Coty Inks Deal With Tim McGraw For Perfume Line

It may have tones of sorrel and sod. Whatever the fragrance, Coty Inc., has signed actor and country star Tim McGraw to develop and market his own signature line for the leading perfumery. The fragrance will debut next summer in North America, and the company will distribute the product widely. Marketing plans are in the works.

Steve Mormoris, senior vice president/global marketing at Coty, said in a release that McGraw represents attainable luxury. "His distinguished and approachable character positions him as a perfect partner for a new men's fragrance."

The fragrance company also has deals with Vera Wang, Jennifer Lopez, Kimora Lee Simmons' Phat Pharm, "Desperate Housewives" and David and Victoria Beckham, among others. McGraw is represented by RPM Management and MFO, a talent brand management firm. New York-based Laird and Partners handles creative duties for the company.

Robert Passikoff, principal of Brand Keys, a New York-based consultancy, says that Coty is attempting to engage a new audience segment. "And the easiest way to do that is via a celebrity or music star," he notes.



"They are hoping for higher levels of media recognition and engagement. Today you are dealing with 'bionic' consumers: they are 'on to it,' but not entirely immune to it."

He asserts that the downside of star-centric campaigns is that they tend to have short shelf-life. "Throughout the world, [such efforts] are effective for a shorter period of time. You get a big spike."

The McGraw fragrance will appeal to those who are attracted to the sense of imagery evoked by Tim McGraw and his music--his fans, in other words--rather than by the sensory actuality of the fragrance, per Passikoff. "Fragrance makers are having difficulty with sustainability, and the Tim McGraw thing could be problematic. Such efforts that work are the ones that represent classic values: Chanel, or if you want something more recent, White Diamonds with Elizabeth Taylor."

The company last fall unveiled plans to grow to $5 billion in sales by 2010. Last year it posted sales of $2.9 billion, a 38% increase from 2005. Coty said it would grow sales through cosmetics category, skin and sun care and through brand extensions under its Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Rimmel sub brands.

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