Q&A: Breaking barriers with Coty’s Ralph Macchio
In late 2013, Coty Inc. moved into a new, state-of-the-art research and development facility in Morris Plains, N.J., bringing together under one roof its researchers and a salon-like consumer testing environment for testing new products in nail, skin and hair. The site was designed by the Coty team from the blueprint stage to break down barriers between product categories and capitalize on synergies in beauty. To learn more, DSN recently talked Coty’s chief scientific officer Ralph Macchio.
DSN: Can you tell us about some of the highlights of the new 11,500-sq.-ft. facility?
Ralph Macchio: We have a much bigger nail lab than we’ve had in the past. Clearly, for Coty as a company, nail is a large part of our portfolio, particularly on the color side. So, we have the space, equipment and the lab environment to really generate innovation, and one of those is the Miracle Gel. …On that product alone, in the new facility, we have probably tested on [more than] 1,000 people, easily.
DSN: What is an example within skin care?
Macchio: Recently, we moved the philosophy R&D team that focused on skin care to the same facility, so we’re all together. That has led to some really great developments, which will be coming out. In particular, Time in a Bottle [under the philosophy brand] is another one of those products that has undergone a lot of testing at the new facility.
DSN: I understand that 15% of Coty's portfolio is made up of skin and body care. With the resources of this new R&D facility, can you talk about the projected growth within this segment?
Macchio: Skin care we’ve been working on now in the Morris Plains facility and, as you know, there’s a lot of testing involved with skin care, both internally and externally. So, that’s an area that I think is going to grow for us as claims have become a lot more important on skin. … We are focused on growing the skin care part [of our business]. That is the smallest part of our portfolio and we are very focused on growing skin care.
DSN: Where do you see the greatest opportunity within skin care?
Macchio: In skin care, overall, the trend is still anti-aging. That’s still the big trend. Everyone is looking for the fountain of youth. …. Now, what you’ve seen recently is that there are multi-purpose products. It could be anti-aging with a moisturizer built-in, plus an SPF, but overall the category of anti-aging still reigns. We have quite a few good entries in there; we have both Miracle Worker and we have now Time in a Bottle — two big initiatives in that area.
Living Essentials launches 5-Hour Energy ‘Yummification’ contest
Ulta Beauty selects Mullen as new agency-of-record
BOLLINGBROOK, Ill. — Ulta Beauty has selected Mullen, an Interpublic Group owned agency, as its new advertising agency-of-record.
According to Ulta, Mullen prevailed based on strategic and creative thinking, as well as deep retail, beauty product and marketing-to-women expertise. The agency formed a multi-office team with personnel from its Boston headquarters and MullenNC presenting to the Ulta team.
Mullen will begin working with the beauty retailer immediately, developing creative and media content for implementation in key markets later this year.
“Ulta is focused on continuing to build a leadership brand in beauty, and Mullen’s combination of outstanding brand strategy and breakthrough creative will help us accelerate our efforts,” stated Dave Kimbell, CMO and SVP at Ulta.
Mullen has been active in the beauty products category in the past with its work on Unilever’s TreSemmé brand of hair care products. The agency has also worked with numerous national retailers, including Barnes & Noble, T.J. Maxx and Zappos. In addition, Mullen operates Frank About Women, a marketing-to-women consultancy.
The win represents continued growth at Mullen, on the heels of gaining the Indeed.com business late in 2013 and the truTV brand earlier this year.