Periscope Documents ‘The Fall Migration’ for Great Clips

By Erik Oster 

Office Depot was likely the first of the back to school flock this year, launching a 15-second spot from new AOR Zimmerman last month. But Great Clips is also getting out ahead of the pack, extending seasonal creep and ruining summer fun for children everywhere with a new campaign from Minneapolis agency Periscope targeting parents.

A pair of national broadcast spots, directed by Periscope chief creative officer Peter Nicholson, employ the “school described like it’s a nature documentary trope.” If you’ve ever taught at an elementary school, you understand why this is such a commonly employed tactic.

“The back-to-school season is a very important time for both kids and parents. The kids are returning to the proverbial kingdom of school,” Nicholson said in a statement. “It has a lot of great parallels to the classic animal kingdom shows, creating a great metaphor that stresses to parents the importance of starting the year off feeling great.”


“The Fall Migration” is set in the anxiety-provoking setting of the school bus on the first day of school.

“So begins the fall migration,” the retro-styled voiceover opens the spot. “In this roving habitat, youngsters are eager to show off their freshly shorn plumage,” he adds as the kids, who appear a bit too happy to return to class, show off their new haircuts.

The spot ends with a “survival tip” for parents, advising them to use online checking at Great Clips to save time during the busy back to school season.

Another spot, “The Watering Hole” employs much the same approach in a different location: the water fountain. Both spots will run in 30 and 15-second versions on national broadcast, and the campaign also includes digital, social, print and in-salon components.

Unfortunately, the effort fails to live up to the agency’s 2015 “#MoreMinutes” effort, which found a more fun and creative way to showcase how Great Clips can help save time during the busy lead-up to the school year.

“Our focus with this campaign is helping parents set their kids up for success. The first day is a time when everyone wants to feel their best; a haircut can really help boost confidence,” Great Clips director of brand marketing Ann Latendresse said in a statement. “It’s one less thing for parents to worry about during a really hectic time. The work with Periscope plays that up in a fun way.”