Product / ServiceVS SASSOON
CategoryA05. Best Use or Integration of Experiential Events
Entrant Company KETCHUM Hong Kong, HONG KONG

The Campaign

In China, branded entertainment is increasingly ubiquitous as all manner of brands take advantage of the mass commercialization of media and the blurring of lines between editorial and advertorial content. Brands regularly sponsor TV programs and product placement in TV shows and films is common. In print media, the line between editorial and advertorial is often blurred at best, or invisible. Online, numerous brands are producing mini-films, serials, crowd-sourced advertising and other forms of brand-focused interactive digital content. OOH advertising and branded public events are also extremely common, although the government periodically cracks down on advertisements that promote conspicuous consumption of luxury goods, social stratification or which somehow do not align with the government’s agenda. Any sort of public event or stunt requires approval from multiple authorities, and approval can suddenly be withdrawn if the event coincides with a major political event, a national disaster or any occurrence that the government feels warrants a clampdown on public gatherings. The explosion of branded entertainment in China makes it very hard for brands like VS Sassoon to break through and reach its target audience of young fashion-forward adults who rely less on traditional media and more on peer-to-peer communication, including online interaction and real world experience.


The term “cutting edge” may be overused, but in the Hong Kong fashion scene, specifically the world of hair design, it’s as real as it is elusive. Global VS Sassoon needed to keep the brand fresh, and doing so required winning over the “fashionistas,” the influential word-of-mouth network that sees itself ahead of every trend. In November 2012, the agency was tasked with promoting VS Sassoon’s Look of the Season: Moveable Shape. The team concluded that just as “standing out from the crowd” defined the mindset of the self-appointed fashionista, it also provided the perfect focus for the publicity campaign. The team put “Moveable Shape” into action, seeding the hairstyle as a trend, enlisting a blogger outreach program, then launching a fully operational VS Sassoon salon in central Hong Kong to offer free Moveable Shape cuts while interrupting the normal life of the business day. More pointedly, we summoned those same influential fashionistas for their own free cut, daring them to publicly trade their long locks for a dramatic new look. In taking our Moveable Shape dare, they became highly motivated brand advocates. Simultaneous promotions targeted social media feeds, fashion and lifestyle blogs and wattsapp profiles. And we secured fashion credibility from influential fashion figures including Moveable Shape collaborators Mark Hayes and Alexander Wang, and two Greater China style icons famous enough to go by singular names, Pius and Dorothy. But when it came to standing out from the crowd, nothing topped the VS Sassoon Fash Mob, featuring 12 fashion models marching to music around the salon exterior as cameras clicked, videos uploaded and mainstream media got pulled into the story.

The goal was to promote VS Sassoon’s Look of the Season — the Moveable Shape hairstyle — and relevant branded products in the influential Hong Kong market. The agency seeded the hairstyle as a trend via select fashion influencers in traditional, digital and social media. When excitement peaked, we put it into action, creating Hong Kong’s first branded VS Sassoon salon, offering free Moveable Shape haircuts to consumers while interrupting Hong Kong life in high fashion, including a crowd stopping VS Sassoon “Fash” Mob. The campaign raised visibility through celebrity fashion figures including Moveable Shape collaborators Mark Hayes and Alexander Wang, and Greater China style icons Pius and Dorothy.

The VS Sassoon brand relies on a fashion-forward reputation and a credibility that comes from earned word-of-mouth. The client wanted to drive the brand from the inside out, and we were able to deliver, conceiving and executing a campaign that generated “street level” excitement among consumers and media influencers in one of the most competitive global fashion markets. While the numbers represent only a single city, the word from Hong Kong has resonance in the larger fashion world. • 560,000+ traffic drawn to the OOH pop-up salon structure over eight days • 2,200+ consumers received exclusive designer product samples • 80+ stories of media coverage in print and online, including blog posts by 13 influential star bloggers • Increase of more than 6,000 likes (a 40% increase) to the VS Sassoon HK Facebook page • Advertising value equivalency (HKD) 1,142,046+ • #1 Share of Voice against competitors, November – December, 2012


Name Company Position
Deep Yim P/G Assistant Brand Manager/Vs Sassoon
Flora Chan P/G Pr Manager/Hair Care
Michelle Tong Ketchum Senior Account Manager
Jane Morgan Ketchum Vice President