|Salma Hayek and Pierce Brosnan star in a new movie with heavy Avon tie-ins.
The deal with New Line Cinema is the cosmetic giant's first ever movie tie-in promotion.
Avon, long famous for its door-to-door cosmetic sales, is the world's largest direct seller. It has 650,000 sales representatives in the U.S. alone and sends 17 million catalogs to consumers every two weeks and regular e-mail blasts to Avon buyers. The company spent $47 million in media last year, and has spent $21 million in the first seven months of 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.
New product lines
Salma Hayek, the Mexican actress with a Lebanese name, was signed as Avon global spokeswoman earlier this year. The marketer plans to use her in national TV, print and Internet ad campaigns for some reworked fragrance and makeup lines and new product launches. It was fortuitous timing that the deal coincided with After the Sunset, a light action caper co-starring Pierce Brosnan that's targeted at women.
"We definitely wanted a health-and-beauty partner for the movie," said Lance Still, New Line's senior vice president of national promotions. "Avon really stepped up."
Hollywood studio executives are increasingly seeking venues to promote their movies where they will not be jockeying for space with other entertainment properties. They also want to be in front of consumers when they're interacting with a favorite brand, making them more receptive to an entertainment message.
As part of the program, Avon will launch two new makeup products, dubbed the After the Sunset color collection, based on Ms. Hayek's looks in the movie. Bronze Goddess and Pink Paradise will get dedicated ads featuring Ms. Hayek in its consumer catalogs and its sales rep books. A related contest will give a sales rep a resort vacation in the Bahamas, where much of the movie's story is based. Avon is sending out 1 million e-mails to consumers and is promoting the movie on its Web site. "We feel like the movie definitely reaches out to our consumer base," said Andra Mielnicki, Avon's spokeswoman. "And having just signed Salma opened the door for us to do our first entertainment tie-in."
Charitable overlays The marketer is open to more movie or TV co-marketing deals going forward, Ms. Mielnicki said. As part of Ms. Hayek's deal with Avon, the actress works with the Avon Foundation's domestic violence prevention initiatives. New Line picked up that thread and plans a charity premiere of After the Sunset, in which Avon and other marketers are donating goods for a silent auction. Proceeds will go to nonprofit organizations that help domestic violence victims. That, too, is part of an increasing interest from Hollywood and marketers in creating charitable overlays to their promotional programs.
Several marketers are co-promoting the movie, further highlighting their product placement in it. Those are: Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, where the movie's diamond heist takes place; the Bahamas tourism bureau; and Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, a backdrop for much of the action. Radisson is running an ad spread in the November issue of American Express-owned Travel & Leisure magazine that features Mr. Brosnan and co-star Woody Harrelson. Ms. Hayek is also on the magazine's cover, along with stories about the Bahamas.
American Express Atlantis plans a consumer sweepstakes, a six-minute short on in-room TVs, and a collectible movie-themed key card. Its financial services partner, American Express, will kick in 10 million inserts into its billing statements hyping the film. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism plans radio ads in 10 U.S. markets, cable TV, regional spot TV buys.
All the marketers, including New Line corporate alliance partner Samsung, will donate goods for the premiere auction. Samsung is promoting the movie and a related consumer sweepstakes across its Web sites and online media buys.