Maybelline and Target are partnering to introduce three specially designed versions of the classic Great Lash Mascara and will promote the limited-edition products via Facebook and upcoming fashion events this fall.
Starting with the basic pink-and-green packaging that has been used since the No. 1 brand launched 40 years ago, Maybelline invited designers Max Azria, Tracy Reese and Vivienne Tam to each give the little tube their own spin. (Reese's, for example, is bold and floral; Tam's includes the Chinese symbol for "lash.")
Maybelline, the official cosmetic sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, says the designs "represent the spirit of the Maybelline New York woman -- modern, confident and chic." Target will sell the mascara for $6.99, beginning in September and timed to coincide with Fall Fashion Week.
The goal is not just to sell more mascara, a company spokeswoman confirms, but also to intensify the connection many women already have with the brand, which it says sells 20 million pieces a year, or one every 1.7 seconds. (Women's Wear Daily reports that translates to an 8% dollar share of the mascara market.)
While the company has been advertising the brand's 40th birthday all year, it is also revving up a social media campaign via Facebook and Twitter, revealing the mascaras one by one, and inviting fans to win the mascara before it hits Target's shelves. A virtual party is scheduled for Aug. 14, and Great Lash fans will be invited to tweet live with @Maybelline using the hashtag #greatlash.
Over the top? Maybe, but IRI has found that mascara is the single beauty product women are most likely to say they can't live without, and even throughout the recession, the category has continuously grown. Other mascara brands from Maybelline, which is owned by L'Oreal, include Lash by Lash, Lash Stiletto and Volum Express Falsies.