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CEW Presents Formula For Success
By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: June 29, 2012
Left to right, Olivier Gillotin, Vice President Perfumer, Givaudan; Kathy Widmer, Executive Vice President and CMO, Elizabeth Arden; Carlotta Jacobson, President, Cosmetic Executive Women; and Ron Rolleston, Executive Vice President, Creative & New Business Development, Elizabeth Arden, at CEW’s Formula for Success panel presentation.
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Rolleston described Swift’s notions about fragrance, saying that she believed that perfume takes you back to a place and time, and you can tell a story that connects memories together with perfume. For Taylor, these included the warm, spicy, vanilla, caramel and berry notes that Swift loved for Wonderstruck.
Gillotin agreed, noting that it was key to climb inside her world, understand where she is coming from, her home in Pennsylvania, and her love of fantasy, florals, white berries, and “to capture her youth and exuberance.”
“The key to a successful collaboration with a celebrity is to develop a level of trust," said Rolleston. "When Taylor came to the office for the first time, she brought her entire entourage, her mom, agent, lawyer and bodyguard. We engaged her in different creative processes to really have her smell so many different fragrances, and we showed her many different bottles. Our entire relationship emerged from our first meeting where we established trust with her,”
Widmer noted the importance of understanding Swift’s audience. “The target consumer for Taylor Swift is teens, young women and their moms, and we wanted to find them where they were. Swift now has 35 million followers; when we met she had 20 million, and when she speaks and communicates with her followers, it’s in real time. We knew that the fragrance had to be fundamental to the digital world.” She added, “If you want to experience Taylor Swift’s world, look at her Facebook feed and her tweets. These are most relevant.” Widmer noted that it is the same thing with Justin Bieber, who tweets “Night Girls,” when he goes to bed at night, and 29,000 girls tweet back.
Clearly, the digital space is an important place for reaching their fan base. “The Wonderstruck team all agreed to go into the digital space with varied programs and keep going. It’s so easy to get comfortable, for example, I know how to shoot TV and print, but the digital space keeps changing and you have to keep trying,” said Widmer. “Taylor created the experience, and we, as marketers, tried to get into that experience by creating a digital dialogue. This goes beyond celebrity TV. Celebrities have an image they’re trying to protect and it’s important to find a way to partner with them authentically, and find programs they are happy to endorse, which Taylor was happy to do. This included sampling, or opportunities to see her, as well as videos. She also has a group of super fans, called ‘Swifties,’ and they want to help her expand her brand. They encourage the sale of her product, endorsing, for example, a Wonderstruck birthday with Sephora, which brings awareness to the brand, and allows everyone to wish her a happy birthday. She doesn’t put on a hard sell, but she’s selling all the time,” said Widmer.