By the time the Rimmel brand team came to launch the Extreme Definition Mascara in 2003, Moss' involvement had already started to translate into increased sales, making it an easy decision to stick with her for more specific product ads.
As well as featuring in the advertising, Moss was drafted in as the major draw at a London nightclub party to unveil the mascara in June 2003. As this was the first time the supermodel had spoken at a commercial event, it represented a significant PR coup for the brand. Beauty journalists from a wide range of European glossy magazines were invited, effectively making the event a promotion for the entire Rimmel brand as well as a specific product launch.
Eyes on the prize
The 'Break the rules' TV advertising campaign was shown on the major channels, featuring Moss dancing around draped in a Union flag, ending up sitting on a throne in 'punk princess' mode.
An interactive version of the ad was produced for screening on SkyDigital channels. This featured the same basic creative as the analogue terrestrial executions, but pressing the red button led satellite viewers to a screen that offered extra product information for the range as well as the chance to enter a competition to win a makeover and £200 worth of Rimmel products.
Ads were booked into magazines - the major women's titles as well as some teen and celebrity gossip magazines - to appear from the product's consumer launch in mid-August through to January 2004.
To complement the advertising, Rimmel took a targeted approach to in-store promotion. Boots was signed up as the exclusive distributor for the first four weeks. The retailer backed this up with extensive support within its outlets, on gondola ends, security panels, and 'hotspots' - the areas that carry advertisements within the stores' cosmetic fixtures.
After mid-September, distribution was widened to include Superdrug and lloydspharmacy and all the major supermarket chains, and was geared to coincide with the start of the TV campaign.
Sophie Lorge, Rimmel's marketing manager, believes that the campaign's success can be attributed to the consistency of its message, but also to the fact that the product offered an interesting new concept - one that lent itself well to the advertising creative.
The resonance of the campaign is ultimately shown in the 74% increase in Rimmel mascara sales over the campaign period of August-October 2003.
The campaign worked so well for parent company Coty that it has now adopted the line 'Break the rules' for all its branding ads for Rimmel London.
Advertising: Label @ JWT
Media planning and buying: OMD UK
Mascara is the most frequently-purchased item in the cosmetics market and therefore represents a key battleground for the top three brands in the sector: Rimmel London, L'Oreal and Maybelline. Rimmel needed to protect its market-leading position in the UK cosmetics market (and the eye category in particular) with a product and campaign that would give women another reason to be interested in mascara. The Extreme Definition product, launched in August 2003, featured a unique 'volume boost' comb applicator instead of the more traditional brush - a genuine product advantage.
Kate Moss had been exclusively signed up to Coty-owned Rimmel London in September 2001 - the first 'face of Rimmel' since the company was founded in 1834. The success of the resulting brand campaign in 2002 meant that it made sense to continue using Moss and the street-fashion 'punk princess' theme for the mascara launch. The campaign was devised under the slogan 'Break the rules', appealing to consumers' sense of individuality and reflecting the radically different nature of the mascara product. Rimmel signed up Boots as an exclusive stockist for the first four weeks after launch, and this link was reflected in initial advertising.
Distribution of the product began in the middle of August, backed by in-store promotions and magazine ads that directed consumers into Boots stores. A TV campaign - featuring Kate Moss applying the mascara, then flouncing around draped in a Union flag, opening a bottle of champagne and playing a guitar before sitting down on a throne - was shown on major channels, and an interactive version of the ad was produced for SkyDigital.Significant PR coverage was gained earlier in the summer from a party organised by Rimmel, attended by Moss and a mass of European beauty journalists.
Sales figures for the initial 12 weeks after the mid-August launch show that the brand captured a 24% share of the £28m UK eye cosmetics sector over the period, according to IRI, compared with L'Oreal's 20% and Maybelline's 14%. During the same period the year before, Rimmel's share of the UK eye cosmetics sector had been 19%. In addition, 12,000 people entered the makeover competition that was accessible via the interactive ad created for Sky Digital, which gave Rimmel London a valuable bank of extra customer contact data. The campaign was responsible for boosting the brand's mascara sales by 74% between August and October 2003.