If you were downtown this weekend you probably saw the thousands of reusable, bright red Target gift bags filled with goodies floating around town. Has a Target store opened up in downtown Toronto, you ask? Nope – not yet at least. Target and Unilever teamed up to create a fabulous pop up hair salon in the downtown core called Love Your Locks to show women they can get beautiful hair from home.
As I walked by I got the lowdown. Unilever was promoting three of their hair care brands Dove, Nexxus and Treseme. Consumers had the opportunity to test out the products on their own or get their hair styled – for free – by one of the onsite stylists. There were three different hair styles to choose from, voluminous waves, straight sleek and a Fish tail braid. The three styles were inspired by the products used to create them. Check out the look book they were giving away on how to create these looks on your own.
Target’s part in this was minor, they just wanted people to know that all of these brands were available at Target along with anything else you could possibly need.
As consumers walked up to the set up they were greeted by event staff lugging a few too many target gift bags and directed consumers to one of three stations in the event, the style yourself station where you can try out the products, the hair styling station or the “hair flick experience” station.
At the “hair flick experience” station consumers (male or female) could take a three second video of their best hair flip. The video was then slowed down and consumers had the opportunity to share it with their friends and family on Facebook or Twitter. For each video shared a dollar was raised for Dress for Success.
Visitors who wanted to contribute but didn’t want to share a video were asked to use the hashtag #loveyourlocks on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. For each hashtag used, Unilever would donate another dollar to Dress for Success, with a cap of $10,000. Raising money for a charity or non-profit organization is a great way to motivate people to participate and spread the word about the event.
At the “hair flick experience” the event staff had tablets which made the process of sharing videos easy for consumers. Having a fast and easy user interface is extremely important as not everyone is as tech-savvy as you may think! A big thing to remember when creating your event is that if your company would like to share these videos online there are many legalities to deal with. In this case consumers were forced to verify that they have given Unilever the rights to use the video before proceeding to share it. I also noticed the company had a photographer on site snapping pictures of the event – again, to avoid any legal issues it is important to either make consumers aware of this or post signs warning customers they may be in a shot as they did at this event.
Goodie bags were filled with sample products and coupons for Target. If you had your hair styled you would have received an upgraded bag with a Target gift card, make up samples and Jerk sauce. The last item I didn’t really understand but hey, why not!
Minus a few bumps in the road, and by bumps I mean down pour, marathons and location issues, the event turned out fabulously. Thursday’s event was held at Yonge and Bloor scheduled between two and eight o’clock however was shut down early due to the weather. The second event was moved from Saturday to Sunday at the last minute because of the weather as well and was located at Soho and Queen.
In my opinion the Sunday execution was not well thought out. The event was set up in the middle of a public parking lot with cars parked between the set and the Queen Street sidewalk where majority of the consumers were coming from. This hindered their success as they were not in clear sight for people walking by. Visibility and flow are extremely important. If you can, go to the venue space before executing. Visualize or tape out the size of your display to ensure the best possible consumer experience. Another aspect to look at is what is going on around the area, are there any events that you may be competing with for attention? On Sunday there were street closures all over the place because of the marathon being hosted not too far from the Love Your Locks set up. These are the type of things that will have an effect on consumer traffic and exposure of your event so keep them in mind and do your research.
Another great idea that you can pick up from this event is creating an online hub where people can find more information or follow the events progress (if you are doing a mall tour, will be in multiple cities or in this case raising money). If you visit loveyourlocks.ca you can find out how much money has been raised so far, download instructions on how to recreate hairstyles, find your video or just to see who’s talking about the event. This is a great way to keep your consumers involved and interacting with your brands even after the event.
The goal of the event? I’d say there were many. One was clearly to encourage trial of the hair care products. Another to make consumers aware of Target’s beauty and personal care department and another to raise money for Dress for Success.
Was it a success? So far more than $6700 was raised for the charity and thousands of swag bags with samples and coupons for Target were handed out, so I would say so.
Did you stop by the Love Your Locks hair salon? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the event!