Lancôme Steps Into a Man’s World
PARIS — For Lancôme, 2007 is the Year of the Man.
As explained by Odile Roujol, general manager of L’Oreál-owned Lancôme International, “In 2007, we have two big conquests to make.”
The brand is ramping up to introduce its Hypnôse Homme men’s fragrance and its Lancôme Men skin care line over the next few months. (See launch stories, below.)
According to Roujol, Hypnôse Homme and its other upcoming fragrance projects for men should generate 20 percent of Lancôme’s overall fragrance sales in the next three years. That would put Lancôme among the top 10 men’s fragrance brands worldwide. As for skin care, the brand’s goal is to have Lancôme Men represent 10 percent of the brand’s sales, catapulting it into number-one slot in male antiaging treatment. (Currently, men’s beauty products ring up less than 5 percent of Lancôme’s overall business.)
Also to lure guys’ attention, Lancôme signed actor Clive Owen to be the face of its new projects for men, as reported.
“As an actor, he’s making daring choices,” said Roujol. “I think he is very committed to what he does.”
That includes his role as a spokesman.
“He’s been very involved,” she said, adding, “There was no second [spokesman candidate] on the list. I know we share the same values.”
“He is the perfect modern man,” added Vincent Brun, marketing director of fragrances and men’s skin care at Lancôme International. “He is very seductive, very universal. That’s what Lancôme is about.”
Two years following the launch of its blockbuster Hypnôse women’s scent, Lancôme is set to introduce Hypnôse Homme, meant to bolster the L’Oreál-owned brand’s men’s fragrance portfolio.
“Men’s fragrances are part of the DNA of the brand,” said Roujol, who recapped that Balafre, the brand’s first scent for males, came out as long ago as 1968. Lancôme’s most recent men’s scent, Miracle Homme, was introduced in fall 2001.
Hypnôse Homme’s juice — a fresh, amber-based lavender — was created by Maurice Roucel, of Symrise. Its top notes include essences of mint, bergamot, Calabrian mandarin and Chinese cardamom seed. Heart notes include essence of Provençal lavender, and base notes include amber, musk and essence of Indonesian patchouli.
The new fragrance’s bottle was created with packaging designer Charles Boussiquet, of Areca. The flacon is reminiscent of Hypnôse’s in that it appears to be twisting vertically. However, Hypnôse Homme’s bottle is not as tall as Hypnôse’s, and it is amber-colored (rather than violet-hued) due to the juice inside.
Hypnôse Homme’s print advertisement, shot by Tom Munro and featuring Owen holding the fragrance bottle, will break in single and double pages worldwide. As reported, Wong Kar Wai directed Owen and Daria Werbowy (another Lancôme face) in TV spots, set to run between five and 25 seconds in international markets outside the U.S. In the commercial spot, Owen and Werbowy wander through a maze of glass panels. Winding their way slowly toward each other, they steal sensual glances.
Sampling for Hypnôse Homme will include scented strips and fragrance miniature samples.
While Lancôme executives would not discuss sales forecasts, industry sources estimate Hypnôse Homme could ring up $80 million at retail during its first 12 months.
The new fragrance is to be introduced in southern Europe in March, in the rest of Europe and travel retail in April, and in the U.S. in May.
Hypnôse Homme’s lineup will include a 50-ml. eau de toilette spray for $45, a 75-ml. edt spray for $55, plus a number of ancillaries, including a 75-ml. stick deodorant for $16.
— Jennifer Weil
Lancôme is muscling in on the men’s treatment market.
The L’Oreál-owned brand aims to become the top-selling player in the antiaging category for men following the spring introduction of Lancôme Men, which will be fronted by Owen.
“Lancôme is number one in antiaging worldwide for women,” said Roujol. “We intend to become the reference in antiaging men’s skin care.”
L’Oreál executives declined to discuss forecasts, however, industry sources estimate the line could generate $40 million in first-year retail sales.
The eight-unit collection, which is to replace the 15-unit Lancôme Homme line introduced in 2003, is Lancôme’s third attempt to dominate the grooming for guys arena. Lancôme’s first try, Programme Homme, was discontinued in the Eighties.
In creating Lancôme Men, which sports the logo “Lancôme Loves Men,” company executives conducted an international sociocultural study involving 18,500 participants. The survey concluded that men use skin care to feel good, clean and self-confident, according to Veronique Delvigne, scientific director of Lancôme International.
Additionally, Lancôme’s laboratories undertook a three-year research program to identify the main aspects of men’s aging. Key findings included men’s wrinkles stabilize around age 40, while pore size increases until men reach their 50s, explained Philippe Touzan, Lancôme’s international director of corporate skin care development.
As a result of the studies, Lancôme tailored products by age, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Items in Lancôme Men are color-coded for easy selection. Blue denotes products targeting 25- to 30-year-olds, such as Hydrix Micronutrient Moisturizing Gel, for example; red is for items such as Age Fight Anti-Age Perfecting Fluid, meant for 30- to 40-year-olds, and purple is for products like Renergy 3D Lifting Anti-Wrinkle, Firming Cream, which are for men aged 40 and over.
Products range in price from $25.90 for a 200-ml. bottle of Shave Foam to $86.30 for a 50-ml. jar of Renergy 3D.
The collection is deliberately trim, according to Vincent Brun, Lancôme International’s marketing director of fragrances and men’s skin care.
“We know that men do use different products, but they don’t layer as much as women,” he said.
Lancôme is banking on what Roujol termed “cutting-edge technology and exclusive ingredients,” combined with the star power of Owen as the brand’s face, to grab market share in the highly competitive prestige men’s treatment category.
Lancôme Men’s star products, Age Fight Fluid and Age Fight Gel, contain an antioxidant complex including vitamins C and E, wheat extract and polyphenols sourced from grapes.
Packaging, which features Kevlar, a material often found in the aeronautical industry, is intended to seem modern and masculine.
Lancôme Men will bow in southern Europe in March, in the rest of Europe and travel retail in April, and in the U.S. in May.
Single- and double-page advertising, featuring Owen, will focus on Age Fight starting in March. In 2008, Renergy 3D will take center stage, backed with another Owen-fronted ad.
New references, including sun care, will come out every six months, starting next year.
— Ellen Groves