Dr. Ruth Returns to Sighs, Music in Shampoo Spot

A new TV spot for Clairol Herbal Essences shampoos contains the same sensuous sighs and rapturous exclamations that have characterized the long-running campaign by The Kaplan Thaler Group. But the shop has added an original song, three hunky men and has brought back Dr. Ruth Westheimer to plug Clairol’s body wash.
“Dr. Ruth told us [the creative team] we’d all have great sex because we decided to use her for the campaign,” said Linda Kaplan Thaler, president and CEO of the New York shop, a division of B Com3. She declined to comment on the prescience of the diminutive sex therapist.
Set in a courtroom, the spot opens with a female judge saying to a female attorney, “Counselor, I urge you to continue!” Seizing on the word “urge,” the lawyer responds by half-closing her eyes and moaning the word. Three male-model types burst in, singing, “She’s got the urge to Herbal,” and begin washing her hair in the packed courtroom.
In a reprise of her 1998 campaign appearance, Dr. Ruth closes the spot by turning to a courtroom spectator. “I hope those guys show up for the body wash,” she gurgles. Tagged, “A totally organic experience,” the campaign has been running for five years.
Wojahn Bros. Music, Santa Monica, Calif., created the music, with lyrics by the agency’s creative team.
In a sharp move by the Stamford, Conn., client’s media-planning team, the spot breaks during tonight’s episode of Ally McBeal on Fox. “The show’s humorous tone provides a great backdrop for the premiere of our new commercial,” said Larry Lucas, the client’s senior product manager.
Billings were undisclosed, but parent company Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. spent $30 million in media last year for Herbal Essences shampoos, per Competitive Media Reporting. K