Video show and smell for Spellbound


August 21, 1991|By New York Times News Service

To introduce the new fragrance Spellbound, the Estee Lauder company is going to great lengths. In addition to inserting the usual 20 million or so scent strips in magazines, the company has produced a video, "Scenes From a Fragrance," which has been mailed to 250,000 selected customers. (Can't wait, can you?).

The videocassette is also being shrink-wrapped with Elle magazine as a giveaway at newsstands in 10 test-market cities.

"In the old days, fragrances were marketed by spraying women in department stores," said Robin Burns, the president and chairman of Estee Lauder USA, who said Spellbound had the most expensive marketing campaign in the company's history. "But women aren't shopping. It's very difficult in an environment where people aren't buying."

Why not just call it Desperate?

The campaign is unusual in several respects, Burns said, including the fact that the product is being massively previewed with no wide distribution. She said the strategy was to catch women's attention where they live -- at home, in front of the television set.

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