DAVIDOFF EXPLORES FORM AND FUNCTION[S]

Byline: Jennifer Weil

PARIS — Davidoff has given a new meaning to “cool.”
The Lancaster licensee flew some 120 journalists and employees up to the most northern climes of Sweden to launch its Cool Water Man skin care line, Function[s].
The three-day excursion was chockablock with outdoor activities, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling and dog sledding. It ended with a night in a hotel made of ice. Very cool. And very cold.
But why all the rigorous activity? To get juiced up for the 13-unit line that targets active 16-to-25-year-old men.
It’s for those “who are high-paced, multitasking, into surfing on the Net and extreme sports,” said Julie McIvor, vice president of marketing fragrances for Davidoff, who added that the line, which has products for the face, body and sun care, is meant to be used “from dawn until dusk, from head to toe.”
“We’re creating a whole category for men,” said Lancaster president Patrick Thomas, who will leave the company April 1 to return to the spirits industry. Thomas was referring to the extensive lineup.
The company refused to give estimates, but industry sources said Function[s] could ring up more than $20 million in wholesale sales during its first year.
McIvor said that with the line, the company is looking to jump-start the 18-year-old Cool Water brand by bringing in some new, young blood, especially in the more mature markets such as Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands.
“It will build on the Cool Water franchise,” said Thomas, adding it is a name that still holds its own: It is in the top 10 in the U.S. men’s prestige market and leads that category in both Germany and Holland.
For Function[s], the company worked overtime to make the products functional. There are no fancy trapping; the semi-transparent packaging created by Peter Schmidt Studio enables users to keep track of how much of the foil-wrapped product they have left. Also, each item dispenses product in unidoses. “Men are interested in products that are extremely simple in concept,” Thomas said.
In June, the product will be introduced to limited distribution in the U.K. and France. Then it will be rolled out to Spain, Germany, Austria, the Benelux and Switzerland, and some duty-free markets and parts of Eastern Europe. The rest of the U.K., the U.S., Japan and Italy are slated to get the product in spring 2001.
Prices range from $14.50 for a 150-ml. antibacterial deodorant to $22.50 for a 50-ml. oxygen moisturizer.
All prices are converted at current exchange rates.

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