NEW YORK — Bringing back the “Because I’m Worth It” tag line to L’Oréal Paris’ ad campaigns this year proved fortuitous Monday when the French beauty giant L’Oréal unveiled Penélope Cruz as its latest spokeswoman.
It seems the Spanish movie star and her family have long been fans of that well-known phrase.
“It’s funny, a couple of years ago my sister started a ‘L’Oréal weekend’ with her girlfriends,” Cruz said through a L’Oréal spokesman while shooting a TV commercial for Natural Match hair color, her first L’Oréal gig. “It’s time they reserve just to feel good about themselves, no talking about men, and they call it the ‘Because I’m Worth It’ weekend. So now they think it’s hilarious that now I’m the one saying that line.”
The TV spot featuring Cruz, whose hair has been treated with Natural Match shade 5W, will debut Jan. 16 during the Golden Globe awards telecast. She is featured wearing a black tank top in various poses, and refers to the hair color as “speaking her language.” Cruz admitted to laughing while filming the tag line since her friends had been asking her for several days to practice saying it for them.
Cruz will not be alone the night of the Golden Globes in representing L’Oréal Paris, a division of the Paris-based L’Oréal, and of its U.S. subsidiary, L’Oréal USA. She will be part of a L’Oréal trifecta. Scarlett Johansson will be pitching HIP High Intensity Pigment, L’Oréal’s newest color cosmetics line, during the awards show, too. HIP is aimed at reigniting consumers’ interest in drug stores with bold lip, eye and face products. And, L’Oréal is the sole beauty sponsor of the show.
Cruz, who signed a multiyear contract with the beauty firm, is expected to receive as much as $2 million a year for her spokeswoman role, said industry sources. The actress is currently promoting “Bandidas,” a Fox film, in which she stars with her best friend Salma Hayek. They play bank robbers in Mexico during the early 1900s. Cruz is working on the film “The Good Night.”
L’Oréal has been linked to Hollywood actresses for more than 30 years, said Carol Hamilton, president of L’Oréal Paris. “We were the first to hire celebrities in any beauty campaign. It is part of our DNA,” she said.
The “Because I’m Worth It” tag was created in 1973 and the words were first spoken by actress Joanne Dusseau. Others recruited by L’Oréal include Meredith Baxter, Andie MacDowell and Cybill Shepherd.
Hamilton is known for trying to capture the personality of a new beauty brand by using a celebrity to convey the brand’s image. Hamilton said Cruz’ natural beauty made the choice simple.
“When you think about her, she always looks beautiful but always in such a natural way. Her hair has always been brunette and it is usually long. We researched that carefully,” said Hamilton.
Cruz is no stranger to L’Oréal. She was a spokeswoman for the Ralph Lauren Fragrances Worldwide division for its launch of the Glamorous women’s scent in 2002.
Natural Match, as the new permanent, ammonia-free formula is called, uses Color-Calibrated technology to deliver dimensional, glossy and reflective tones, a challenge in the at-home hair color category. While Natural Match aims to provide women with a true match to their natural color, perhaps most importantly it aims to demystify the hair color selection process.
Boxes are equipped with mirrors to guide those with a false idea of what their hair color actually is. Women can choose a desired shade from four hues within their color range, one that’s either cool, natural, warm or red in tone. Packaging takes a professional approach with comprehensive copy on boxes so consumers can understand their shade range options, explaining how cooler shades minimize red and orange tones, natural shades enhance natural tones, warm shades add gold highlights and red shades add sheer red tones to hair. It ships to mass retailers this month and will retail for $11.99.
Cruz was introduced to American audiences in the Spanish films “Jamon, Jamon” and “Belle Epoque,” and in 1998 she starred in her first English language film, “Hi-Lo Country.” In 1999, Cruz won the Best Actress award at the 13th Annual Goya Awards given by the Spanish Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for her role in Fernando Trueba’s “The Girl of Your Dreams.” Since then, she has appeared in movies such as “All the Pretty Horses,” “Woman on Top,” “All About My Mother,” “Blow,” “Vanilla Sky,” “Gothika,” and “Sahara,” where she met current boyfriend Matthew McConaughey.