Richards Is Topped for Supercuts

Element 79 Partners will blend promises of a good haircut with a value message in its advertising for the Supercuts chain of hair salons.

Supercuts, own-ed by the Regis Corp. of Minneapolis, is the first account win for the Chicago agency, which was created last year by Omnicom to handle the Quaker Oats business. Element 79 was chosen for the $10-15 million account over co-finalists The Richards Group in Dallas and Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York.

Another finalist, Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco, withdrew from the competition last month, citing its workload.

The creative incumbent is McCann-Erickson in San Francisco. Media planning and buying were assigned in August to MediaCom in New York, following a review.

Supercuts is one of several chains offering inexpensive haircuts, primarily to men. “It’s a share battle out there right now with big chains and new chains popping up all the time,” said Jerry Conner, a group account director at Element 79 who led the pitch. “It’s nasty out there.”

The agency’s advertising, which will employ “gentle humor,” will try to convince men who “aren’t real eloquent in describing what they want” that Supercuts can give them a good haircut cheap, Conner said.

“Men have as many wants and needs about a haircut as women, they just don’t talk about it,” Conner said. “We’re going to talk straight ahead to them, not high-falutin.”