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Innovation Takes The Spotlight at CEW Newsmaker Forum

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: September 20, 2012

Left to right, Renato Semerari, president, Coty Beauty; Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances, Coty Prestige; and Michele Scannavini, CEO, Coty, at CEW's September 2012 Newsmaker Forum.

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Using Playboy as an example, Semerari described how the brand was lifted from its “dusty bin of the past” image to a successfully reinvented brand. “I think we twisted the paradigm with Playboy. The seduction game is very much alive for young men and girls, which is why we did the ‘Press to Play’ campaign. This supported Playboy as one of our most successful brands,” he said.

“I’ve never worked on the beauty side, but I think the innovation process is the same on both sides,” said Walsh. “Coty does a great job with innovation across the whole culture of the brand,” agreed Scalamandre, citing Coty’s success with Madonna’s Truth or Dare and Lady Gaga’s Fame, as part of their portfolio, and noting the role of packaging in the fragrance industry. “It has become an important tool when it comes to fragrance. Packaging immediately provides you with instant theater in the store. One of my favorites is Marc Jacobs Daisy,” she said.

Walsh described how Coty did a scratch and sniff window at Harvey Nichols in London for the launch of Daisy, and customers could come up to the window and smell Daisy. “That campaign really took off,” said Walsh. “Packaging is one of the great tools,” she said, as she demonstrated the Glowing Eau de Parfum Spray by JLo, which stays lit for 12 seconds once you spray.

Scalamandre noted the new Lady Gaga Fame fragrance, with its Little Monsters ad campaign and surrounding buzz. “She’s very intense and talented,” said Semerari. “We came up with a black juice, which she was very happy with. Her soul is black,” he said, noting that a new technology was devised to prevent the juice from leaving a stain. “It’s an innovative technology with a harmony of ingredients that along with Firmenich we came out with, and it’s off to a very good start,” said Semerari.

Walsh added, “Calvin is a fascinating brand and it still resonates because the man was a visionary and he created a fragrance based on his personal life, and he really knew how to push his brand. What he did was bring raw honesty and combine fragrance and sex, not sensuality.” She recalled the breakthrough ad campaign with Brooke Shields saying, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.”