The color he chose-Sugar Cane 101-is the same one used by "Sex & the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker in a $60 million campaign from Publicis Groupe's Publicis USA, New York, that has helped propel Nutrisse sales well beyond expectations. For the 52-week period ended July 15, Nutrisse racked up sales of $51.9 million, up 36.9% from the same period a year ago, according to Information Resources Inc.
The campaign targets women over 30 by touting a gentler conditioner-based formula to cover gray hair with sexy colors. The timing of signing Ms. Parker was a coup for Mr. Patel, 35, who says: "She sets trends, she's approachable and she has a warm personality that fits perfectly with Garnier."
Before joining L'Oreal in 1994, Mr. Patel worked at Procter & Gamble Co. handling fragrance brands. Recently, he was promoted to general manager of L'Oreal's Maybelline Worldwide. And these days Mr. Patel says he's trying out a plum tone from Garnier's hair color line.