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January 24, 2008

Hair Club For Men

Seeing Hair Club for Men all over the place today brought back some memories.

This morning I heard a crazy radio ad. It was narrated by the owner of an identity theft protection company. His gimmick was revealing his entire social security number on the air. Pretty ballsy, I thought, daring any cyber-thief to try to steal his personal data. And he backs up his service with a million dollar guarantee to boot.

It’s straight from the Hair-Club-For-Men school of marketing. You know…the guy who plugged his hair loss treatment company on TV by showing off his own company-installed hair plugs? “I’m not just the owner; I’m also a client,” he quipped. Other examples that come to mind are James Dyson, who invented a new fangled vacuum after being frustrated by vacs that sucked at sucking; and good old Victor Kiam, the former NE Patriots owner who liked Remington razors so much that he bought the company.

Yup, the Hair Club for Men school of extremely cheesy advertising. For decades they had pre-booked the bottom right hand corner of London's newspaper, The Evening Standard. All that changed in hte ad was the sporting personality that was photographed. You know, it would be a cricketer for a few years, then a rugby player, etc.

But it's big business, Hair Club for Men pals up with some pretty big companies:

Cowboy today announced the launch of a provocative online game for Hair Club for Men, which is co-branded with Playboy.com. The new game can be found at www.hairclub.com/photohunt.

The game challenges users to spot the differences in 'before and after' photos and features the famous Playboy Playmates. In addition, users can view videos, download wallpapers, and find out what Playmates prefer. The game will be promoted aggressively on Playboy.com through banner ads and an extensive email campaign.

"The new co-branded game for Hair Club for Men is another example of our ability to create innovative digital assets that extends beyond traditional branding efforts," says Cowboy Executive Creative Director, Scott Davis.

"As our agency, Cowboy continues to demonstrate compelling ways to help Hair Club for Men infuse the lifestyle component that resonates with our younger, male demographic," says Lalita Warren, Media Manager, Hair Club for Men.

Prior to today's announcement, Cowboy was responsible for redesigning the Hairclub.com website, a series of provocative print ads that appeared in male focused magazines, as well as a complete interactive campaign.

Hair Club for Men teamed up with Playboy? Well, sure, Hair Club for Men has always been based on the idea that without a rug you're not going to get the babes. And it's big business, too:

Hair salon operator Regis Corp (RGS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday that quarterly profit fell to the low end of its forecast range on a sharp drop in consumer spending over the holiday season. The operator of the Vidal Sassoon and Supercuts chains said net profit declined about 16 percent to $22.6 million, or 51 cents a share, in the second quarter that ended Dec. 31 from $26.9 million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier. The results were in line with analysts' expectations, according to Reuters Estimates. "Like many retailers, we had a disappointing holiday shopping season and, as a result, our quarterly same-store sales came in below expectations," Chief Executive Paul Finkelstein said in a statement. Finkelstein said the company would raise prices in at least 6,000 salons between January and April, increasing the average ticket there by 6 percent. "Our salon competitors are all facing minimum wage increases," he said, "and inflation is certainly with us." Regis said its strongest segments during the quarter were its European business, excluding the UK; the Hair Club for Men and Women; and Supercuts.

But the reason Hair Club for Men brings back such memories for me? (No, not because I am or have been a customer). I was at university with the son of one of the founders. Got to know him and his brother pretty well. Met the father a few times as well. What was wonderful was that all three were bald and not one of them used Hair Club for Men's services.

No, that was for selling, not for using.

January 24, 2008 in Trivia | Permalink

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Any of you that have researched and delved into the world of online advertising to any extent have learned that most of these companies require you to give them your social security number. You may wonder why you have to do this and the answer is quite simple, they report the expense of paying you to the IRS. The IRS at this point needs to know who to tax for the income. Any money you make is subject to federal tax laws whether the advertisers report the money to the IRS or not. How you handle your taxes and...

Posted by: identity theft services | May 7, 2008 4:15:13 PM

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