"The No.*1 need gap in studies we did in 1984 and again in 1994 was a long-wearing lipstick," says Tanya Mandor, senior VP-cosmetics and treatment. "A lot of lipsticks had made that claim but didn't really deliver."
Back in 1984, Revlon passed the word to its lab to come up with the perfect lipstick. That perfect product didn't reach the marketing department for 10 years.
Ms. Mandor's reaction was "great"; but there were a couple of possible sticking points with consumers. It came in a matte and not a shiny finish, where most of the lipstick business is. Also, the lipstick bullet itself was long and slim-not the preferred form for the consumer. Still, consumers loved it and didn't voice these concerns, Ms. Mandor recalls.
But since other lipsticks made the same claims, Revlon had to communicate the performance of ColorStay in a way consumers would know this was something different.
The answer was the "won't kiss off" test, the focus of a print and TV ad campaign by Tarlow Advertising, New York, begun in June 1994. Also providing support: a traveling "Colormobile" that toured 20 cities and generated plenty of local attention.
"It was a fabulous PR event," says Ms. Mandor. "[Model Cindy Crawford] kissed all the reporters and was on every major news channel and in most of the newspapers and magazines."
In ColorStay's first year, Revlon spent more than $25 million promoting it and soon after extended the ColorStay long-wearing premise to a full makeup line.
Because of ColorStay, Revlon, according to some share audits, can now lay claim to the No.*1 spot in the $2.5 billion mass-market cosmetics category.