Element 79’s Supercuts rockin’ integrated campaign

Does your haircut rock?  If not, Supercuts and its ad agency Element 79/Chicago want you to reconsider what kind of cut you are getting and where you are getting it via a new, integrated ad campaign that tellingly uses the tagline “Rock the Cut.”

From what we’ve been able to discern over the years, there are really two types of customers for haircuts in America.  One group takes haircutting very seriously and spends big bucks at swanky salons to get what they believe are better cuts, albeit at often eye-popping price points.

Much of the time, admittedly they do get what they pay for.  But not always.

Then there is that other group who just want to get in to some place, get a very basic cut at a very reasonable price and get out.  This, traditionally, has been the group (mostly male) that Supercuts and its competitors have targeted.  They keep it simple and quick, with no fuss and no fleecing. 

But Supercuts is trying to break from the pack of no-frill hair salons and position itself as the place one can get more than a haircut.  With the advertising tagline “Rock the Cut,” Supercuts wants customers to believe they can leave the shop not only with a good haircut, but a bit of the cool that rock stars often possess.

Yes, it’s a pretty daring claim. And we can only imagine the number of skeptics that have raised an eyebrow or two since this campaign broke a few days ago.  Until now, even fans of Supercuts probably didn’t for one second think they were frequenting one of its salons to be transformed into the likes of a rock star.

But the chain obviously wants to use the allure of the spotlight, the twang of an electric guitar and the sparkle of show biz to rustle up more fans and keep the ones it already has eager to come back.

Rock groups, DJs, singers tout Supercuts stylists

To give this new advertising push some credence, Supercuts and Element 79 have rounded up rock groups, DJs and other established singers to tout the skills of Supercuts stylists in a series of TV and online commercials that have been, uh, cut in 60, 30 and 15-second versions.

In one of the debut spots, a group called Vintage Trouble is seen singing the praises of Supercuts stylist named Diana. 

Though it seems a bit odd to hear such thoughts coming from the mouths of rock performers, the ad copy talks about how looking good is important for musicians because, among other things, it shows they respect their audiences. 

We see one of the Vintage Trouble band members elaborating on the way Diana expertly trims his sideburns and the back of his head. Of course, Diana is just one Supercuts stylist out of thousands, but viewers are supposed to assume (hello, skeptics!) that everyone who cuts hair in the chain’s salons may exhibit similar skills.

Musicians more important than the message?

Whether we buy the pitch or not, there’s no denying some will be swayed by the involvement of so many musicians.  In fact, their presence may be more important than the campaign message itself for many of the predominantly young male customers that frequent Supercuts. 

For those who still find themselves resisting the “Rock the Cut” pull after seeing a TV commercial or two, the campaign has been fleshed out well beyond the TV spots.

With the help of GMR Marketing in Milwaukee, and the Zocalo Group/Chicago (a social media marketing company), the “Rock the Cut” campaign includes what is being billed as an ”Artist Ambassador” program — an online community of some 600 emerging bands and their fans that will help spread the “Rock the Cut” message.

Upcoming spot features female country singer

Though the initial TV spots — in their grainy, herky-jerky rock music way — are aimed primarily at men, the campaign will broaden its scope just a bit this summer with the addition of a new spot featuring country crooner Laura Bell Bundy. 

Bell Bundy developed a large following among women in particular when she starred as Elle Woods several years ago in the original Broadway stage musical version of the movie “Legally Blonde.”

In her upcoming Supercuts commercial, Bell Bundy will sing parts of a tune called “That’s What Angels Do” from her new album “Achin’ and Shakin’.” No doubt Bell Bundy also will have nothing but flattering things to say about Supercuts and the stylist with whom she is paired in the spot.

As we said earlier, it’s doubtful this sort of cutting-edge-music-infused marketing will sway those who rarely visit a salon like Supercuts.  But the campaign’s music hook could win over some of the young and young-at-heart who are serious about their music. 

And the work should keep Supercuts regulars happily returning.

Element 79 credits: ECD Canice Neary; CD, Chris Laubach; art directors, Ryan Bloecker, Dan Cosgrove; copywriters, Tim Cerullo, Prashant Nashi; EP, Cheryl Lindquist; producer, Michael Gabriele.

Production credits: Production company, Detox, Director    Barney Miller, EP/line producer,Rachelle Madden. Editing: Hooligan, New York, editor, Barney Miller. Audio, Shout It Out Loud.  Featured musicians, Vintage Trouble, Ken Loi, Laura Bell Bundy, Gold Motel.

Social media agency: Zócalo Group, Chicago. 

Contact Lewis Lazare at LewisL3@aol.com