Coty has high hopes for new scent

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Coty will try to copy the success of designer fragrances at the mass retail level when it launches American Original, an extension of its Lady Stetson fragrance that will reach stores in February.

An ad campaign from Della Femina/Jeary, New York, will back the launch with print, TV, in-store displays, sampling and online promotions at Coty's Web site ( The campaign breaks with print ads in March fashion titles such as Hearst Magazines' Redbook and Marie Claire, along with Conde Nast Publications' Mademoiselle. TV also will break in the fall to support a holiday push. Coty plans to spend $5 million from February through July and another $4 million in October through December on the launch.

The fragrance targets the 20-year-old through 30-year-old demographic, a younger target than the core Stetson brand, which skews to the 30- to 45-year-old group. Coty aims the new fragrance straight at Tommy Girl, Estee Lauder Cos.' designer fragrance produced under a licensing deal with Tommy Hilfiger Corp. According to NPD Group's recent Fragrance Track survey, Tommy Girl is the leading fragrance among women age 15 to 24 and is a top-five favorite among 25- to 49-year-old women.


"Over the last two years, Coty has concentrated on building global power brands like Rimmel and Adidas, but has also focused on our American power brands, like Stetson," said Douglas Toews, exec VP-ideas and image. "We are constantly evaluating other successes of our brands and finding new ways to express what makes them desirable."

Print ads feature b&w photography with the tagline, "You have the right to be you." Four executions will feature both Caucasian and African-American models. The ads are a departure from the Western-inspired imagery of Stetson but keep the same all-American style. The packaging resembles Hilfiger's signature red, white and blue. The product itself is priced to bridge mass and department store brands, with fragrance prices ranging from $16.50 to $25.

American Original will launch in 10,000 U.S. stores, but promotions and in-store events will be concentrated at Kmart Corp., Wal-Mart Corp. and Sears, Roebuck & Co. Coty will offer one-day sampling promotions at Wal-Mart and Kmart and will run gift-with-purchase promotions in Sears and Kmart stores.

After three years of flat or declining sales, women's fragrance appears to be on an upward swing in 2000, according to NPD, a Port Washington, N.Y., consulting firm. NPD's research found fragrance sales were up 7% by mid-2000 from a year ago, and a survey of more than 1,500 women found more are buying and wearing fragrance. According to the survey, women age 15 to 34 are more inclined to buy fragrance based on designer names, while older women prefer classic fragrances.

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