CAMPAIGNS: PRODUCT LAUNCH - Clairol reveals its blonde ambition

Client: Clairol

Client: Clairol

PR Team: Caroline Eversfield Public Relations

Campaign: Launch of Clairol Hydrience Absolute Blondes

Timescale: April - Aug 1998

Budget: pounds 20,000

Being blonde is being hailed by many fashion pundits as this season’s

headline statement. To cash in on this trend, Clairol has launched

Absolute Blondes as part of its Hydrience range, which it claims is the

first water-based permanent creme colourant. Advertising agency FCB

decided to launch Absolute Blondes by taking over all available

advertising space at Bond Street tube station in London for the whole of

June. Caroline Eversfield PR’s challenge was to exploit this in its PR



To launch Absolute Blondes in an innovative way, directly targeting the

consumer as well as the media.


Bond Street tube was renamed Blond Street and CEPR launched Clairol’s

month-long residency at the station with a photocall featuring four

leading blonde models from Select and Models 1. Commuters were invited

to take part in a survey about attitudes to hair colour in return for

being entered into a prize draw to win a day’s pampering at the

Dorchester Spa.

Also on hand was a team of experts from Clairol, offering advice on


At the nearby Boots store, promotional staff distributed leaflets and

gave advice on the Hydrience range. A competition was launched to find a

gorgeous blonde to be the PR face of Hydrience.

Models 1 and beauty photographer Chris Lane scouted around ’Blond’

Street on Saturday 6 June to find entrants, and a press release

announcing the competition was sent to national and regional


As a further spin-off, CEPR put out a photo release showing Peter

Stringfellow, one of the celebrities featured in the poster campaign,

being presented with a framed print.

Approximately eight per cent of the budget was allocated to planning and



Two pieces appeared in the Daily Telegraph’s Telegraph Lines section

announcing the transformation of Bond Street and the model


Radio station Heart FM carried news throughout the day on 6 June about

the event and model competition. Regional newspapers including the

Northern Echo, Dundee Courier and Advertiser and Portsmouth News also

ran stories about the competition, while Marketing, Media Week and

Campaign covered the campaign. The launch was reported in all the beauty

trade press, including Beauty Magazine and Cosmetics International. A

release announcing the results of the survey went out in July aimed

mainly at the beauty press and coverage is expected to appear over the

next few weeks.

It is estimated that over half a million people passed through ’Blond’

Street during June. Over 200 entries were received for the model


CEPR is hoping for a tie-in with a national newspaper to cover the final

and announce the winner.


National coverage of the launch seems disappointing, but the event

certainly had a high profile in Bond Street where Clairol was keen to

reach an ABC 1 audience.

The campaign could be criticised for focusing too much on one location,

but CEPR account manager Bryony Johnson says that spin-off activities

like the model photocall, survey and model competition - which has

attracted over 200 entries so far - were designed to extend coverage

beyond London.

With coverage of the survey and winner of the model competition - and

sales figures - still to be announced, it is still too early to say

precisely how successful the campaign has been.

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