Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pond’s goes for gold

Golden "angels" Zuzana and Emily
How can you resist when you’re invited to a night “full of romance, love and magic?”

Indeed, Monday’s (March 14) launch of Pond’s new luxurious skin care didn’t disappoint. We were welcomed by golden “angels” bearing Cupid’s bow and arrow in a garden setting to the dreamy sound of a harp with live painting and ballet dancing thrown in as well.

The launch was organized by Memac Ogilvy & Mather, whose PR account manager Houri Elmayan is a friend on Twitter -- so it was hard to decline my first invitation as a blogger.

Two reasons egged me on to attend. One, it was held at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. That’s close to home (thus within my driving radius, and I had never set foot inside the hotel). Two, I was running out of creams and I figured the audience would be offered some samples!

Memac Ogilvy & Mather went all-out on the setting, in the hotel’s Sunset Garden. It was a beautiful night to be outdoors, with Burj al-Arab in the background. After being greeted by two golden “angels” -- Emily and Zuzana -- it was easy to guess the product would have something to do with the precious metal.

Harpist Elene Cheernoprudova
With harpist Elena Chernoprudova playing in the background, I caught up with some friends, among them Alex Tohme, Precious de Leon, Nagham, Neelofer, as well as Memac’s Houri, Pooja Sagar and Shatha AlKhatib.

Nagham and Precious de Leon
Pooja Sagar, Alex Tohme and Houri Elmayan
We chatted, nibbled and enjoyed various refreshments when, out of the blue, a man danced his way through to a stage where a black canvas was waiting. South American live painter and dancer José Quiceno began composing a visual art piece of a woman’s face in profile. It was amazing to see it take shape stroke by stroke and completed in under six minutes.

José takes to the stage...
...and begins live painting

The image takes shape...
... and is completed in under six minutes
Ballerina Leslie Ligthelm joins José
José and Leslie's arty duet
Pond's Gold Radiance is unveiled
When the painting was nearly finished, José was joined by South African ballerina Leslie Ligthelm. Their arty duet performance ended with the unveiling of the product: Gold Radiance.

The setting and choreography of the bash was organized by Jam Productionz whose director Chiara Dodd and choreographer Jemma Sawyer were around to make sure everything went as planned – and it did.

Pond’s is Unilever’s premium skincare brand, and Iain Potter, Vice President of Marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, was there to greet the guests. “We’re very excited to launch Pond's Gold Radiance in the UAE,” he said. “Pond's Gold Radiance is a unique skin care range with the perfect combination of gold and leading anti-ageing ingredients to produce a noticeable skin brightening effect.”

Jemma Sawyer, Iain Potter and Chiara Dodd
He explained that “Pond's Gold Radiance range, with real gold micro-particles, is one of our flagship products for 2011.” He said the range will be available at all major retailers across the UAE and Pond’s hopes to become the market leader. Iain also invited us to take advantage of the trained consultants present and get a skin analysis done (with an iPhone app!).

The Pond's USB
I’m no authority on skincare. I never bought into the pitch and use one cream for everything (yes, I know, it shows!). But Gold Radiance is supposed to reverse the effects of age spots, wrinkles, excessive pigmentation and dehydrated lackluster skin by combining the world’s best proven anti-aging ingredients combined with real elemental gold. The range has been approved by world renowned dermatologists at the Pond’s Institute and certified as hypoallergenic.

Iain Potter and...
...Nagham getting a skin analysis
Guests were offered samples of the new products at the closing stages of the event, and an information pack loaded onto a heart-shaped USB. I found that ingenious by Memac Ogilvy & Mather.

The new range includes:
  • Youthful Glow / Years Younger Day Cream: Infused with real gold and SPF 15 and PA++ to protect the skin against UVA and UVB rays. It is meant to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and age spots. It is clinically proven to lift away skin dullness and reveal your skin’s youthful radiance. The skin’s luminosity is reinvigorated, and it hydrates the skin, thus leaving it supple and smooth.
  • Youth Serum: To help reduce age spots, boost skin’s youthful radiance, and hydrate and soften the skin and smoothen its texture.
  • Youthful Night Repair: To help revive and refresh younger looking skin and provide intense nourishment.
  • Youth Reviving Eye Cream: To refresh tired eyes, reduce puffiness and fade dark circles. It should make eyes look instantly brighter and younger and soothe and smooth the delicate skin around the eye area.
I hope all this will make me look younger when I finish using my freebies. We’ll see!

(More pictures of the Pond's Gold Radiance launch here)

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