It takes a lot of creativity when brands don't have millions to spend on movie and brand partnerships. This month, European Wax Center (EWC), creative AOR StrawberryFrog New York, PR agency Corbin-Hillman and Spark, the brand's media strategy and buying partner, are introducing a "Red Carpet Eyebrows" multimillion-dollar, multiplatform campaign that necessitated some unconventional guerrilla tactics.
"We wanted to blatantly drive results while taking the brand to the next level," says Scott Goodson, founder of creative agency StrawberryFrog. "Being a beauty brand with uplift, we refused to let European Wax Center fall into the boring pattern of beauty advertising, with a team who are the best in the business," he says.
Thus, the initiative is built around two large-scale events, the much-anticipated Hollywood blockbuster 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and the Academy Awards -- without being officially affiliated with them.
The first phase supports Fifty Shades of Grey by running in-cinema ads with NCM Media Networks for two weeks upon Fifty Shades of Grey's release in February 2015. These ads are expected to run in 1,508 theaters across 19,000 screens, with an overwhelming majority within a 10 mile radius of an EWC center.
"When we were looking at movies, we felt that this one would have a similar audience to [EWC]. It makes sense. These viewers care about their appearance," says Allison Shaffron, VP, media director at Spark. "And it lets us target the right person without the need for deep pockets."
Indeed, this partnership with NCM is one of the few instances that a brand is advertising across a specific movie, rather than categories, such as comedy, PG or R-rated films. "Most of the time you don't have this level of precision delivery," says Shaffron.
The campaign will transition online through a partnership with Fandango. Consumers who purchase Fifty Shades of Grey tickets, or review the movie on Fandango, or across the NBC Universal family of Web sites, will be served ads from EWC's campaign. "It lets us achieve a halo effect while being smart with our money," Shaffron said. Individual EWC centers will also support this campaign through local efforts at their respective theaters, like providing flyers or promotional discounts.
The Fifty Shades outreach will next extend to media platforms surrounding the 2015 Oscars. To that end, EWC's new creative will run within the March issue of Glamour magazine to support pre-Oscar content. At the same time, EWC's partnership with Glamour also includes Internet presence, including social media, through sponsorships on Glamour.com and a live tweeting event on Oscar night.
Meanwhile, the campaign's creative is designed to position the brand as a major player in the beauty space. The concept is high quality and Old Hollywood. "The campaign strategy took a page out of the great movie awards," says Goodson. "It features a commercial of a girl with the most beautiful eyebrows strutting down the street and as she walks, a red carpet unfurls beneath her feet. The dynamic use of slow-motion footage combined with master camerawork, creates a striking and visually appealing spot that clearly reinforces the campaign's core message: red carpet worthy brows for every woman, every day."
The integrated multimedia campaign will ultimately utilize print, cinema, social, digital and outdoor outlets nationally through its March 2015 run.
"European Wax Center is in a unique position to own the conversation around eyebrows at the Oscars," said David Coba, CEO, Co-Founder, EWC. "As the Experts in Eyebrows, it's only natural that we recognize the best eyebrows on the Red Carpet and tap into conversations that are already in play around celebrity eyebrows in beauty and fashion. We'll then take it further by making those Red Carpet eyebrows accessible to all, any time of the year, through European Wax Center."