Ad Track: Cosmetics companies tout mineral-based makeup

•L'Oréal Paris. Actress Penelope Cruz is the celebrity spokeswoman in print and TV ads for the Bare Naturale line. The company also runs mall tour programs in which makeup artists demonstrate the products on shoppers.

•Neutrogena Cosmetics. While some may doubt the skin-enhancing powers of mineral makeup, product director Katie Decker says the Mineral Sheers line is clinically proven to "improve skin clarity, tone and texture." Print ads now in entertainment and beauty magazines promote the claim. The company also just launched online banner ads with an embedded 20-second video clip showing how to apply the makeup. They also promote Neutrogena.com/beautybonus, a site with makeover tips for occasions such as a blind date or grabbing coffee with a friend.

•Bare Escentuals. The company drives much of its brand awareness though product demonstrations on QVC and with cable network infomercials. In 2007, Bare Escentuals broadcast its infomercials an average of 500 times per week, with resulting direct sales of $128 million. It also offers hands-on demonstrations at company-owned boutiques and at retailers such as Sephora.

NEW & NOTABLE

Tune in and wash up.

First Dove tried to reach young girls by trying to build their self-esteem. Now, Dove is trying to woo 20somethings by trying to quiet the "inner critical voice" of those women who consider themselves their own worst critic, according to a Dove study with 500 women.

The study findings have helped shape the Unilever brand's latest marketing with a series of three minute ads that look like a mini TV series. A five-week run of Fresh Takes that stars Grammy winner Alicia Keys. The "show" sponsored by Dove's go fresh products — deodorants, body mists, body wash, beauty bar, hand and body lotion, shampoos and conditioners — begins Monday during the first commercial pod of MTV's The Hills the networks' top rated show with young women. The ad show will also be available to watch on computers and mobile phones. Keyes plays the confident "Alex" who helps her two female buddies navigate careers and social lives.

"This delivers exciting, daring branded entertainment to these consumers," says Sam Chadha, director of marketing for Unilever deodorants.

"This is the way 20somethings are consuming their media. The landscape has really changed."

And MTV gets its. "We're trying more and more to be innovative and creative different partners," says John Shea, executive vice president of integrated marketing for MTV Networks. "It's the name of the game these days."

Bottoms up.

In a move giving new meaning to "dirty" in a dirty martini (normally spiked with olive juice), spirits-maker Star Industries wants a prostitute's posterior for its Georgi vodka ads. CEO Martin Silver says Ashley Alexandra Dupre, the high-priced hooker connected with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, received a "low-six-figure" payment to be its new ad image. "We all got together, our ad guy and PR guy, and said, 'Let's spend some money and see if we can hire this girl.' "

Spitzer might be one of a select few to recognize Dupre if she takes the job. The brand's bus and taxi ads are known for featuring only the model's derrière in a skimpy bikini bottom.

Chrysler wants you.

The automaker plans an online "customer advisory board." The goal is "to establish a two-way dialogue" to glean consumer insights, chief marketing officer Deborah Meyer says.

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