BEAUTY CARE

Burger King releases ‘Flame’ men’s fragrance

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK While seeing Burger King’s partially-clad “King” laying on a fur rug in front of a fireplace may be on the creepy side, there’s no denying that the fast food chain’s viral marketing campaign for the new men’s fragrance, dubbed Flame, is causing quite a stir.

The fragrance (which according to at least one published report, smells like a combination of Axe body spray, TAG and YSL cologne rather than a flame-broiled hamburger as one might suspect) is for sale at Ricky’s stores in New York and on a dedicated Web site located at firemeetsdesire.com.

Flame is priced at $3.99.

While it remains to be seen just how many consumers buy the fragrance, what is certain is that the campaign demonstrates the chain is at the forefront of viral marketing.

“It remains to be seen whether is ploy will be successful. Ultimately, the fragrance is beside the point. The publicity associated with the humor and absurdity of it is an end in itself. It demonstrates, once again, Burger King’s commitment to pushing the envelope in viral marketing,” said Josh Lauer, assistant professor of community at the University of New Hampshire.

Lauer noted that the campaign for the Flame fragrance comes on the heels of its “Whopper Virgins” campaign, in which the Whopper is pitted against McDonald’s Big Mac in taste tests in such remote locations as Thailand, Romania and Greenland. The campaign generated a good deal of controversy, with critics condemning its ethnocentrism and promotion of unhealthy Western food, but also created a lot of buzz.

Since the launch of the Subservient Chicken Web site in 2004 (in which online visitors could submit real-time commands to a seemingly live Webcast of a person dressed in a chicken costume), Burger King has been on the cutting edge of online marketing innovation.

“In an ad-saturated environment, word-of-mouth promotion may be more persuasive because it is rooted in the trust and authenticity of real personal relationships. Even better than product placements, in which brands are embedded in entertainment content, word-of-mouth marketing inserts a brand directly into conversation among friends. Viral marketing campaigns are successful when they inspire thousands of positive, admiring conversations about one’s brand,” Lauer said.

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BEAUTY CARE

Bailey steps down from head of Personal Care Products Council

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON The Personal Care Products Council president and CEO, Pam Bailey, is stepping down at the end of the year to assume the role of president and chief executive officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Serving as interim president and chief executive officer for the Council is Mark Pollak.

“The Council executive committee has been very pleased with and supportive of [Bailey]’s leadership, and I was unable to persuade her to stay. Pam was clearly torn between her enthusiasm for our board and industry and the opportunity at GMA,” said Council chairman, Dan Brestle, in a message to the Council board.

The Council is now searching for a successor. The executive committee has asked Pollak, currently executive vice president of strategic initiatives and assistant secretary, to serve as interim president and chief executive officer.

Bailey assumed her position with the Council (then known as CTFA) in April 2005. Under her leadership, the Council has implemented a rebranding and name change that reflects a broader and more contemporary mission. In addition, she guided the Council through the implementation of the Consumer Commitment Code as well as enhancements to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Program.

“These strategic initiatives have put the Council on a strong footing to play an active role in legislative and regulatory processes at home and abroad that are critical to the success and growth of this industry,” Brestle said.

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Market research shows explosion of new men’s grooming products

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO Men’s grooming products are not only on the rise but manufacturers are increasingly developing products for advanced male grooming as they try to stay one step ahead of the evolving market, according to new research from Mintel.

According to the provider of consumer, product and media intelligence, so far in 2008 the number of new men’s personal care products in the United States has tracked at more than 500. This marks a substantial increase from 375 products launched in 2007.

Globally, Mintel has recorded more than 3,600 new men’s personal care product launches to date in 2008.

But beyond volume in the marketplace, Mintel has also seen an increase in the number of men’s personal care products designed for advanced grooming.

Specifically, Mintel sees growth in four areas of advanced grooming:

• Lip, eye and hand-specific products

• Make-up and self-tanning products

• Anti-aging and exfoliating ingredients

• Organic, natural and ethical

“In contrast to women’s personal care, the market for men’s grooming is just opening,” said Taya Tomasello with Mintel Beauty Innovation. “Our research shows men are far less likely than women to use skin care products like moisturizers, exfoliants or even body washes. So tailoring new products to the needs of beauty-inexperienced males will help manufacturers expand the advanced men’s grooming market.”

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