Loss of Marketing Partner Could've Been Worse for Aveda

'Teen People' Move to Web-only Property Won't Jepordize Launch Campaign

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- It was through Ad Age that beauty marketer Aveda learned Teen People, the magazine partner it had chosen to help launch its new Outer Peace acne-relief kits, was ceasing to publish its print edition.
One of the planned ads for August and September issues.
One of the planned ads for August and September issues.

It couldn't have come at a worse time for Aveda, which was reaching out to teens for the first time with an advertising, event- and viral-marketing campaign that hinged on the Time Inc. title. But Aveda was assured that the push won't be affected by the print magazine's transition to web-only. Planned ads for August and September will go on, as well as three September events in key markets and a follow-up e-mail effort aimed at teen trendspotters. Time Inc. marketing people in charge of the events will stay on through the campaign's completion in October.

Crisis averted
Crisis averted, but barely. "If this was a yearlong campaign, we would be scrambling to look for another partner," said Mike Kehoe, executive director of spa marketing at the Estee Lauder unit. But, he said, "they have a really loyal teen base and the teen trendspotters we're leveraging will be loyal until the end."

Aveda hadn't advertised with Teen People in four years, and had run just a few ads for its typically older-skewing hair-care line. But in March it decided to use the title to tap teens, a group it's hoping to develop as an entry point for its burgeoning professional skin-care line sold in its 155 Aveda "experience" centers, salons and spas.

Though Kline & Co. reports that U.S. marketers' sales of professional skin care grew a whopping 13% to $773 million in 2004, Aveda grew more slowly than the market and its 3% share ranks it No. 7 behind brands such as DDS, Dermalogica and N.V. Perricone.

Events, Myspace page
"Skin care will be a major focus going forward and likely the place of our fastest growth," Mr. Kehoe said. The first step is the Outer Peace campaign, aimed squarely at the crucial 15-to-17 set. Research showed the group is "very interested" in Aveda, and the company hopes to spread the word to them through Teen People events hosted by Grammy winner India Arie, a MySpace.com-branded site to chat about the events and an Outer Peace mobile spa deployed to beaches, malls and college campuses.

Next up in the skin-care strategy is likely an anti-aging line. Let's hope More keeps the printing presses running.
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