T&O Takes a Little Off the Top for Fantastic Sams

For Fantastic Sams and its agency, it’s no longer “Gotta be the hair.”

The 1,500-unit haircare franchise drops the 6-year-old tagline this week in favor of “The salon for the rest of us,” a message in keeping with its value-oriented approach to hair styling. The line is set to debut tomorrow with a 30-second TV spot titled “Paparazzi” from The T&O Group in Irvine, Calif.

“We wanted to make more of a value statement,” said T&O vice president and creative director Mike Hall. “They’re not expensive haircuts. It’s about what you get for your money. You don’t have to spend a fortune to look great.”

“Paparazzi” opens with tight, letterbox-style shots of a fresh-faced young man who appears to be posing for photographers as flashbulbs pop. The camera pans out, and the scene moves from slow motion to real time, revealing that the “model” is actually just an office worker making photocopies. A voiceover says, “For those of you who don’t fly to Milan for a haircut, there’s Fantastic Sams.”

Hall said the agency used the two different speeds in the ad to contrast the fashion world and reality.

The spot breaks in Louisville, Ky., and will roll out in spot markets across the country. A second spot will break in November, and a third will air next year. Three radio spots and print ads are also in the mix. The target remains adults 25-54, with an emphasis on women.

Fantastic Sams, based in Garden Grove, Calif., spends approximately $8-10 million annually on advertising. The company has worked with T&O for the past 19 years.

T&O handled the media buy for 18 markets, said agency general manager Dave Robinson. The work is also being distributed to franchisees, with additional buying handled by various services.

T&O has 50 staffers and claimed billings last year of $60 million. Its other clients include the National Association of Realtors, In-N-Out Burger, Pioneer New Media Technologies and Sempra Energy.