Thursday, September 23, 1999

Cover Girl aims to stay fresh

New products, ads, displays

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Procter & Gamble is giving its Cover Girl cosmetics line a makeover with new products, a leaner inventory and a face lift for its store displays.

The best-selling brands in the $3 billion U.S. color-cosmetics market:

• 1. Revlon, manufactured by Revlon, $590.8 million.

• 2. Cover Girl, P&G, $579.3 million.

• 3. Maybelline, Cosmair, $515.6 million.

• 4. Loreal, Cosmair, $394.3 million.

• 5. Almay, Revlon, $198.2 million.

• 6. Max Factor, P&G, $112.9 million.

Source: Information Resources Inc. (Sales for the 52-week period that ended July 25)

        The revamping of Cover Girl — the No.2 color cosmetics line, behind Revlon — will be supported by a national advertising campaign deemed “The New Face of Cover Girl.”

        “This new program makes our Cover Girl brand experience a totally superior one for our consumers,” Marc Pritchard, P&G's vice president of cosmetics in North America and South America, said Wednesday. “We expect this initiative to help drive category growth. Cover Girl is well-positioned to be a global leader as we move into the next millennium.”

        Cover Girl, marketed mainly to teens along with some women over 30, had sales of $579.3 million for the yearlong period that ended July 25, according to market-tracker Information Resources Inc.

        That's more than three times the combined sales of P&G's other cosmetics lines — the high-end Max Factor, with sales of $112.9 million for the same period, and Oil of Olay Color Cosmetics, with sales of about $50 million since it was introduced in May, according to Information Resources.

        P&G said it is paring back its Cover Girl line by 27 products to eliminate redundancy and clutter.

        At the same time, however, the Cincinnati packaged-goods giant will introduce 12 new products designed to give Cover Girl a more upscale image and broader appeal.

        Those include Cover Girl's Peelers Polish — a water-based nail polish that peels off without nail polish remover — and two new extensions to Cover Girl's CG Smoothers line.

        P&G will introduce the Peelers Polish and a CG Smoothers lip liner and con cealer in January. The “New Face of Cover Girl” campaign will include print ads and television commercials, featuring celebrities such as Faith Hill, Niki Taylor and Brandy. “These launches are further testimony to our mission to provide the Cover Girl user with superior performance products and the latest fashion trend items,” Anne Martin, P&G's manager of global cosmetics marketing, said.

        The Cover Girl overhaul also will involve upgrading the Web site, a new online newsletter and various interactive tools to direct consumers to products.

        A key component of the ad campaign is redesigned and re organized wall units, featuring interactive devices to help consumers select colors that complement their skin tones.

        The wall units will feature a new 15-shade “universal” palette with foundations designed to meet the color needs of the brand's ethnically diverse consumer base, P&G said.

        “It's absolutely essential that consumers find the product and shade they're looking for every time they go to the store,” Ms. Martin said. “The reality is that this is still not happening on a consistent basis at mass, and consumers are frustrated.”

        Cover Girl products will be displayed in their new blue-and-silver color scheme packaging.


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