In February, Armani Beauty announced the formation of Gen A, an eight-person squad of Gen-Z talent chosen to represent the brand and introduce it to younger audiences. Now, the men in Gen A have their first big task — bringing a new stronger, longer-lasting version of the brand’s 25-year-old scent, Acqua di Gio, to the new generation. The brand hopes to break any existing associations with the fragrance, so potential new customers don’t think of it as their father’s scent, for example.
Armani Beauty sells makeup primarily through Sephora, while its fragrance performs best at Ulta Beauty. In addition to its best-selling fragrances, the brand is best known for its Luminous Silk foundation, an iconic luxury product.
The Gen-A men include actors Chase Stokes (8 million Instagram followers) and Jonathan Daviss (4.2 million Instagram followers) of “Outer Banks,” Lukas Gage of “The White Lotus” and “You” (403,000 Instagram followers), and Michael Evans Behling of “All American” (1.6 million Instagram followers). All have been chosen for having “genuine, authentic” relationships with the brand — they were already fans of its products before becoming official ambassadors, according to Véronique Gautier, global president of Armani Beauty. The scent was the first fragrance Behling and Daviss purchased for themselves. Gage grew up on the beach, and for him, the scent smells like home. Stokes told Armani he window-shopped for the Armani fragrance in high school so much that his godmother bought it for him as a gift.
“The Gen-Z consumer wants to see themselves in the brand. This [campaign presents] a unique opportunity to have four men that give it a face that [they can] connect with, someone relatable. They have an opportunity to be brought into the brand through their eyes and their communication,” Gautier said.
Gen A has already proven an effective strategy for Armani Beauty — it has generated 1.1 billion press impressions since its inception, according to the brand. In the past six months, media mentions of the brand are up 117% and the number of social posts mentioning Armani Beauty are up 143%. On its own social channels, Armani Beauty content has reached over 9.6 billion accounts and generated 81.7 million views and 13 million engagements. Armani Beauty has 3.1 million followers on Instagram and 25,000 on TikTok.
The campaign to launch Acqua di Gio will span linear and streaming television, digital and in-store animation. The brand will post on social media and the four ambassadors will post on their own social media channels starting on July 5. On July 15, the brand will host an event in Malibu that will “toast these [ambassadors] and bring together their friends, [other members of] Gen A, our NBA player [brand ambassadors] and other friends of the house,” Gautier said.
Success will be measured by sales, engagement and consumer perception, Gautier said. Acqua di Gio is currently the No. 4 men’s fragrance worldwide — the brand hopes the campaign will help push it into the top three. “It’s very important to refresh and seduce Gen Z with Acqua di Gio,” Gautier said.
Gautier believes the success of Gen A is in large part thanks to the authentic connection its “cast members” have with the brand. “Our products are so high quality, and this young generation is looking for quality. Our philosophy is no bullshit, simplicity and authenticity, and those values resonate with Gen Z.”