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Unilever's Helene Curtis is restaging its flagging Salon Selectives brand with more than $60 million in marketing support, while L'Oreal is looking to capitalize on the momentum of its Vive with an extension called VitaVive.

The two haircare efforts come as both the $1.6 billion shampoo category and $872 million conditioner business are showing healthy growth, up 6% and 8%, respectively, for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 22, according to Information Resources Inc.

Curtis, now part of Unilever Home & Personal Care USA, also is introducing Thermasilk with an $82 million budget, making it the largest haircare launch in history (AA, Feb. 9).


Debbie Hall, Salon Selectives marketing manager, said the brand's restaging -- like that of Finesse last year -- "is part of our long-term plan to make sure our brands are healthy and growing."

Though Ms. Hall wouldn't discuss spending, retail sources put the TV budget at $42 million and consumer promotions at $11 million, with the balance in support of trade efforts.

With the Finesse restaging, the brand's shampoo sales have increased nearly 23% to $41.6 million while conditioner sales were up 16% to $61 million in the 52-week period. But Salon Selectives shampoo sales fell 9% to $37.9 million and conditioner was off 10.7% to $49.8 million during that period.


Three 15-second teaser spots for Salon Selectives from DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, broke last week and will be followed in April by three introductory :30s. Ongoing commercials start in midsummer. The overall tagline is "Your hair will look so great everyone will notice."

As the cornerstone of the restaging, the line has been updated with more customized formulas for different hair types and styles. Playing off the idea of personalized haircare, Salon Selectives will stage a mall tour where 10 million samples will be given away and consumers will receive recommendations about customized combinations of products.

These so-called personalized prescriptions also are available via a toll-free line, 1-888-MYCOMBO. And in May, a restaged Web site also will be up and running, offering advice from hairstylists.

L'Oreal's Vive collection -- consisting of BodyVive, ColorVive, HydraVive, FortaVive and PermaVive -- showed strong growth, with shampoo sales jumping 91% to $71.5 million and conditioners up 27% to $40 million.

VitaVive, handled by McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, is the first Vive formula for normal hair and the first to target both men and women right out of the gate. Recently, L'Oreal began using French soccer star David Genoa in TV commercials for BodyVive.

VitaVive TV advertising starts in June; the exact break date for print hasn't been set yet.


Like market leader Pantene, VitaVive boasts a vitamin formula that includes Pro-Vitamin B-5, but it stresses a multivitamin approach.

"Our product testing shows that the VitaVive formulas deliver multiple key benefits including shine, healthy look, softness, manageability and ease of styling," said James Viera, senior VP-corporate technical director, L'Oreal.

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