Since the Yves Rocher Corporation founded the first botanical
garden and laboratory in France in 1958, the company has positioned its
brand as one that is ecologically friendly. Of course, this now fits
snugly with the trend for ethically sound products.
In 1965, Yves Rocher published a Green Book of Beauty, which became the
world’s most widely used catalogue of natural beauty products. In 1987,
it was the first European cosmetics company to stop testing its products
on animals. By 1995 Yves Rocher was the largest natural beauty-care
company in the world, selling its products to 25 million women in 84
This environmentally and ethically sound brand positioning is carefully
reinforced across all Yves Rocher’s advertising. This emphasises that
the natural, plant-based products have not been tested on animals and
also promotes low introductory prices.
Core advertising propositions include ’Look great, naturally’ and ’Your
beauty, comfort and total well-being are our passion.’ These sit
alongside promotional price themes such as ’Introductory prices on more
than 100 of our most popular products’ and ’Try 28 products from only
pounds 1.50. Save over 50 per cent.’
Yves Rocher does not sell its products through retailers, but instead
goes through 1,350 beauty institutes worldwide and has also embraced the
Planning and buying in the UK are executed by Simon Whitworth, director
of David Coleman Media. The company has held the Yves Rocher account for
15 years and fights hard for keen, last-minute deals. Whitworth says:
’Yves Rocher was green before green was fashionable.’
Its UK adspend for January to October 1999 was almost pounds 3.5
million, split between direct mail and press advertising which account
for 87 per cent and 13 per cent of adspend respectively. There was also
a small amount of radio advertising but the total radio spend amounted
to less than pounds 5,000.
Most of Yves Rocher’s advertising this year has been concentrated in
September and January- these two months accounting for more than 40 per
cent of spend.
The sum spent on press advertising amounted to pounds 437,904. It was
placed exclusively in consumer magazines, mainly women’s titles. The
Daily Mail’s You magazine got more than pounds 80,000, while What’s on
TV and Family Circle both landed more than pounds 40,000. The Lady and
Top Sante also fared well.
The other titles were Cable Guide, Debenhams magazine, Essentials,
Health & Fitness, Marie Claire, Prima, Radio Times, Shape, She, Weight
Watchers, Slimming and TV Quick.
Almost 75 per cent of the company’s direct mail is aimed at existing
clients, and these fall mainly in the 35-44 and 65+ age groups.
Yves Rocher is a relatively sophisticated direct mailer, issuing
different executions to niche target groups (MMS tracked more than ten
different mailings in October, for example). It shows clear evidence of
good database usage, which enables seasonal campaigns (such as its
Christmas Beauty Catalogue and a Halloween Special) and customer loyalty
activity such as birthday mailings and the sending of gift vouchers to
Research by Media Monitoring Services, tel: 01344-627553