LANCASTER’S COOL WATER GETS FUNCTIONAL

Byline: Matthew W. Evans

NEW YORK — Lancaster Group U.S. is adding a men’s skin care wing to its mainstay, the Davidoff Cool Water fragrance franchise. More than a ripple, executives hope the line extension, called Function(s), will provide a “next wave” to reinvigorate the decade-old men’s franchise.
Lancaster, the prestige division of Coty Inc., launched Function(s) in Europe last year, and the line extension will be introduced in the U.S. in April. The skin care line is the extension on the Cool Water men’s fragrance assortment.
“It’s the next level,” said Diana Waldron, vice president of marketing for Lancaster. “The thinking was we had to stay young, hip and cool, as our name suggests.”
Function(s) is aimed at 15- to 30-year-olds, which represents the youngest segment of the present Cool Water user base. According to Waldron, 35 percent of Cool Water customers are 15 to 24 years old.
Function(s)’ eight stockkeeping units are divided into three color-coded assortments — blue graphics for Body, white lettering for Face and an orange scheme for Sun. Prices range from $12 for a 0.35-oz. Cool Sun Saver SPF 25 protection stick to $24 for the 1.7-oz. Cool O2 Face Shield, an antistress moisturizer. A 5-oz. $16 Cool Body Rescue is designed to provide muscle-soothing properties for exercise-related soreness. All of the items carry the original Cool Water scent.
Waldron cited consumer research in asserting that young men are open to paying prestige prices for personal care products, representing a golden marketing opportunity in the department store. “There is definitely a need for them,” she said.
Waldron declined to discuss budgets or sales projections, but industry sources estimate that the new line could produce incremental sales gains of 15 percent. According to market sources, the Cool Water men’s scent did $33.5 million at retail in 1999. A 15 percent increase on that base would produce first-year retail sales of $5 million for Function(s).
For the launch, merchandising display units will be shipped to 1,500 doors, or the top-producing 68 percent of Cool Water’s 2,200-door network. Simultaneously, there will be free packette sampling and ads breaking in 13 men’s and women’s magazines.
The ad campaign will get a two-part boost in May. Along with the launch of a five-piece
“All-over Cool” sampler set, 10 million scented strips will be included in varying titles like Sports Illustrated, Playboy and Vibe, as well as women’s magazines Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire.
The sampler will be sold for $31 and will include a 1.35-oz. bottle of eau de toilette spray and four 1.7-oz. sizes of other Function(s) products. The set comes packaged in blue plexiglass.
The packaging was designed to double as an unusual selling point. Each plastic bottle contains a blue foil bag that contains the product, which is dispensed through a pump. “We wanted to bring something very 2001 into the line,” Waldron said.

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