Coty counts on celebs

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Coty plans to further hitch its wagon to stars Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion as it seeks to build more of a lifestyle positioning through expanded product lines and experiential marketing.

Ms. Lopez's name has helped drive sales significantly for Coty's prestige Lancaster Group division over the past two years with Glow by Jlo and Still Jennifer Lopez fragrances, both of which made the top five prestige brands. Now, Lancaster hopes to buoy that success with a teen-targeted limited-time fragrance, Miami Glow, which it will push to aspiring fans of the pop star with promotions surrounding spring break in South Beach, along with a likely expansion into color cosmetics.

Ms. Dion has likewise helped bolster the mass division. Its Celine Dion Parfums, launched in March 2003, grabbed the category's top slot, according to Coty, which now hopes to further that success with the expansion of its Celine Parfum Notes and an integrated marketing push around a contest seeking stories on inspirational mothers.

'beyond a face'

There is a real emphasis at Coty on creating lifestyle brands like JLo and Celine because "they go beyond a face to an emotional icon who represents a lifestyle people can attach to," said Marsha Brooks, VP-fine fragrances new-business development at Coty.

To ensure that consumers' attachment to the stars translates to product purchases, Coty CEO Bernd Beetz has been advocating "living media," which Dennis Keogh, VP-marketing for Lancaster Group U.S., dubs "brand experiences that go beyond the printed page and connect emotionally." Among those efforts, Mr. Keogh said, is a current promotion for the Jennifer Lopez fragrances that features limited-time color cosmetics kits in which 21 winning certificates will offer consumers an "ultimate makeover" with Ms. Lopez.

core brand audience

Although Lancaster has in recent years walked away from cosmetics to focus almost exclusively on fragrance in the U.S., the promotion will test consumer interest in the idea of JLo cosmetics, Mr. Keogh said. "We definitely feel the demand is there, it's just about doing it in the right way," he said. The technology Coty has access to with its Rimmel brand, popular in London and recently expanded beyond initial sales in Wal-Mart in the U.S., definitely "gives us a leg up," Mr. Keogh said.

Carrie Bonner, industry manager-consumer products for market-research firm Kline & Co., said there is a core audience for the Jennifer Lopez brand and Lancaster could see sales for a cosmetics line under her name, albeit "fairly small" in relation to top names such as Clinique, Lancome and Estee Lauder.

Although Lancaster sales for fiscal '04 were up 90%-largely from the acquisition of Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole fragrance brands from LVMH in the summer of 2003-recent NPD Research numbers show the fragrance segment of the $3.9 billion prestige-beauty segment down 3%. Skin care, meanwhile, grew 5% and makeup 4%.

While the original Glow scent has a loyal following among the 18-to-25 set, Miami Glow (a "fashion" scent that will be replaced by a new offshoot next year) will tap 13-to-17-year-old fans of Ms. Lopez. Ads from Select Communications, New York, will not feature Ms. Lopez, but rather a group of teens that embody "her audience, her energy, her style," Mr. Keogh said. Lancaster is developing "living media" ideas to offer the South Beach experience to these teens, he said.

For Celine, Coty will follow up on a successful Web contest last year that elicited 1.2 million visitors to with a new effort, "Notes on Motherhood." The promotion taps Celine fans, typically 38-year-old mothers, to submit essays on how their own mothers-or being mothers themselves-has inspired them, for a chance to see Ms. Dion's show in Las Vegas and meet her backstage. The effort will be touted via a spot and programming sponsorship on Lifetime in November and print ads in seven publications (via agency Badger & Partners, New York) as well as a tie-in with People magazine's Live Tour to Wal-Mart parking lots.

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