Ben and Beri

Brand: Horizon - Guy Laroche
Year: Fall/Winter 1994
Models: Ben Benthousen and Beri Smither
Photographer: Herb Ritts
Director: Herb Ritts

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THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; In a new men's fragrance, sensuality and social responsibility are important marketing ingredients.
By Stuart Elliott
Published: Wednesday, August 10, 1994

TO create a successful fragrance nowadays, a perfumer may find that the images it blends into its marketing plan may be more important than the spices and flowers it blends into the scent.

As the Parfums Guy Laroche unit of Cosmair Inc. introduces Horizon for Men, a line of fragrance and grooming products, the advertising, which begins running tomorrow, will present a mix of sensuality, sensitivity and social responsibility to complement the brand's pleasant mix of aromas like grapefruit, wild geranium and cypress.

"It's a lot more complex than just putting a good-smelling juice in a bottle and hoping it sells," Robert J. Cassou, senior vice president and general manager of European designer fragrances at Cosmair in New York, said yesterday.

"The fragrance has to depict a life style," he added. "It has to touch the person who uses it in a certain way."

Horizon, which will be sold in department stores like Macy's and Marshall Field's, is what is known as a mass class fragrance: at $32.50 for a 1.7-ounce eau de toilette spray, it is priced between brands like Aspen and Davidoff Cool Water.

The Horizon campaign, with a budget of $7 million, will appear through the Christmas shopping season. The print advertisements, television commercials and outdoor posters were created by the photographer Herb Ritts and adapted by the longtime Cosmair agency, McCann-Erickson New York; Horizon will also be sampled through more than 35 million scent strips.

The campaign centers on an attractive young couple, a caring pair of equal partners -- two sleekly sexy American models, Ben Benthousen and Beri Smither -- caressing in the sea against a limitless sky, tinted blue to match Horizon's bottle and packaging.

The idea is clean, fresh romance in a natural, outdoor setting. Calvin Klein meets Eddie Bauer, if you will.

All that is meant to appeal as much to men of the 1990's aged 18 to 34 as a Horizon sibling scent, Drakkar Noir, did to men of that age range in the 1980's. Drakkar Noir, the first men's fragrance from the designer Guy Laroche, became one of the world's best-selling scents in large part because of aggressively macho ads showing a self-absorbed, Eurostylish man who treated his female companions like accessories.

"We're looking to create, 10 years later, another very, very successful men's fragrance with a different viewpoint," Mr. Cassou said.

"Trying to get back to simple, more elemental things is what Horizon is about," he added.

Allan G. Mottus, president of Mottus & Associates, a fragrance and cosmetics consulting company in New York, said that a second brand "to help out Drakkar," with a contrasting sales pitch, made sense.

"The narcissism of the 80's, the concept of the remote, perfect male creature, is not necessarily what's moving product," he added.

The tenor of the Horizon campaign sounds "very positive," Mr. Mottus said, particularly because of its "American positioning and look," which have worked well for Calvin Klein men's fragrances like Eternity, marketed by a Cosmair rival, Unilever. When Horizon was introduced last year in Europe, its campaign there focused on a vintage image by the Russian-born fashion photographer George Hoyningen-Huene.

Mr. Mottus said he was pleased that Cosmair -- owned by L'Oreal S.A., the French cosmetics giant -- developed a separate campaign for the United States, because too often its advertising in this country had been about "shoving French image down American throats."

Laura Lee Miller, vice president for marketing of European designer fragrances at Cosmair, said, "We determined we needed something that expressed more sensuality" for this market, as well as more of an outdoorsy component.

"We want you to think 'blue ecology,' " she added, "the exhilaration of unexplored places."

Enter the brand's social responsibility aspect. Cosmair is sponsoring a cause-related marketing program to benefit American Rivers Inc., a Washington-based environmental organization. For each $45 boxed set of Horizon products sold, the company will donate $1 to American Rivers, which will also be promoted in advertorials that Cosmair will run in Entertainment Weekly, Men's Health and Men's Journal magazines.

"Again, it's a difference between the 80's and the 90's," said Janice L. Spector, a senior vice president and group account director at McCann New York. "It's giving back rather than taking."

Horizon's other print media buys will include magazines like Details, Playboy, Outside and, because many men's fragrances are purchased by women, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Commercial time will be bought in 23 large markets during local station breaks in programs like "Frasier," "Northern Exposure" and "Seinfeld."


Johec said...

btw, does anyone know something about Ben? any info, agency ...

there's nothing online!

Anonymous said...

That Horizon ad is sexy!

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