Adworks Restyles Hair Cuttery Salons in 18 Cities

After a successful 11-year run, Adworks is retiring its campaign for the Hair Cuttery’s chain of discount salons.

An $8 million print and outdoor effort for the Falls Church, Va., client begins in 18 major markets including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., this week. A broadcast component, featuring radio and television spots, will air next spring.

“With trepidation” is how Mark Greenspun, the Washington, D.C., shop’s founder and creative director, described his approach to the new work.

Hair Cuttery, the largest privately held salon chain in the country, has exploded from 150 to 1,000 stores extending down the East Coast and as far west as Chicago.

Its target audience—accounting for some 18 million haircuts annually—includes adults, 25-54. Competitors include Great Cuts and Fantastic Sams.

“No one is sure if it’s broken, so why are we fixing it?” Greenspun said. “But as good as it was, it had become a little too familiar. The only way that could be done was with many changes.”

The original campaign, once recognized by The New York Times as signaling a trend toward the déclassé, featured black-and-white photographs of ordinary people in everyday situations. The tagline: “A good haircut is a good haircut.”

The new work emphasizes style as well as economy, utilizing richly colored, tightly framed portraits of men, women and children. The tag: “Use your head.”

“The positioning point is: ‘Don’t overinvest in a haircut,’ ” said Greenspun. “After a decade, the price for a cut is still a very reasonable $12.”

Adworks’ Keith Quesenberry handled the copywriting chores on the new ads; Tim Ryan and Bill Cutter were the art directors. The still photographer was David Leach in New York.

“Basically, we hope to accomplish more of what we’ve been doing,” said Greenspun from Toronto, where he was editing the broadcast commercials. “To make people stop and think about what Hair Cuttery has to offer.”