Revlon's latest effort puts focus on image

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Halle Berry and Julianne Moore's newest roles for the big screen are in Revlon's $100 million film-inspired global ad campaign that the struggling mass brand hopes will drive glamour-seeking consumers to its area in the drugstore aisle.

The "Bellisimo" campaign, a sexy Hollywood story line featuring the two actresses with fellow Revlon spokesmodels Jamie King and Eva Mendes, will launch in a two-minute minifilm version in New York movie theaters April 2. The film will air subsequently on ABC's "The Bachelor" and other network and cable shows. The divergent media tack and the shift away from more product-focused creative is part of Revlon's effort to combat stiff competition from more experiential prestige beauty brands and rival the deep pockets of mass competitors L'Oreal and Procter & Gamble Co.

key driver

According to Rochelle Udell, Revlon's exec VP-chief creative officer, new CEO Jack Stahl has driven a sharper focus on consumer insights that inspired the new beyond-the-benefits ad effort. "We realized that while the functionality of beauty products is important, the key driver is feeling good about oneself and we wanted to tap into that certain confident sexiness of the Revlon brand," Ms. Udell said.

Revlon has seen precipitous declines in recent years that have even led to speculation of bankruptcy. More recently, though, Revlon reported better-than-expected sales results and "with strong growth in lipsticks and eye makeup in 2003, it looks like Revlon is coming around," said Carrie Bonner, project manager-consumer products with market research firm Kline & Co.

To ensure continued positive momentum and to revitalize its brand, Revlon needed to "come up with a message that's emotionally resonant with consumers," Ms. Udell said. "The beauty business is meant to be transforming, and we want to give people the chance to emotionally reinvent themselves."

With the help of Interpublic Group of Cos. agency partner Deutsch, New York, and a team that included film director Scott Hicks, fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh and its four spokesmodels, Revlon set out to create a story of the transformative powers of Revlon.

The two-minute version of the campaign, which will roll out to movie theaters in 10 markets April 23, will be broken into four 30-second spots and 15-second versions that will begin to air April 5. The spots, set to moody, multilingual music from Ilya's debut album, "They Died for Beauty," each feature a separate spokesmodel using Revlon in the course of her day. Featured products include Revlon's new Super Lustrous Lipgloss, its Colorstay Overtime Lipcolor and its New Complexion One-Step Compact Makeup.

Print beginning in May issues of Conde Nast Publications' Allure and Glamour, and Hearst Magazines' Cosmopolitan will include separate spokesmodel executions; the four-spokesmodel spread pictured in the TV spots will also be featured in a first-ever billboard in Times Square starting in April. Revlon also plans to "take over" New York City's Grand Central Terminal with more than 120 visuals and will draw attention to a spread in Gannett's USA Today by having women in Revlon red caps hand out free issues of the national newspaper that include the ad.

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