ELIZABETH ARDEN CRAFTS $20 MIL SCENT LAUNCH: SPLENDOR BRAND PART OF A TREND TOWARD ROMANCE

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Elizabeth Arden Co. is reaching deep into its pockets to introduce Splendor fragrance for women.

The September launch will be backed by about $20 million in marketing spending, a record launch budget for the Unilever division.

The campaign represents one of Arden's first efforts at relationship marketing. Arden also is working with Omnicom Group unit Rapp Collins Worldwide to develop a broader relationship marketing program for other brands.

Splendor hopes to be part of a romantic trend apparent in "fashion, film a la `Titanic' and fragrances," said Victoria Spellman, Arden VP-global marketing. "There is a renewed enjoyment of femininity."

Indeed, at the same time Splendor launches, L'Oreal's Cosmair will introduce Romance, the first new women's fragrance from designer Ralph Lauren in almost three years.

Carlson & Partners, New York, is Lauren's agency. TV and print ads were shot by photographer Bruce Weber. Cosmair will also distribute 35 million scented strips and sample more than 2 million vials. The ad budget was not disclosed.

AIMING FOR TOP 5 STATUS

Both Splendor and Romance are shooting for a top five ranking in department stores, where Estee Lauder's Pleasures is the current leader, trailed by Lauder's Beautiful and Tommy Girl, Lancome's Tresor and Calvin Klein's Eternity (also owned by Unilever).

Splendor's advertising, created by Arden consultant Paulette Dufault, will feature model Amber Valletta and mimic classic movie posters. Copy reads in part: "Sometimes there's a moment when everything comes together

. . . A moment of Splendor."

Print ads, breaking this fall, include spreads, single pages and 50 million scented inserts. Color magazine ads will carry scent strips in the form of the fragrance's bottle, while b&w newspaper ads will run in movie listings sections. Outdoor boards will be used in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

The relationship marketing program will include a "Splendor of the Seas" cruise contest with multiple winners that will allow local stores to publicize local winners.

TV spots break during the holiday season. Arden also plans to do movie tie-ins at the local level and is looking at sampling in cinemas.

"Our marketing spending will be very high," said Ron Latham, exec VP-global marketing. "We have never spent this much on a fragrance or anything before."

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