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Sebastian to Young Women: Think First, Primp Later — Bomb Factory Helps Hair Care Maker Dump Glamour In Favor of a New Order of Priorities By Kathy Tyre

WOODLAND HILLS, CALIF. – First, worry about things like God

Sebastian International’s advertising effort, running this month in the top 12 media markets, is being backed by a $15-million media blitz over a six-week period.
The campaign is a departure for the hair care product maker and marketer, which has traditionally followed the ‘glamour sells’ rule of beauty category advertising.
‘We decided to take a look at what’s going on in the world,’ said John Sebastian, the Italian founder of the company, which ranks among the top five hair care manufacturers internationally. ‘We see teens who are getting a distorted view of beauty and perfection from images they are seeing on TV. We hear a lot about teen suicide, eating disorders and depression as a direct result of that influence. We believe that while beauty is something we should certainly strive for, we shouldn’t make it the overall, encompassing (measure) of being successful or unsuccessful.’
The four advertisements that comprise the campaign feature messages narrated by The Bomb Factory’s Mark Fenske, coupled with simple, black-and-white visuals.
Two of the ads focus on priorities; two focus on individuality. One ad features a dog tied to a fire hydrant, accompanied by the copy, ‘Maybe what you have is enough.’ Another shows a man running circles around his ‘priorities,’ identified by labeled blocks which he raises and lowers. A third ad offers the message, ‘The more you are like yourself, the less you are like anyone else.’
Sebastian bought commercial airtime on television shows that the company felt deal with individuality: Roseanne, Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, Northern Exposure, In Living Color, Beverly Hills 90210 and Married . . . With Children, as well as cable TV networks VH-1 and MTV.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)