Since its 1995 introduction, Revitalift, part of Cosmair's L'Oreal Plenitude line, has led a resurgence in products designed to correct and diminish wrinkles and other signs of aging. Revitalift's three extensions led the anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cream category in 1996, which itself was the fastest-growing segment of skincare.
The Plenitude line has a 17.1% share, placing it second only to the 25.4% of Procter & Gamble Co.'s Oil of Olay, according to Information Resources Inc.
Revitalift's success can be attributed in part to the proliferation of undifferentiated products after the category's early '90s launch, says Carol Hamilton, senior VP-marketing, L'Oreal retail division, who helped spell out the brand's differences.
"We brought a new level of sophistication and truth to technology and department-store service back into the mass market," she says.
It didn't hurt that the product launch was backed by $25 million in ad spending-a figure matched this year-with Publicis/Bloom, New York, leading the charge.
Millions of Revitalift samples appeared in magazines targeting the women's 40-plus demographic, and the marketer sold inexpensive trial sizes at retail, says Ms. Hamilton, 44.
Finally, the company signed fashion model Dayle Haddon as its spokeswoman, helping endear the brand to its target audience.
"She really hit their emotions as they related to skincare," Ms. Hamilton says.