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Maybelline is putting a fresh face on its advertising-specifically Sarah Michelle Gellar's-in a campaign featuring its first celebrity since the 1970s.

The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star is the centerpiece of Maybelline's new effort from Gotham, New York, that introduces Express 3-in-1 makeup, a stick foundation and concealer that dries into a powder finish.

The $10 million campaign breaks on the Aug. 12 Teen Choice Awards on Fox TV. Print ads will appear in September issues of magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, People and Seventeen.


The selection of Ms. Gellar "was done with great intent to give Maybelline a broader, more contemporary feel," said Gotham President Sheri Baron.

Ms. Gellar's appearance marks Maybelline's first use of a celebrity spokeswoman since Lynda Carter in the late '70s.

Ms. Gellar has high awareness levels and likability among the key teen and young-adult segment Maybelline wants to reach; copy-testing scores for the ads went "through the roof," Ms. Baron said.

She added that Ms. Gellar also is an apt choice for the new line, as it is geared to attract young women who prefer lightweight liquid-to-powder and stick foundations.

In the spot, Ms. Gellar shows off the contents of her handbag, including a stick of Express makeup, and demonstrates the product, tagged as "Makeup made easy."

The campaign continues Maybelline's tagline: "Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline."


Ms. Gellar won't replace model Christy Turlington, the company's face throughout the '90s, who will remain the lead model for the brand, with celebrities woven in.

Maybelline is the last of the big makeup marketers to use star power in its current ads.

Revlon-already using actresses Halle Berry, Melanie Griffith and Salma Hayek-signed singer Shania Twain to promote its new ColorStay Liquid Lip in a campaign breaking this month (see item at left). Procter & Gamble Co., for its Cover Girl brand-already showcasing musicians Brandy, Salt-N-Pepa and Ziggy Marley-signed country singer Faith Hill for its new CG Smoothers.

The tactical switch comes as Maybelline aims to boost its sixth-place showing in the $523 million foundation segment. According to Information Resources Inc. figures for the 52 weeks ended April 25, Maybelline had a 9.5% share but sales grew by 30%, thanks in part to last year's introduction of True Illusion

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