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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

P&G's 'Rouge' Goes Nationwide

Oct 7, 2009

Procter & Gamble has announced the nationwide launch of its health and beauty magazine, Rouge. The title has been in test markets in the U.S. and Canada, and will now be issued on an ongoing basis to U.S. homes every quarter, the packaged goods giant said.

Like brandSaver!, P&G’s newpaper insert coupon booklet, Rouge also contains coupon deals for brands like Pantene, Olay and Crest. The magazine is health and beauty focused, with top P&G brands like Clairol, Secret, Venus, Tampax and Always making regular appearances.

P&G expects Rouge to reach 11 million households by mid-October 2010—seven million in the U.S. and four million in Canada, said P&G rep Cherilyn McMaster. The target is “beauty-involved females,” and P&G identifies new prospects through both those who request the magazine and consumers who’ve shown an interest in beauty as evidenced by their magazine subscriptions or Internet usage patterns. Consumers may choose to cancel their subscription at any time, McMaster added.

In its research, P&G—which is known for extensive, consumer-oriented testing—found that 80 percent of readers found Rouge to be comparable to fashion titles such as Marie Claire and Allure in “quality and design.” More than 72 percent of those reading the magazine expressed an interest in receiving it on a regular basis.

P&G said it will issue 6-7 million copies of Rouge to U.S. consumers each quarter. The magazine will be published by Redwood’s custom publishing unit, Javelin.

This quarter’s issue is 49 pages, with approximately 60 percent dedicated to P&G health and beauty branded editorial coverage; 20 percent to traditional ads; and the remaining 20 percent being “unbranded editorial,” McMaster said. The editorial team at Javelin contributes all copy, and the staff has access to internal and external beauty care experts, celebrities and spokespeople, she added.

P&G sees Rouge as a way to foster long-term relationships with beauty care consumers. It’s also reached out to beauty and budget/money-savings bloggers to get the word out. In 2008, P&G spent $1.4 billion advertising its beauty brands, which include men's and women's cosmetics, fragrances and body and hair care products, among others, per Nielsen. Through July of this year, P&G's beauty care media expenditures were $625 million, a 25 percent decline from $800 million for the same period last year. (Figures exclude online spending.)

The move, however, comes as the magazine industry, particularly consumer-oriented glossy titles, have taken a hit due to the recession. This Monday, for instance, famed luxury and fashion publishing house Conde Nast announced it was folding four of its well-known consumer titles, including Gourmet, Cookie and Modern Bride.

Beauty, however, may be a brighter spot. Category experts have noted how consumers are still willing to splurge on small indulgences like a tube of their favorite lipstick or facial cream in a recession. (P&G launched Olay Pro-X, its dermatologist-backed skin care line, for this reason, as the company aimed to catch frugal shoppers trading down from high-end, department store brands.) And beauty ad spending has held up relatively well in print this year. Toiletries and cosmetics print ad pages declined 14.1 percent in the first half of 2009, but within the category, hair products and accessories actually showed an increase. At the same time, total ad pages in magazines declined 27.9 percent, per Publishers Information Bureau.

In addition, beauty continues to be a growth area among consumer magazines. Time Inc.’s InStyle this year introduced a special hair issue that was solely sponsored by Kao. Sibling pub, All You, this month introduced a special fashion and beauty issue, with wardrobe tips for less, do-it-yourself T-shirts and top drugstore beauty products.

D'Agostino Managers Go Wild

Oct 8, 2009

Grocery stores usually turn to circulars and in-store advertising to promote weekly shopping deals, but D’Agostino—a family-owned, New York grocery chain—is taking it one step further with a campaign called “Managers Gone Wild!”

D’Agostino store managers are the stars of the ads, which promote a one-week bargain sale at its stores. It shows the impact the sales event, which runs through Oct. 13, has had on its managers. A radio spot now running, for instance, has the announcer proclaiming that “responsible senior managers are acting like you’ve never seen before . . . They’re in charge and out of control.”

This is the first big ad campaign for D’Agostino, since it pulled back from TV advertising 10 years ago. It also comes as the company seeks to bolster its image as a neighborhood- and service-friendly grocery store among its target affluent consumers. D’Agostino faces competition from rivals like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market, as shoppers scale back to cheaper shopping destinations in a recession.

“Value is not only price. It is the quality of our product. It’s also the availability [of our stores],” said marketing director Anderson Chung. He added that because of the neighborhood-centric locations, consumers often stop by a D’Agostino on the way home, while trips to supermarkets and other grocery store chains might be planned in advance.

In highlighting its employee workforce, too, D’Agostino is putting a “human face” on the brand, Chung said. The campaign plays up the chain’s founding roots. D’Agostino was founded by two Italian immigrant teenagers, Nick and Pasquale D’Agostino, who opened their first location at Lexington Avenue and 83rd Street in 1932.

The campaign also spans print and online, with ads running in the New York Post, Metro, and community newspapers like The Journal News and the Lewisboro Ledger, a weekly distributed in Lewisboro and Katonah, N.Y. D’Agostino  did not disclose the campaign’s cost, but said that it is “significant.”

Tod Seisser, a principal at New York agency Grok, which created the campaign, said the effort aims to make “a little bit of noise” on behalf of the brand. “It gives [consumers] an extra, added incentive to come in [besides] what they’re coming in for now,” he said. “You’re not walking into some market owned by a faceless corporation . . . These are guys who live, eat and breathe the supermarket business,” he said of the real-life employees featured in the campaign.

Phil Lempert, an industry tracker who calls himself the "supermarket guru," said D’Agostino has managed to advertise its value without cheapening the brand. By running the promotion for one week, D’Agostino makes it clear that it’s just “an event, versus lowering prices to compete,” Lempert said. (The advertising talks about what prices are right now, and there is no mention of what they were before.)