Revlon readies cosmetic changes

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Revlon's management will make good on promises of product innovation during the second half of the year, as the cosmetics company introduces skin, nail and haircare lines under its Revlon and Almay brands.

Revlon Hair Treatment, a new premium haircare line, will ship to mass retailers next month, followed in early 2001 by Almay Milk Plus, a new skincare product, and a line of Almay nail treatment products tentatively being called Healthy Nail.

The Hair Treatment launch will be backed by a campaign from Revlon's in-house agency, Tarlow Advertising, New York, which will include print, in-store displays, sampling, couponing and promotions. Print will appear in October fashion and lifestyle magazines.

PREMIUM MARKET

Revlon is expected to spend $4.7 million marketing Hair Treatment during the fourth quarter, including $3.5 million in print, and another $8.4 million in marketing support in 2001, including $6.5 million in print.

Revlon also will aim at the premium skincare market with Milk Plus, a line of products targeting women ages 25 to 54 that contains ingredients such as milk proteins.

Milk-based products have surfaced as a trend among specialty brands such as Fresh and H2O, but have no counterpart in mass retailers, said Hillary Solomon, VP-marketing for Almay. "We want to be the first to bring milk to mass [channels]," she said.

A campaign from Tarlow will break in March, including ads in magazines, in-store displays, marketing efforts to dermatologists and cross-promotions with Almay's color cosmetics products. Total marketing budget for the launch is an estimated $60 million.

Milk Plus is the first major skincare launch in years for the Almay brand. Although the brand was first in the "good for you" makeup segment, it has gotten increased competition from new entries, such as last year's launches of Johnson & Johnson's Neutrogena Cosmetics and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Oil of Olay Color Collection.

`ALLY MCBEAL' LINK

Almay also will launch new makeup products in the fall, including a mascara called Insider, formulated to boost lashes from inside, and Beyond Powder eye shadow and blush line, which goes on as a liquid and sets to a powder finish. Both lines reach stores this month backed by ads from Tarlow. Insider will get print and TV featuring "Ally McBeal" actress Courtney Thorne-Smith, while Beyond Powder will be backed by print.

Almay's share of the $3.4 billion mass-cosmetics market dropped to 6.7% of dollar sales in the 52 weeks ended April 15 from 7% the year earlier, according to ACNielsen figures compiled by J.P. Morgan & Co. At the same time, Olay racked up 3.6% of sales and Neutrogena 2.4% in their first year in stores.

Revlon posted improved first-quarter results, with net sales up 6.1% to $468 million and net losses down to $24 million.

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