The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


A Touch Too Much …
February 12, 2009, 7:16 am
Filed under: Comment

Got home to find my wife had dyed her hair …

Apparently she wanted this …

Photo: Digikuva

… but I’ve ended up living with someone who has this …

Photo: Val W

The interesting thing is she’s almost trying to force herself to like it.

Not because she can’t make it darker, but because she’s worried her shock has more to do with what she has been subliminally influenced to regard as ‘acceptable’ rather than what she actually likes.

Which got me thinking …

Whilst hair colouring companies produce a vast range of shades, I would imagine the majority of their sales come from a relatively small group of colours.

The thing is, despite women placing a disproportionate level of importance on their hair [yes, I know some men can be like that as well, but women regard their hair almost like a ‘public barometer’ of their mood/attitude/health] I know there is a great desire to ‘experiment’ interms of styles and colours … so why don’t they sell ‘shade braver’ kits which are basically a slightly more intense colour to their usual/popular shades but with an additional treatment that allows women to ‘downgrade’ if they find the colour too potent for their tastes?

Yes I know this would lead to the product being more expensive, but I genuinely think many women would pay a premium for it, because the idea of being able to experiment with colour is great as long as there’s the ‘safety net’ of getting it back to what they’re comfortable with if they change their mind. [And let’s face it, all women change their minds don’t they? Ha!]

To be honest I have no idea if there are products that allow you to reduce colour potency – hell, I can’t even remember what it’s like to have hair on your head – but given it is human nature to try and fit in [despite having a desire to stand out] I think brands can ‘encourage’ change without expecting their customers to simply let go of everything they are comfortable with.

By all means say I’m wrong – I might be – but if I am, you have to blame Dodds as well, because a while back he brought an ad to my attention that seemed to have the same insight but ultimately didn’t come through in the execution – both interms of the ad and the product.


45 Comments

bright red? with your eye problems? she fucking hates you campbell but then she should.

i fucking hate it when you write posts like this because even though it makes me feel physically sick, i like it.

not sure if its because i think the “shade braver” thing would work or because i like the irony a bald ugly bloke came up with it but its good so i assume dodds came up with it and you just wrote it up. like all planners.

parasites

Comment by andy@cynic

I think you’re very unkind to your colleague on this blog Andrew. If I didn’t know that away from the bright lights you were as soft as a freshly washed children’s bear, I’d get quite angry.

As an idea this is an excellent concept. As a business I am not sure but that is only due to a lack of knowledge of hair care brand economics.

Despite that I have seen your insight live in front of my eyes for more years than I care to acknowledge thanks to 3 sisters, 2 daughters and wife so I believe you have something and find it criminal a hair care brand could come along and get this concept for free.

A while back you asked if you were commercially naive, you’re not but you are definitely commercially generous.

Comment by Lee Hill

What Andy said.

Comment by John

And what Lee said.

Comment by John

That was a shade braver comment with the option to reign back a little.

Comment by John

I’ve been thinking about this Robert. Could you please give me a call when you wake up/go home?

And John may I suggest you find a good lawyer?

Comment by Lee Hill

Rein even.

Comment by John

I’m assuming that’s not a contract lawyer.

Anyway the shade braver idea that I came across struck me as being so good because it was empowering people not to be reined in by conformity/social norms. To supply the safety net sort of defeats that purpose doesn’t it?

And in practical terms in this speciifc case, the goal is not over-treatment to get the hair back to a colour you’re less alarmed by, but rather a product that does what it sayd on the packet – i.e. turns Jill’s hair chestnut.

Comment by John

sounds like lee has a plan so fuck off dodds, this was all campbells idea and any money is going to be mine. ours. no, mine.

history is littered with people who had good ideas only to be too fucking lazy to make it happen where campbell has a history of being too fucking thick to come up with an idea of his own but fucking top at exploiting others moment in the lightbulb. i am a member of team campbell and dodds is trying to blackmail us

Comment by andy@cynic

for fucks sake campbell change your post acknowledging the smaller than fucking small contribution dodds had in this idea or the miserable scroogey fucker will want at least 50% royalities when lee makes us rich beyond our wildest fucking dreams. and my dreams are fucking wild

Comment by andy@cynic

If it’s airline tickets where you get the option to fly to somewhere nearby if you don’t like your destination (like the woman who wanted to go to Cosat Rica but was booked by her travel agent to go to Puerto Rico) then I’ve already thought of that.

P.S. I’ve got a screen grab and I know how to use it.

Comment by John

I have no problem saying John pointed me to an ad a while back that sort-of touched on the insight I’ve just written about … however the product was still a bog-standard hair colouring kit and the insight was expressed as a throwaway ‘end line’ rather than something that was being fundamentally addressed by the product or its communication.

So in essence, just like Notts Country ‘inspired’ Juventus and Robin Hood ‘inspired’ Richard Branson, I was ‘inspired’ by a passing comment John Dodds made about an ad he’d seen and went on to make something all of my own.

The defence rests its case. 🙂

Comment by Rob

30-15

Comment by andy@cynic

Sorry to piss all over your great thinking, but one of the hair behemoths has ruined it with a bad campaign with exactly that line.
I’m doing loads of stuff on women with hair right now, it’s amazing how much they claim to experiment but stick with what they already have.Risk free experimentation sounds great – bet Dodds knows a thing or two about that.
Hello people.

Comment by northern

Hello NP – where the hell have you been?

You’re not pissing on my thinking, to be honest the idea stems from the ad that I think you’re talking about … just brought back into my focus following my wifes experiment with the colour ‘red’.

The difference is that whilst they probably had a similar insight, I think there’s a much bigger and better opportunity than just doing a [bad] ad about it … especially given in their case the ‘insight’ get manifested as a throwaway ‘end line’ which normal punters may miss.

The idea I’m suggesting is what I believe adland should be doing. Helping develop products and then communicating them rather than just doing ads.

In all honesty, I think the concept is a real business opportunity … not only will it sell, it automatically differentiates it from the category … and whilst I accept the makers of the original ad could have come up with it, the fact is they didn’t and whether that is because they didn’t ‘see it’ or because it was regarded as too expensive just shows that either [1] they are not working hard enough for their sales [2] they have people in their company/agency who don’t know how to sell/seek new ops and/or [3] they’re lazy.

I’m not suggesting it’s an amazing idea – but I am suggesting it would work and I am quite happy my way of approaching challenges is ‘creation’ before ‘creative’.

Fuck, can I big myself up any more???

By the way, I don’t know what it is with bald planners, but somehow we all end up on female shampoo brands as I worked on Salon Selectives and Organics for a few years.

Comment by Rob

on a different note, Rob.

this is a business insight, but could the product insight also be the brief for the comms, or would you then go on to do some other stuff with regards to the comms?

I ask for selfish reasons…

Comment by niko

It is a business insight – or as we like to call it, an ‘opportunity insight’ – but it still kinda works for communication because it’s based on a fundamental truth that seemingly few other hair brands have cottoned on to.

The issue – at least for me – is that for it to truly reach it’s potential it needs the product to back it up and in the example NP and Dodds gave me, it didn’t … but then if you saw the ad, you’d only see the insight in the endline so maybe they missed the point/potential of the whole thing in the first place.

When I suggest product innovation to answer client’s briefs, I know it’s a harder sell – if only for the time it takes to achieve – but as I said in my PSFK bollocks, if you go back with a business sound plan, something that takes into account current needs and future goals, you stand a much greater chance of making it happen. The issue is too many companies can’t be arsed – of which adland is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more guilty than clients!

Comment by Rob

thanks for confirming my suspicions.

Comment by niko

What? That I’m full of shit?

Comment by Rob

I’m too shocked with Campbell’s sudden appearance on twitter to comment properly.

Hello.

Comment by Marcus

It won’t last long Marcus – I’m a very humble person and find twitter even more of an ‘ego technology’ than bloody blogging.

[Did you bite?]

Comment by Rob

Typical. Typical bloody planner. Been on twitter for five fucking minutes – because it’s “work related” – and he’s slagging it off already.

Comment by Marcus

No, I’m slagging it off because I think most of what’s on it is inane brain clutter … which is probably why your Twitter Readings are so bloody funny.

Comment by Rob

but thats like slagging of a train just because it’s full of Chelsea supporters.

Comment by Marcus

So what is the real point of Twitter then?

Comment by Rob

Ambient Intimacy – haven’t you done the basic research?

Comment by John

Multiple user styles.

Comment by John

And I said this once – not sure I agree with it all

http://makemarketinghistory.blogspot.com/2007/10/to-twitter-or-to-blog.html

Comment by John

One man’s ambient intimacy is another man’s ego amplification.

Comment by Rob

fuck twitter bollocks has lee made us emperors of the hair colour category yet?

Comment by andy@cynic

Hairs apparent Lee.

Comment by John

jill – i want pics. fire engine red? really?

i think you should call the ‘buy back’ products: either “the boss hates it”, “the husband hates it” or “the best friend hates it”. most women i know, if either of those people have an adverse opinion about their hair colour, will change it back, pronto. it’s not the being brave that’s hard, it’s the staying brave…

Comment by lauren

Lauren proves my original point. Game set and match.

Comment by John

“Staying Brave” … I like that Lauren, but there are also women who fear experimenting for the same reasons you’ve mentioned and so stick with the devil they know rather than go on a hair colour safari. And for the record, the wife has down ‘shaded’ her red so now its just ‘dirty santa clause’ …

Comment by Rob

Is the “dirty santa clause” is the devil she knows or just the acceptable face of hair colour?

Comment by John

Depends on how well she sleeps 😉

Comment by Rob

what i always found very annoying about dying my hair is that the colour never ever turned out as i thought/hoped it would. that was probably due to looking at a crappy packaging (under artificial shop lights), guessing what my original hair colour could be and which one of the shown colour results my hair could look like. this is all likely to be part of the exciting experience. but i d rather go bungee jumping.

Comment by peggy

Exactly Peggy – maybe if the boxes actually referred to the colour you’d actually get, there’d be less annoyance/frustration … but then when Macca’s and Low Cal Frozen Food can take the piss, is it any wonder Clairol etc think they have every right as well? 🙂

Comment by Rob

well, i would suggest a hair analyzer thingy in the shop. you scan your hair and it shows the original hair colour on a screen and what happens to it when you dye it with this and that colour. or maybe at least some lamp at the shelf that lets you look at the pakcage under ‘natural light’. and i would absolutely agree that the boxes should refer to the colour you d get.
ps: what is that with mc donalds and low cal frozen food? they are both very bad for your looks in the long term haha

Comment by peggy

I meant that the photos Macca’s and Low Cal Food has on their packaging bears as littler resemblance to the real thing as the hair care packaging … ha!

Comment by Rob

i think you won that game set and match, doddsy, ‘cos you’re really a woman with chestnut hair. go on, you can tell us. we’re all friends here 🙂

Comment by lauren

New balls.

Comment by John

dodds won fuck all but i like him so i might throw him a few shillings from my castle called hair dye billions

Comment by andy@cynic

Shillings? Was that the existing currency when you were last so generous?

Comment by John

yes

Comment by andy@cynic




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