At DeVries (and in consumer public relations in general), it’s all about finding those perfect “spaces and places” for our clients — that partnership, sponsorship and/or integrated marketing opportunity that compliments the equity and character of the brand, has PR potential, and doesn’t seem like it’s trying too hard.
As we are all acutely aware, this is often a tough challenge. However, I very recently had the incredible opportunity to play in the aforementioned ideal “space and place” and boy…was it fun!
Close to a year ago, P&G’s Sebastian Professional brand began discussions with New Line Cinema about possible ideas tied to the remake of John Water’s 1988 cult classic, “HAIRSPRAY”. To make a long
From a public relations perspective, the goal was to use the film tie-in to reinvigorate the Sebastian Originals portfolio, as well as to make hairspray (the product!) cool again to consumers and stylists. Well, we didn’t have to try too hard; here’s why:
- Shaper hairspray was actually used by the on-set hair stylists during the making of the film and it was documented (never an easy feat)
- Sebastian created a limited-edition can of Shaper hairspray (positioned by us as a “wardrobe change”) that mirrored the look of “Ultra Clutch”; the famous hairspray used by the characters in the play/film
- A special URL was created (link to) where consumers got in on the action by viewing the movie trailer and special behind-the-scenes footage, answering fun trivia questions, entering sweepstakes, etc.
- Shaper had a presence at the press junket in Los Angeles so before the real movie press even began, we messaged Shaper’s connection to the film; we just did what the brand does best (hair!) and told our story – easily and organically
- Sebastian sponsored the Los Angeles premiere of the film so we staged the mother of all hair shows using Sebastian stylists and gorgeous models smack dab in the middle of the red carpet, complete with giant cans of Shaper Ultra Clutch cans and un-missable branding (PR Bonus: the film’s director, Adam Shankman, picked a can of Shaper right off the set and playfully sprayed Queen Latifah’s blonde
‘do for the 150 photographers on-site)
- Finally, we had a powerful collaboration with New Line Cinema’s New York City and Los Angeles publicity teams and we all “played very nicely in the sandbox”, so to say
I share this experience and a few ingredients for success because I hope everyone gets an opportunity like this one. Yes, it was sexy, rooted in entertainment and celebrity (we were this close to John Travolta!) and resulted in a buzz-worthy and successful PR program, but more importantly, it was absolutely the right “space and place” for Sebastian. It was ours for the taking – no force fitting, no complicated messaging and you got it…no trying too hard.
For more photos of the event click here
Jessica O’Callaghan, VP of Beauty Division, DeVries Public Relations