CAMPAIGNS: CHARITY; Cutex a winner with plate class

Client: Cutex brand owned by Rimmel-Schicogo PR Team: In-house and Caroline Eversfield PR Campaign: Cutex Create-A-Plate Timescale: 1994 - 1996 Budget: pounds 20,000

Client: Cutex brand owned by Rimmel-Schicogo

PR Team: In-house and Caroline Eversfield PR

Campaign: Cutex Create-A-Plate

Timescale: 1994 - 1996

Budget: pounds 20,000

With the relaunch of the Cutex brand in 1991, the company brought in

Caroline Eversfield PR to raise its profile among its target market of

professional and older women. MD Caroline Eversfield realised the value

of linking the brand to a charity and at the end of 1993, Cutex chose

the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council for Research (ARC), a medical

research charity. Known as a hand and nail care brand, Cutex felt that

the public perception of arthritis principally affecting the hands made

the association particularly suitable.


To promote the Cutex brand message of caring products and raise funds

for the Arthritis and Rheumatism council for Research (ARC).


Caroline Eversfield, a keen collector of commemorative plates, saw the

possibilities of linking ceramics and nail varnish and thought that

involving celebrities would be a fun and effective way of realising the

campaign’s aims.

At the beginning of 1994, using a mailing list from The Talent

Corporation, 100 ‘Create-A-Plate’ packs were sent out to celebrities.

These consisted of a white ceramic plate, a selection of five or six

nail varnishes and a request to design an original work of art

reflecting the individual’s personality.

Personalities, ranging from Emma Thompson and Richard Gere to Helen

Storey and Richard Branson, eventually responded. However, the project

was then put on hold whilst Cutex launched a new range of cosmetics.

With the arrival of Lorna Sweeney, assistant brand manager at Cutex,

seven months ago, the campaign regained momentum. An exhibition of the

plates was organised with the Art Connoisseur Gallery in London and

invites were sent to Cutex’s customer base and ARC supporters for an

auction on 25 April 1996.

The event was opened by Maureen Lipman and 12 plates were auctioned by

Hugo Swire of Sotheby’s, while the remainder were open to postal bids.

As a spin off, pottery manufacturers Hudson and Middleton produced six

designs - including Jane Asher’s - as beakers, which have retailed at

Boots since January.


Over pounds 7,000 was raised for ARC on the night and postal bids

brought in pounds 12,000.

The Manchester Evening News ran a reader competition matching six

celebrities to six plates, and interest came from the Independent, Marie

Claire, Sky News, the Big Breakfast and the Racing Post, which featured

Lester Piggott’s contribution.


Cutex gained some very positive coverage with quite a lot of celebrity

support for a somewhat off-the-wall campaign. However, Sweeney believes

that there would have been more celebrity interest in the auction, if it

had taken place sooner after the initial contact - lot 52 was a

posthumous offering from Kenny Everett.

According to Bryan Breed, spokesman for ARC, the charity raised pounds

17 million last year and hopes to raise pounds 20 million this year, so

pounds 19,000 would appear to be a drop in the ocean. However, he feels

that the real value to the charity is the impact of the publicity.

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