NEW YORK — Teen marketers extraordinaire Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are now helping fill the gaping void for youth fragrances in the mass market.
The actresses, seemingly ubiquitous this past month with the release of their film, “New York Minute,” on May 7, have used the opportunity to roll out their fragrances beyond Wal-Mart in the U.S. and Canada this spring. Their media blitz encompassed several magazine covers, including People, Teen People, Allure and Seventeen, and appearances on a range of popular shows such as “Today,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Oprah,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “Late Night With David Letterman” and MTV’s “Total Request Live.”
The scents, which have expanded into thousands of new retail doors since March, already have proven white hot. According to Information Resources Inc., sales of Mary-Kate and Ashley One and Two ranked number one in unit sales among women’s fragrances for the four weeks ended April 18. The scents came in at number two in dollar sales with $600,669 for the period, just $17,000 below top-seller Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds. The data excludes sales at Wal-Mart. The fragrances carry a suggested retail price of $12.95 for a 1-oz. eau de toilette spray and $8.75 for a 0.5-oz. spray. There are also 4-oz. body mists for $5.95.
“We are delighted with early results of the Mary-Kate and Ashley fragrances in national distribution,” commented John Galantic, president of Coty Beauty U.S. He said the tremendous sales results last month show “that this is the first brand to be able to pull the tween consumer to the eau de toilette market — that’s good news for a flat category that needs to attract new users.” He added: “The recent media attention on Mary-Kate and Ashley has been very impressive, and their evolution from cute little girls to beautiful young women opens up all kinds of opportunities to grow this brand.”
Michael Pagnotta, who represents Dualstar Entertainment Group, the teens’ business venture, noted, “Everyone is very pleased with the success. There is very broad interest in Mary-Kate and Ashley.”
The twins will not be campaigning specifically for the fragrances because “they don’t publicize product by product,” said Pagnotta. “There just isn’t time to devote to one product over another. When Mary-Kate and Ashley make appearances, it seems to benefit all the product categories.”
Today, the Mary-Kate and Ashley names are on some 50 product categories, including fashion, entertainment and cosmetics. With the licensed products now in 10 countries, retail sales are expected to reach $1.2 billion this year.