BEAUTY CARE

R/GA named digital agency of record for L’Oréal’s luxury products division

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — L’Oréal’s luxury products division has selected R/GA as its digital agency of record, responsible for the digital strategy of such brands as Kiehl’s, Lancome and Giorgio Armani Beauty.

The agency will focus on building digital solutions aimed at strengthening the connection between the beauty company and its consumers. The R/GA team will work on everything from platform development, creative and media planning, to the iteration and implementation of mobile, social and retail initiatives.

The announcement is an extension of R/GA’s long-standing relationship with L’Oréal. R/GA began its engagement with the beauty company in 2005, partnering with the company to redesign the L’Oréal Paris website. The agency grew the business, executing across a broad spectrum of channels, including mobile, eCRM, in-store kiosks and social media.

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Mintel: Cosmetics market improving; drug, mass go-to sources for products

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — In the wake of the turbulent economy, the cosmetic and skin care market, while not yet thriving, is showing signs of improvement. And drug stores and mass merchandisers prove to be the most popular channels for cosmetic purchasing, according to a recent Mintel survey.

The research found that 27% of shoppers surveyed said they made replacement purchases in color cosmetics, but avoided "splurge" products in 2010, down from 33% in 2009. In addition, 39% of those surveyed said they actively looked for sales and tried only to buy products on sale during 2010, versus 45% in 2009.

"Women are really starting to do their research when it comes to making cosmetic and skin care purchases. The days where favorite beauty products were simply automatic replacement purchases are gone," Mintel senior beauty analyst Kat Fay said. "Nearly a quarter of respondents claim to shop around more to compare prices, while 16% say they use the Internet more to research prices and products."

The study also found that mass merchandisers (57%) and drug stores (45%) were the most popular channels for cosmetic purchasing among women of all ages. This remained relatively unchanged since last year. However, department and specialty stores did experience a boost in store traffic for color cosmetics. Over the past six months, 23% of respondents visited department stores, followed by beauty retailers Sephora and Ulta (12% and 11%, respectively).

Mintel noted that women ages 35 to 44 years were the most frequent purchasers (37%) of color cosmetics, as many are entering their peak earning years and may be particularly concerned about their professional appearance. Women in this age group also are beginning to see fine lines and other early signs of aging, according to Mintel.

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Calgon introduces two new collections

BY Antoinette Alexander

BALTIMORE, Md. — Bath and beauty brand Calgon, which is managed by Ilex Consumer Products Group, has unveiled two new collections — Ageless Bath and Sensual collections — that will be available beginning in June.

The new sensual collection includes sexy fragrance mists ($4.99), shimmering moisture mists ($6.99), silkening double mist ($6.99) and swirl luminous body cream ($4.99). All of the products will be available in three fragrances: Flirty Tease, Femme Inferno and Angelic Kiss. Each fragrance is designed to tailor to the different sensual moods and emotions of women.

The new ageless bath collection is an anti-aging bath line that includes bath pearls ($4.99), 2-in-1 bath and body scrub and milk bath with serum beads ($4.99).

"This is the first collection of anti-aging products targeted specifically for the bath category consumer," said Bernie Kropfelder, EVP marketing and sales for Ilex Consumer Products Group. "Today, women want both their faces and bodies to look younger, and are initiating the use of anti-aging products as early as their 20s. Calgon’s ageless bath [collection] gives women of all ages an affordable option to take care of their skin while enjoying their ‘take me away’ bath experience."

Additional new products launching in June include massaging beauty bars bar soap ($2.99); colloidal oatmeal single packs for dryness and minor skin irritations ($1); and the new vanilla passion fragrance, available as a body mist, 2-in-1 shower gel, foaming bath and body cream.

In November 2008, Ilex Consumer Products Group acquired the company from Ascendia Brands.

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