For Aveda, It’s Easy Being Green

NEW YORK Cosmetics makers typically promise to make their users beautiful, but Aveda is trying a new pitch: saving the planet.

After years of product-focused marketing, the Estee Lauder-owned beauty brand’s 2008 campaign will tout its green credentials.

Suzanne Dawson, vp of global marketing at Aveda, cited research showing eight of 10 Americans now believe that it is important to buy products from green companies. “We’ve always talked about our environmental work to the trade, but now it’s time to start shouting it to a larger audience,” she said.

The new campaign, themed “Beauty is as beauty does,” will switch focus to a new green issue every six to eight weeks in both print advertising and in-store displays across the company’s 8,000 salons.

Ads launching Jan. 1 will focus on wind energy. The print creative features a model posing against the backdrop of windmills used to power Aveda’s Blaine, Minn., factory.

In stores, the same creative will appear in window displays, while inside, a different version will promote the launch of the brand’s new Humidity Defense hair product, tying in the wind power message.

In mid-February, creative will highlight packaging waste, promoting Aveda’s efforts to use up to 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials in product packaging across all collections. Identical to the plan for the wind energy execution, print ads will carry the message: “What a beautiful waste,” referencing the brand’s waste reduction efforts in its packaging.

While green themes have proliferated in the marketplace of late, some analysts argue that the depth of Aveda’s messaging about its environmentally friendly business will resonate with consumers. This is particularly true for beauty customers, for whom eco-friendly and organic messages are “very strong and powerful,” according to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y.

Said Cohen: “No major brand in any product category has really gotten this entrenched with eco as the message.”