharel is preparing a big launch next year for Eden, Loulou did not succeed and was pulled from the American market in 1991. “We tried introducing Loulou in the States and it didn’t take,” Klarsfeld said.
Although the Loulou business has receded over the years and European volume dropped around 8 percent last year, according to Klarsfeld, it remains in the top 10 in Europe.
Last year it generated $53 million at wholesale or 18 percent of Parfums Cacharel’s $280 million global volume, which includes the makeup line, said Klarsfeld. The Loulou Blue bottle is the same shape as the original’s spray, but made of blue glass with a metallicized blue cap banded in maroon.
The fresh floral eau de toilette with a vanilla flower accord was blended by perfumers at Givaudan-Roure Corp.