Calvin Klein offers women the Truth

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Calvin Klein hopes to send young women searching for Truth next month when it unveils its latest fragrance.

Unilever's Calvin Klein Cosmetics will launch Truth Calvin Klein in 1,500 U.S. department stores, backed by advertising from Klein's in-house agency, CRK Advertising, New York. The company wouldn't release spending figures, but the launch is expected to have a U.S. media buy of $12 million through December. Additional spending will back a global launch to follow next February.

"It was a goal of ours to really invest in leadership advertising," said Susan Kelly, director of fragrance development.

"We're anticipating the No. 1 share of voice in this category," added Marisa Thalberg, VP-global advertising and production.

Print ads previewed in the June 26 issue of People and will break officially in August issues, followed by TV spots in August and an online marketing effort still in development. Four-page inserts, tagged "The senses don't lie," will run in August issues of Hearst Magazines' Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire; Time Inc.'s In Style; and Conde Nast Publications' Glamour and Vogue. The schedule expands to additional publications in September.

WIDER APPEAL

The fragrance -- described by the company as a "lush sensual" scent with woodsy notes -- primarily targets women 18 to 35, but it's expected also to appeal to a wider range of women between 15 and 44, Ms. Kelly said.

The scent and the product mix aim to satisfy a need to indulge the senses, since most women feel time to relax is a luxury, she said.

While the initial ads will center on the fragrance, efforts breaking later also will tout three ancillary product lines the company has tagged "luxuries," for bath, body and bedtime. The body line, which includes body lotion and oil spray, will be scented in the signature fragrance; bath products, including soap and bath salts, feature the woodsy elements such as bamboo and patchouli, while the bedtime line will feature incense and candles following the sensual notes, including vanilla and musk.

Sampling will be a large part of the launch, including traditional fragrance strips on ads and deluxe samples of both the fragrance and body lotion in-store, Ms. Kelly said.

GOOD RESPONSE

Response to a three-week series of pre-launch banner ads on the Internet offering samples "just blew us away," Ms. Thalberg said. Nearly 100,000 consumers requested samples, and the ads had an 11% click-through rate, far more than the traditional 3% for most banners, she said.

Additionally, Truth will cross-promote with the recently launched Calvin Klein Color makeup line, offering deluxe Truth samples packaged with minisize lipsticks.

Prestige fragrance marketers are increasingly targeting younger consumers to get a piece of the post-Gen X market and perk up flagging department store sales.

L'Oreal USA also reached out to the 18-to-35-year-old demographic with the U.S. launch in March of Noa, a designer fragrance from the Cacharel line, and will aim even younger in September with Ralph, a new fragrance under the Ralph Lauren brand aimed at women 15 to 25 (AA, May 29).

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