NEW YORK — Can Eternity grab another Moment in the sun? Calvin Klein Cosmetics is about to find out.
In September, the Unilever-owned brand will launch its first new scent, Eternity Moment, since top management reorganized Unilever’s prestige beauty businesses last October. The intention is to leverage brand recognition by borrowing the name and bottle shape of one of the top-selling Calvin Klein fragrances of all time, Eternity, said executives. The new version is expected to draw in a new consumer base, women in the 22-to-30-year-old age range. And to further support that positioning, as reported first by WWD in February, the brand has also signed actress Scarlett Johansson to front the new fragrance.
If all goes as planned, sources estimate that Eternity Moment could notch upward of $100 million globally in first-year retail sales, with $45 million of that figure expected to be produced in the U.S.
After Unilever’s three business entities for prestige beauty — Calvin Klein Cosmetics, Unilever Prestige and European Designer Parfums —?were merged into one unit, Unilever Cosmetics International, last October, a number of market rumors intensified. The move had deposed each of the units’ respective presidents — Calvin Klein’s Hilary Dart, Unilever Prestige’s Laura Lee Miller and European Designer Parfums’ Gabriele Pungerscheg — reigniting yearlong speculation that Unilever was shopping around various portions of its beauty businesses, including Calvin Klein.
The rumors intensified after longtime Unilever veteran Laura Klauberg was installed as senior vice president of marketing for UCI in October, and again after another Unilever veteran, Fergus Balfour, took over UCI’s president and chief executive role from Kevin Boyce, who resigned in March after just nine months on the job.
However, both Klauberg and Balfour steadfastly deny that any of their properties are on the block. In fact, promised Balfour, “you’ll be hearing a lot over the next few months about our plans to focus on our key brands.”
Earlier, on Feb.17, Klauberg had noted in response to the rumors, “We are making a significant investment in Calvin Klein Cosmetics, and we remain extremely committed to the brand. In addition to the new fragrance and our signing of Scarlett to be its face, we’ve got a number of other things in the works for this brand.”
Klauberg, in a recent interview, added of Johansson’s signing, “We thought about brand values and looked for talent which embodied those traits. Scarlett fits the bill perfectly. She’s ultraconfident and she’s of the moment.”
Added Balfour, “Calvin Klein has a longstanding tradition of signing spokespeople who are on the way up. We feel like we’re catching Scarlett as she starts to bloom into the public awareness, and we’re very excited to be working with her.”
And while Balfour and Klauberg are charged with the task of turning around an embattled business, both say that they feel the new fragrance — and the strategy behind it — is more than equal to the task.
“This [project] is one of a number of innovations we will bring to this category,” promised Balfour. And Balfour’s enthusiasm was echoed by Klauberg. “There is incredible equity in the [Eternity] name in terms of consumer awareness, its core values and the equity of the brand,” she said, adding that the original Eternity was launched in 1988. “The performance of [Eternity] in 2003 put it in the top 15 brands, and it was up 3 percent in retail sales in the U.S. last year. This brand still has considerable legs. And the real opportunity in trying to aggressively grow the brand is bringing in younger consumers. The user today is 30 to 45 years old; what we need to do is bring in new younger consumers in the 22-to-30 age range — a very sophisticated, independent-spirited consumer on the verge of starting her career. That’s the consumer we’re really going after with Eternity Moment.”
Over the past several years, the company has produced several flankers to Eternity, including Eternity Rose Blush and Eternity Purple Orchid, which produced incremental business for the Eternity masterbrand, noted Klauberg.
However, Eternity Moment is a completely different concept, said Klauberg. Firmenich concocted Eternity Moment; the original Eternity was formulated by International Flavors and Fragrances. The Eternity Moment juice, which Klauberg describes as a “fresh-squeezed floral,” has top notes of lychee, guava and pomegranate flower; a heart of Chinese pink peony, passion flower and nymphea, and a drydown of musks, rosewood and raspberry cashmere.
The Eternity Moment collection includes eaux de parfum sprays in two sizes, 1.7 oz. for $45 and 3.4 oz. for $60, as well as a 6.7-oz. body lotion, for $36, and a 6.7-oz. bath and shower gel, for $27.50. It is priced on par with the first Eternity.
The Eternity Moment bottle, a reinterpretation of Fabien Baron’s original Eternity concept — a rectangular glass bottle topped with a silver T-shaped cap — is slightly taller and sleeker than its predecessor, with a clear Lucite top. The juice inside is tinted a delicate pink, and the outer packaging is a soft pink.
In the U.S., the fragrance will be available in 2,200 department and specialty store doors.
As reported in February, Johansson’s role in the scent will include print and TV campaigns, both shot by Peter Lindbergh and, for the black-and-white TV campaign, creative direction by Neil Kraft of Kraftworks.
Print, much of it containing scented strips, is expected to break in October magazines, while TV is set for an early October launch. Industry sources estimated that the actress will earn upward of $2 million from her Unilever deal and that about $20 million will be spent on advertising Eternity Moment globally, although neither Klauberg nor Balfour would comment on any financial details relating to the campaign. Upward of 25 million scented impressions — divided between vehicles included scented strips and deluxe miniatures — are expected in the fragrance’s first year on counter. Both the fragrance and the body lotion will be sampled.
While Klauberg wouldn’t talk about spending, she did say that TV will be a major part of the brand’s advertising plans, as will “a very significant presence” in magazines — including entertainment and general interest publications as well as the usual fashion, beauty and lifestyle books.
The brand’s positioning, added Klauberg, is about romance. “It’s very much in keeping with the Eternity story, but what I think distinguishes it is that we are viewing this as the moment that Eternity’s story begins,” she said. “It’s about the exhilaration of falling in love, which takes the Eternity story back in time to that initial rush. We did a lot of consumer work around this, and this proposition really resonated with consumers.”