Renaissance is launching Tinkerbell cosmetics and accessories for girls ages 3 to 10, while J&J has tied into Walt Disney Co.'s re-release of "The Little Mermaid" with a bath line called Treasures From Under the Sea.
That line is part of J&J's Bathtime Buddies collection, which already includes Winnie the Pooh character products.
J&J will rely on Disney's advertising and promotion for the re-release as support for its products. It was re-released last month and will also get a 1998 home video re-release. There also will be licensee efforts, such as a new Mattel toy line and a McDonald's Corp. promotion and sweepstakes.
$3 MIL SPRING AD CAMPAIGN
Renaissance, which acquired Tinkerbell along with MEM Co. in 1996, will back the restaged brand with a $3 million print ad campaign from McCabe & Co., New York, next spring.
Themed "Don't forget to invite Tinkerbell," the campaign is intended to boost a brand that "has been undermarketed," said General Manager Lisa Yarnell.
Despite its low profile, Tinkerbell has remained the No. 1 recognized brand in children's cosmetics and toiletries, Ms. Yarnell said.
Its sales are estimated at $15 million to $20 million by industry observers.
Ms. Yarnell said Renaissance has cut back on stockkeeping units in the line, from more than 300 to a streamlined 37. And retail distribution has been expanded.
Beyond advertising, Renaissance will support Tinkerbell with free-product-with-purchase promotions and a number of kids' events.
Tinkerbell is seen as a way of bringing Young girls into Renaissance's franchise early. As they outgrow Tinkerbell they can trade up to the company's Fetish teen cosmetics line and after that Nat Robbins, Ms. Yarnell said.
Observers believe the market is ripe for more new children's cosmetics brands.
"They are a great bonding connection for mothers and daughters," said Joan Chiarmonte, president of Roper Starch Worldwide, "and I think we will see more."
L'Oreal, through its U.S. marketing arm Cosmair, entered the kids market this year with a brand of shampoos and conditioners called L'Oreal Kids.
Though sales figures are not available, Ms. Chiarmonte said it appears to be