Advertising Agency Element 79 recently tapped production company DETOX to help create "Rock the Cut," an electrifying integrated campaign for Supercuts. Led by Director Barney Miller, DETOX helmed the soup-to-nuts production, teaming up with allies HOOLIGAN for editorial and TANQ for graphics and finishing. Showcasing the artistry and level of care Supercuts offers its diverse client-base, the documentary-style spots feature rising musical talent spanning rock, electronic, country and indie. Comprised of four broadcast spots (:15 and :30), as well as 60-second versions and in-stream ads for the Web, the campaign is supported by Supercuts' first-ever Artist Ambassador program - an online community of over 500 bands and their loyal fans - as part of its larger word of mouth social marketing campaign. "Rock the Cut" debuted on March 26, 2012.
Each spot pairs a Supercuts stylist with featured bands and musicians; among them, Vintage Trouble, DJ Ken Loi, Laura Bell Bundy and Gold Motel. Candid salon interviews, live concert footage, rehearsals and photo-shoots provide the stage for the musical artists to share their pre-show rituals. The spots reveal that a good hairstyle is right in tune with stylish digs, sound-check and everything in between when it comes to gearing up for a show.
"I got into advertising and filmmaking through my love for music," remarks Barney Miller, director, DETOX. "Having made a career editing and directing music videos dating back to MTV's golden age, and even once touring with a band myself, the Supercuts campaign was a great project for me to combine all my music sensibilities and background in the director's chair."
Miller worked closely with Element 79 Creative Director Chris Laubach and Producer Michael Gabriele to develop a treatment for the campaign.
"When you prepare for a concert, you think about maybe buying a new pair of shoes, your set list, changing strings, and even getting a new haircut," says Miller. "So we had the musicians discuss their own creative process and experiences touring, interacting with their stylists in real documentary fashion to creatively showcase Supercuts."
"We had worked with Barney before as an editor on another real people ad campaign," comments Laubach. "These Supercuts spots were totally unscripted. The dialogue came entirely from interviews that Barney conducted in his own affable style. His eye for detail in the film, and his ear for sound bites in the musicians' and stylists' stories, made the resulting spots both beautiful and believable."
Miller, working closely with DP David Lanzenberg and Art Director Ryan Bloecker, staged and shot live concert footage and band interviews to achieve the campaign's all-access, behind-the-scenes feel. While the documentary approach served as the most effective means for showcasing the band-stories, it presented the biggest creative challenge, which was the interview process. Miller and Element 79 creatives strove to craft engaging interview questions that maintained relevancy to the Supercuts brand and campaign message.
Miller explains, "We had to put a lot of emphasis on getting what were actual Supercuts stylists and real working bands to open up and genuinely interact and talk about pre-concert rituals, while also tying in how good hair is part of that. All the interviewees made the process great, and that comes through in the campaign."
Production took place over the course of 5 days. The interview portions were shot at a Supercuts in Long Beach, CA. For the concert footage and remaining interview environments, DETOX shot at sound stages and music venues in Los Angeles and San Diego, CA.
Miller also directed the interactive campaign segments called "Rock the Box," a feature that allows browsers to put a private concert on their desktop. The performances show the bands squeezed inside a specially constructed white box sized around the height of the lead singer.
Campaign: "Rock The Cut"
Spot Titles: "Vintage Trouble" (:60/:30/:15) "Ken Loi" (:60/:30/:15) "Laura Bell Bundy" (:60/:30/:15) "Gold Motel" (:60/:30/:15) First Air Dates: March 26, 2012; August 2012
Advertising Agency: Element 79 / Chicago Account Team: Jerry Conner, Elizabeth Miller, Stacie Dunn Executive Creative Director: Canice Neary Creative Director: Chris Laubach Art Directors: Ryan Bloecker, Dan Cosgrove
Copywriters: Tim Cerullo, Prashant Nashi Agency Producer: Michael Gabriele Print Producer/Art Buyer: Jennifer Niccum Digital Direction: Tom Napper, Ryan Carlos, Brad Simpson, Ashley Wohl
Music/Sponsorship Agency: GMR Marketing / Milwaukee Social Media Agency: Zócalo Group / Chicago
Production Company: DETOX
Director: Barney Miller
DP: David Lanzenberg
Executive Producer & Line Producer: Rachelle Madden
Print Director/Photographer: John Boehm
Editing House: Hooligan NYC
Senior Editor: Barney Miller
Co-Editors: Jordan Green and Erin Bowser Assistant Editor: Erin Bowser
EP: Sue Wladar
Telecine: Nice Shoes/Lez Rudge
FC Color: Matt Rosenblum
Flame: TANQ/Andrew Granelli
Audio: Shout It Out Loud
Sound Designer/Engineer: Dan Dzula
Featured Musicians: Vintage Trouble, Ken Loi, Laura Bell Bundy, Gold Motel
Additional Creative Elements: Radio, In-Store, Digital Banners (Standard and Rich Media) Additional Digital Elements: Corporate Website Social Media Elements: Artist Ambassador Program, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube
Sponsorships/Promotions: iHeart Radio, Live Nation, X Games