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
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
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.