What, you haven't heard about the pill that gets rid of gray hair?

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Aug 19 2010


Have you heard? Some company in New Jersey has discovered the fountain of youth and created a pill that will get rid of gray hair. And $30 buys you a month's supply! It's the most amazing advance in public health/boomer vanity ever. So, why am I being informed of it via a corporate "news release" and not national breaking-into-prime-time roadblock-style coverage? Because, well, this outfit also claims it has natural potions that can smooth away your wrinkles (Wrinkle Remedy), tuck you in at night (Sleep Tight), wake you up in the morning (Wake Up On Time) and cure your middle-aged blues (MenoPause Chill Pills). But back to Go Away Gray, which has something to do with the enzyme catalase and sprang from the brain of "a mother of three and a long-time proponent of natural remedies." Is that description instilling confidence out there? The shill masters at Rise-N-Shine LLC are hyping Go Away Gray so hard that they've issued a challenge to famous silver fox Anderson Cooper. They'll give the CNN anchor $1 million if he'll lose his trademark gray for the next five years (and spread the product gospel via social media). What are the chances he'll go for it? I'll be waiting for the real reporting on this "miracle" supplement (local news doesn't count) while dying my roots and nursing my cynicism. Think there's a cure for that?

Pantene counting on Bret Michaels to recover from hairy ordeal

Posted on Wed May 5 2010


Bret Michaels is reportedly out of the hospital (though still under doctor care) in time for the finale of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice and to possibly perform live shows again within the next several weeks. That's good news for Poison fans, but also for P&G, which had centered a contest prize around Michaels, his band and his tour-bus antics. (It's probably too early to tell if the antics will be up to legendary Rock of Love speed, but the frontman sounds pretty determined.) Read our earlier post about the contest here. Michaels had an emergency appendectomy April 12 and then suffered a severe brain hemorrhage. He was in intensive care for weeks, leaving P&G to wonder what would happen to the payoff for its Pantene campaign, dubbed "Be the Rock Star You Are." Contestants in what's billed as "the world's first reality hair ad" are vying for the chance to wash their hair during a live TV commercial with product pitchwoman and What Not to Wear star Stacy London. Then, that lucky gal will hit a Poison concert and become a Michaels groupie. That last part, and potentially a larger role for Michaels in the Pantene re-stage, seemed to be hanging in the balance. Now it could be back on track, if Michaels recovers as quickly as he promises. I hope he does. But I still don't get this prize, P&G—though the extra media attention is bound to send that ROI skyrocketing. So … good call?

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Nice 'N Easy? Not when it comes to Clairol's customer service!

Posted on Tue Apr 20 2010


If I wanted to look like Bozo, I would've shopped for hair dye in the "clown colors" section of my local CVS. But I don't, so I didn't. Instead, I bought the color I always buy: Clairol's Nice 'N Easy in light golden brown. Problem was, it turned my hair red. It's a (mercifully) correctable issue that I hoped to fix with two more doses of Clairol (cost: about $16). But in separately mixing up both those packages—same color, identical product—I noticed they looked vastly different. One was reddish, while the other was dark as chocolate. Thankfully, the combo of the two gave me something closer to my own color and further from a fright wig, but I figured a call to Clairol's consumer hotline was in order. What gives? Why the inconsistency? Why should I buy this brand again when it's let me down? What I got was a pseudo-lesson in oxidation that went something like this: "When the air hits it, sometimes the color changes, blah, blah, blah." Thank you, Bill Nye. And that was it. No concession. No attempt to keep me as a loyal customer. Not even a believable apology. If someone as—how shall I put this?—persistent as I am can't get a marketer to cough up some meaningful customer service, what chance does the rest of the brand-buying public have? It's maddening, I say! My tip: Don't bother ringing up 1-800-Clairol, because those "Satisfaction guaranteed" and "Money back" claims are as fake as my new shade. I could've spent that time studying Revlon and L'Oréal products, but I'll do exactly that for the impending brand switch. Hanging up now, Clairol!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Pantene hair-care contest offers weird Brett Michaels grand prize

Posted on Mon Apr 5 2010


Now here's a contest that could be right up my alley. Dubbed "the world's first reality hair ad," it's a Procter & Gamble-sponsored casting call for chicks who'd like to try Pantene shampoo during a live commercial with product pitchwoman and What Not to Wear star Stacy London. Well, I have a lot of hair, and it often needs to be washed, so I might just give this a shot. But other than a brief TV appearance on May 25 and spanking clean locks (and maybe a cut and style thrown in?), what could I win? Answer: tickets to a Bret Michaels concert, first-class airfare, backstage passes and a ride on his tour bus. Wait, what? You mean I'd get a freshly laundered 'do just to hang around in a sea of skanky Rock of Love rejects in Michaels' entourage? Is this really the kind of brand message P&G wants to put out? Besides, any association between Michaels and hair products is a head scratcher, since I suspect his wispy blonde tendrils are actually extensions sewn into his ever-present bandana. No bandana? Hello, baldie! So, I think I've changed my mind about uploading an audition video, but I sure appreciate the twisted attempt at humor. Thanks, P&G!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Astro Boy counting on L.A. Looks to keep that spiky hair in place

Posted on Wed Oct 21 2009


Ever wonder how superheroes get their 'dos to look so perfect, even while they're flying through the air and fighting bad guys? Hair products, of course! For Astro Boy, star of the all-family flick launching Friday, the choice of pomade is L.A. Looks, which, when liberally applied, produces exaggerated horns in the front and back of his head. At least, that's the conclusion to draw from a promotion between Imagi Studios/Summit Entertainment and the "x-treme vertical styling gel." (We all know Astro Boy's coif is really computer-generated, but it doesn't hurt to play along.) The partnership between the studio distributors and the brand included setting up mini-salons at screenings in key markets to give kids cartoonish makeovers. The deal also dropped free trick-or-treat bags into publications like the Los Angeles Times, with a coupon for hair goop. I can think of several other movies this year that were naturals for a styling-gel tie-in, like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair, The Hangover (those guys needed help big time) and Knowing, which starred Nicolas Cage and his pageboy. Such missed opportunities! Next time, folks, use your noggin.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley



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