Friday, February 4, 2011

Beauty Ambassadors: Who represents you now?

From the Supermodel representation of the 90’s to the vast variety of beauty ambassadors of today, what does your favorite beauty brand say about you?

After the announcement late last year of Taylor Swift joining CoverGirl’s 2011 roster, I started thinking about how Nicki Taylor and Tyra Banks represented the brand when I was a tween and how the beauty market is so far removed from the “ad slogan only Supermodel” (Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Cover Girl) to the beauty representative that has lyrics in her back pocket and a credible movie career (for some).

My research started with a few my favorite beauty ads from the 90’s and the models who represented them to the now beauty ambassadors who get you to buy that lipstick or fragrance. I took 8 beauty brands (4 mass and 4 luxury) and started looking into who represented the brand 20 years ago and who represents it now. Are you a “true-to-you” personality? Or are you one of the “ Glam Squad”? Let’s explore!

Brand: CoverGirl

90’s representation: Supermodels- Tyra Banks, Helena Christensen, Nicki Taylor, Katherine Heigl and Lana Oglvie. Singers- Brandy and Faith Hill

Current Beauty ambassadors: Singers- Rhianna, Taylor Swift; Personalities- Drew Barrymore, Ellen Degeneris, Queen Latifah

What it says about you: I’m wholesome, classic, “True-to-you” beauty. CG has done an excellent job in covering almost all age and shade range (don’t know how well they do with east and pacific asian clients). CG appeals to the: I’m 15, love lip stains, glosses and mascara – mom and dad is ok with this. The 50 year old who can comfortably and confidently say so (“you really think I look 40?”, reply-“ yes hot mama”). The “I’m looking for a great foundation or powder but don’t want to risk $20 + if I’m sorely disappointed”.

Strategy: The brand strategy is enviable to those who are trying to crack such a broad and direct market. Who can sell anti-aging and still appeal to the tween market with lipgloss? Only a company well-versed in diversity across all spectrums, that’s who.

Brand: L’Oreal Paris

90’s representation: International Supermodels- Laetitia Casta, Janine Green, Noemi Lenoir, Shalom Harlow, Milla Jovavich Actresses- Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez

Current Beauty ambassadors: Actresses (a few with two or more slashes in their careers) - Eva Longoria, Penelope Cruz, Kerry Washington, Beyoncé, Scarlet Johannson, Freida Pinto, Gwen Stefani

What it says about you: Fiercely Glamorous International Jet-setting Beauty. “I’m jet-setting to Cannes in the morn, see you at 7pm for dinner”. All L’Oreal’s beauty campaigns exude the 3 g’s, Glamour, Glitz and Gloss- plus it served the brand well as they are #1. Bonus: Color of Hope- no other mass brand has cosmetics that go to Breast Cancer research, that’s just food for thought.

Strategy: While the new Colour Riche campaign is brilliant. I have a soft spot for their seasonal campaigns that used to be in fashion mags. I loved the Pink Tranquilo campaign in the ‘90’s and the other lip, nail and blush campaigns that I used to run out to Rite Aid and buy. Now, I hardly see these in the store because they are tucked away, cluttered with designer impostor perfumes. Another note is the lack of deeper color ranges, sorry but Nut Brown is not rich enough. A few years ago HIP foundations were a brilliant concept, but now a mere blip on the cosmetic radar. But, who knows what the future will hold in regards to pigment and skin matching- they are #1, so beauty is their playground, right?

Brand: Maybelline

90’s representation: Supermodels- Christy Turlington, Tomiko and Josie Maran Actress-Sarah Michelle Gellar to name a few

Current Beauty ambassadors: Supermodels- Christy Turlington, Erin Wasson, Jessica White, Adriana Lima, Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Shu Pei

What it says about you: The Maybelline roster is a combination platter of Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated, a true “ only for the sexy people” clause as they are all about lips and lashes…for now.

Strategy: Good, as Maybelline is the head sponsor of NYFW with ads all over the city and great beauty ambassador representation at Fashion’s Night Out. I can honestly say that they represent! Dream Matte Mouse range is great and I’m patiently awaiting for Fit Me to come to Duane Reade. As with L’Oreal- the seasonal campaign are a bit of a mess on shelves Maybelline does do a great job at advertising in magazines, albeit gossip rags, but hey, at least I can see new colors and figure out what one of the Jolie kids is up to all in the same 15 minutes.

Brand: Revlon

90’s representation: Supermodels- Cindy Crawford, Veronica Webb, among other Supers.

Current Beauty ambassadors: Actresses- Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes, Kate Bosworth

What it says about you: In the 90’s the brand reflected beauty and power, today Revlon beauties are classic and sophisticated. You, your mother and grandmother can indulge in convo about Charlie and Fire and Ice.. or maybe you can just text each other about picking up items at the grocery store.

Ah memories! There was a time when I was in college where both my grandmother and I wore Vixen and the Colorstay lipstick to accompany. I thought it was cool! My granny isn’t boring, she is a sophisticate and classy and if Revlon can do that- more power to the brand!

Strategy: In my mind, I always thought it would be fab to see Cindy and Veronica represent the brand again for those of us nostalgic of the powerful early nineties and I’ve always thought that Revlon could do it! But until that happens, I do give them points for revamping past nail and lipcolor collections like Fire & Ice with Biel.

As far as their ambassadors go, I think they need to switch it up. With who? you may not ask, how about personalities like Dita Von Teese or singers like Jennifer Hudson.

Additionally, I’m curious to see what Gucci Westman has in-store for the brand since transitioning to mass from a luxury beauty brand.

Brand: Lancome

90’s representation: Supermodels- Isabella Rosellini

Current Beauty ambassadors: Models - Elletra Weidman, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Supermodels- Daria Werbowy, Arlenis Sosa ; Vlogger- Michelle Phan

What it says about you: You are an international “diamond in the rough”, whether it be by heredity, a discovery or YouTube. You channel the relating factor that you aren’t just a pretty face by popular comparison, in fact Werbowy designed a collection for Lancome that sold out immediately after its launch.

Strategy: The Pout –a- porter series was utterly brilliant. Teaming up with up and coming designers for exclusive lipstick caused a firestorm and introduced a waitlist for lipstick. Their strategy is great as far as marketing to a new generation after years of having Isabella Rossellini at the helm, though you do not want to deter the 40+ crowd either. Tough call.

A strength is having a vlogger, Michelle Phan ( ricebunny) is reeling it in with tips and tricks that get millions of hits and helps Lancome break the asian market. Not bad at all, other brands- take note.

Brand: Dior

90’s representation: Supermodels- Carmen Kass

Current Beauty ambassadors: Actresses- Monica Belluci, Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone and Natalie Portman

What it says about you: Sophisticated, intelligent, sexy. Every one of these ladies embodies Christian Dior ‘s sophisticated New Look. Dior also says that Diorshow is your #1 bare minimum look item to grab before heading out for the evening.

Strategy: DiorShow is a hands down all around fave from print to web, but what else can Dior do? And how can Dior tap into a “younger” market? The Diordiva program is great, but the perks are a bit unreachable for a 16 or 17-year-old high schooler to get a $50 eye palette by redeeming receipts for $200 worth of product. No bueno. Additionally, the promotional advertisements in magazines seem a bit “pushy”. Maybe you should go the blogger/vlogger route and find a sophisticated real lady to represent, or bring another actress on board- my suggestion, Zoe Saldana.

Brand: Chanel

90’s representation: Supermodel- Shalom Harlow

Current Beauty ambassadors: Supermodels- Monika Jac Jagaciak, Malgosia Bela; Actresses-Kiera Knightly, Vanessa Paradis; It-Girls- Jen Brill, Leigh Leizark, Vanessa Traina, Caroline Seiber, Poppy Delevinge

What it says about you: You are a classic who loves the surprising edge of unconventional color. You wait patiently for the next nail polish color confection regardless of the $25 price tag and look forward to seeing the Chanel embossed face powders and tweed print blushes.

Strategy: Lets start with the favorites- The in international city exclusive collections (Rodeo Drive , London, Tokyo and Soho) are a fan favorite success. The exclusives each season are worth the wait, especially the nail polishes ( or nail vernis) and certainly worth the price tag if you treasure shopping for beauty seasonally.

Vamp Nail polish! Did you know that Vamp has its own Wikipedia page?

Now for the weaknesses- the closing of the only free-standing beauty boutique in Asia is a set-back if you want to establish yourself above the rest in the East.

Another under-accomplishment are the It Girl ambassadors, I don’t know what they do other than go to shows. That’s great and all but, do they sell Chanel beauty products? No. The products are the ambassadors, with the exception of Vanessa Paradis.

Brand: Estee Lauder

90’s representation: Supermodels and Actresses- Carolyn Murphy, Elizabeth Hurley

Current Beauty ambassadors: Supermodels, Actresses and Moguls- Gwenyth Paltrow, Liya Kebede, Hilary Rhoda, Joan Small, Erin Lauder

What it says about you: Heritage and loyalty. Both you and your mother can appreciate the skincare and makeup.

Strategy: The Tom Ford’s collections were a stellar success and I commend the brand for their generational and global diversity. The limited edition compact encasings are fun and memorable. But, I do firmly believe that Estee Lauder’s skincare outshines them all and keeps them on top, but does the skincare appeal to the youth as much as it appears to the boomers?

There you have it for 2011’s beauty brands and their ambassadors. We will be on the look-out for new developments and movements in representation.

So who do you represent?,,,,,,,,

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