Avon Signs Jennifer Hudson To Imari Fragrance Deal

Past "American Idol" contestant and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson has inked a deal with Avon to become spokesmodel for one of its fragrance brands.

The multi-year partnership was announced by Avon on Tuesday and utilizes the face of the 25-year old singer/actress its top-selling fragrance brand, Imari.

The plan is for Hudson, an inspiring and surprise breakout star, to front the 20-year-old Imari brand and an upcoming variant called Imari Seduction due out in the summer.

Hudson will appear in a print ad campaign using the tag, "Where desire leads you," breaking in August fashion and beauty monthlies. In addition to the U.S., ads featuring Hudson along with Avon catalog images of her will also be used in Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Avon's creative is largely handled by its in-house advertising department.

A voluptuous African-American who grew up singing in Gospel choirs, Hudson is a good representation of the type of female the company has been targeting to buy--and sell--its brand: young, hard working and trying to achieve a goal. Likewise, the deal harkens back to Avon's partnership with two other inspiring African-American role models, pro tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams, who signed on with Avon in 2000.



In addition to her current notoriety since winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in "Dreamgirls"--with her heart-tugging "American Idol" stint as backdrop--Hudson may also serve as a call-out to lure younger women to Avon's sub brand, Mark, which was launched to appeal to college-age women.

Avon had Hudson make her first appearance for the company yesterday at a women's rights event at the United Nations in Manhattan. The "Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow" also kicked off a new cause-related campaign for Avon, its "Hello Tomorrow Fund" to benefit women worldwide who are making a difference in their communities.

Imari Seduction is the second scent variant under the Imari brand, which includes lotion, deodorant, powder and other ancillary products. Pricing will be moderate at $22.50 for a 1.7 oz.-bottle. In addition, similar accompanying SKUs, like shower gel and lotion, are also slated to launch later under the Seduction banner.

Other Imari marketing efforts including sampling via Avon reps starting in July, an Internet ad campaign and a microsite.

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