Company: Gemini Cosmetics, New York Campaign: KISS Him, KISS Her fragrances PR Team: LSZ Communications, New York Other marketing: Averett Free Ginsberg, New York (advertising) Launching: September 2006 Budget: Undisclosed
OBJECTIVE: For the iconic band's first foray into fragrances, KISS partnered with Gemini Cosmetics and LSZ Communications to unveil a line set to appear on more than 2,000 department stores' cosmetics counters this fall. The collection, which includes scents and ancillary bath products for men and women, is meant to appeal not only to KISS fans, but to trendsetting consumers looking to embrace the rock-and-roll lifestyle, or at least something emblematic of it.
IDEA: While KISS fragrances were inspired by the band's over-the-top attitude, lightening-bolt logo, and recognizable mask imagery, they're unlike traditional celebrity-backed cosmetics, says LSZ principal Lori Zelenko. Products rely more on KISS' elaborate concepts than the band members themselves, she notes, particularly the idea of masquerade and the desire to transform. The line also emphasizes the tenderness of one's first kiss.
TOOLS: Media relations, ads, and special events will support the products. LSZ began by meeting with retail-oriented trades, launching with an April 14 cover story in Women's Wear Daily. Phase two focuses on long-lead beauty, music, entertainment, and lifestyle publications, as well as the notoriously zealous KISS fan base. Editors will be invited to the Gemini showroom for video briefings and product demonstrations. LSZ plans a New York-based event shortly after launch, featuring band members.
MEASUREMENT: It's about "impactful press coverage," Zelenko says. It's vital to drive early word-of-mouth messaging among KISS fans and higher-end retailers, the latter of whom may not realize the items are right for them. "[Advertising] will reinforce this," she notes. "But as word starts to spread, it's important that the messages be heard clearly and early through impactful [media outreach]."