Byline: Andrea M. Grossman

NEW YORK — Shock value has hit the sun care category.
In Sea & Ski’s new print advertising campaign, the effects of the sun’s rays are boldly represented with images of children appearing with 70-year-old faces. Alongside photos are tag lines such as “Keep your kids from getting old before their time” and “Don’t let your children grow up too quickly.” The ads, which were created by Fort Lauderdale-based Harris, Drury, Cohen, break in the April 23 issue of Family Circle, which lands on newsstands April 2.
The $2.5 million print and radio campaign will also appear in May issues of People, Rosie and Child magazines.
According to Frank Reilly, marketing director for Sea & Ski, the company is simply acknowledging that images of women basking in the sun are outdated. “The future is that people need protection from the sun. So we are leveraging off the heritage that was built up by Sea & Ski years ago,” Reilly said.
Images of children with wrinkled faces is one way to stop moms with kids in their tracks, the demographic Sea & Ski research found to be the primary purchasers of sunscreen. The ad effort promotes Sea & Ski’s newly relaunched line of 27 products, which retailers first saw last June. Sea & Ski now sports brightly colored tubes; brown tubes house sunless formulas, yellow tubes contain children’s formulas, green tubes are for advanced formulas and blue tubes represent sport items. All formulas now also contain astazanthin, an antiaging formula that Sea & Ski claims is 100 times more powerful than vitamin E. The new stockkeeping units are currently available in South Florida, Arizona, Southern California and Texas. National rollout begins next month.
Sea & Ski was purchased in May 2000 by Fort Lauderdale-based Faulding Consumer, a division of Australia-based F.H. Faulding & Co. Ltd. At the time, Sea & Ski’s annual sales totaled $5 million. Its dermatological positioning didn’t connect with consumers. First-year sales expectations for the new products are between $15 million and $19 million, Reilly said.

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