P&G HAS FAITH IN NEW MAKEUP LINE: VERSATILE COUNTRY MUSIC STAR PLUGS COVER GIRL LINE FOR TEENS, MOMS

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Procter & Gamble Cosmetics will launch a new makeup line next month, CG Smoothers, an offspring of its Cover Girl brand.

Smoothers -- a line of gel-based moisturizing makeup -- arrives in stores backed by a campaign from Grey Advertising, New York. P&G would not disclose a budget for the campaign, but Cover Girl spent $33.3 million in January through May of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

The effort features Cover Girl's newest spokeswoman, country singer Faith Hill, in TV and print ads, in-store displays and direct mail. A spot featuring Ms. Hill will premiere on the Sept. 22 broadcast of the Country Music Association awards on CBS, but the full effort won't break until Oct. 18.

The initial commercial features Ms. Hill promoting Smoothers All-Day Hydrating Foundation, one of the four products in the line. Another will feature singer Brandy and other current Cover Girl spokeswomen promoting Smoothers Hydrating Lipcolor. A third will highlight the entire line, also including Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer and Gel Eye Color.

Print will break in November books as six- or eight-page inserts or as page ads. Additionally, Cover Girl will mail two separate direct mail pieces with samples, one targeted to teens and another to women over 30.

REFINED POSITIONING

Smoothers refines Cover Girl's "good for your skin" positioning, which has been the company's backbone since the 1960s, said Anne Martin, manager of global cosmetics marketing at Procter & Gamble Cosmetics.

The moisturizing products are meant to appeal both to teens and 30-plus women, the line's twin targets. For example, Ms. Martin noted Smoothers has both a lightweight tinted moisturizer for teens and a more substantial hydrating foundation to appeal to 30-somethings.

As a spokeswoman, Ms. Hill "takes us to the mom over 30. It really broadens our appeal," Ms. Martin said.

While many consumers think of Cover Girl as a teen brand, 50% of its customers are over 30, and they range in age as high as their 60s, she said.

The selection of Ms. Hill continues Cover Girl's trend of using singers in its advertising, which has featured Brandy, rappers Salt-N-Pepa and reggae singer Ziggy Marley. Ms. Martin said P&G executives are talking to Ms. Hill about promotions around an upcoming concert tour.

The Smoothers line is part of an overhaul of Cover Girl's offerings, to be unveiled next month. That effort will include new in-store units and displays, with some items replaced by upgraded products, Ms. Martin said.

Cover Girl is the second-largest mass market cosmetics line in the $3.06 billion U.S. cosmetics market, but it has lost some color recently.

TRAILING MAYBELLINE, L'OREAL

According to Information Resources Inc. it had $579 million in sales for the year ended July 25, just short of Revlon's $591 million. But while Cover Girl's sales grew only 2%, its two closest competitors -- Cosmair siblings Maybelline and L'Oreal -- grew 13% and 17%, respectively. Troubled Revlon dropped 4% in dollar sales during that time.

P&G is in the midst of a revamp of its makeup business, including Ms. Martin's appointment last month to the global post. A year-old repositioning of Max Factor to appeal to "movie enthusiasts" has been disappointing, but the introduction of Oil of Olay Color Collection has been a success. Max Factor's sales dropped 18%, according to IRI's numbers, but the Olay brand came out in March and is established in tenth place, with $50 million in sales by July 25. The Cover Girl in-store overhaul is part of a three-stage process begun three years ago, Ms. Martin said. In the first stage, Cover Girl unveiled its "Easy, breezy, beautiful" positioning as simple-to-use, fashionable makeup. The second phase started two years ago, when Cover Girl sought to expand beyond its signature "clean makeup" foundations and added more color products. The third stage this year brought technological innovations such as smudge-proof mascaras and Crackle Lacquer nail color, a top coat that cracks to produce a two-tone

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