Partner stylin' with 'Shear Genius'

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NEW YORK -- Nexxus, the exclusive brand partner in Bravo's new hairstyle reality competition series "Shear Genius," not only has extensive on-air presence, but is expanding its integrations online via a blog and hairstyle tips from Nexxus stylist Roy Teeluck and off-air with a major ad campaign and pop-up salons in New York and Minneapolis.

In the show, which premieres April 11 and will be hosted by Jaclyn Smith, Nexxus will be the only brand of hair-care products featured and used by contestants. There will be a Nexxus-branded challenge in which contestants will have to re-create celebrity hairstyles such as those of Jennifer Aniston, Gwen Stefani and Sienna Miller. Teeluck will serve as a guest judge for the challenge. The salon featured in the show will be called the Nexxus Shear Genius Salon, and Teeluck will be featured in hairstyling-tip vignettes that run during every episode. Nexxus will award the winner of the competition $100,000 in seed money and an apprenticeship with Teeluck.

Nexxus, owned by Alberto-Culver, also will be featured on BravoTV.com and its "Shear Genius" microsite. Viewers will be directed to the Web for additional and more extensive video vignettes of hair-styling tips from Teeluck, who has a salon on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and signed on as Nexxus' stylist in late 2005. Nexxus' online presence will also be extended through Teeluck's blog, only the second blog developed for a Bravo integration partner. The first was for Tresemme stylist Nathaniel Hawkins, who is featured on Bravo's "Project Runway." Tresemme is owned by Alberto-Culver as well.

Nexxus will also sponsor online and mobile voting for the show's fan-favorite stylist, who will win $10,000 in cash. Voters will automatically be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to receive $5,000 and a free haircut from the "Shear Genius" winner. Nexxus will also sponsor weekly "behind-the-scenes" text messaging from contestants. Additionally, there will be an "Ask Roy" Q&A section on BravoTV.com where viewers can ask Teeluck for tips and feedback about the show.

Nexxus' partnership with "Shear Genius" demonstrates that while advertisers are still most interested in on-air integration, they clearly are becoming increasingly eager to also see their brands featured online, and in content as well as ads. "The brands that are truly interested in integrated marketing really want to live where the content lives as much as possible," said Kevin McAuliffe, vp branded entertainment for NBC Universal Cable.

Added Jason Klarman, executive vp marketing and digital for Bravo: "We have found that every time an advertiser partners with us in our multiplatform environment, the effectiveness and impact of their buys on Bravo increases exponentially."

Alberto-Culver said it learned the importance of online integration from Tresemme's role in "Runway." "True fans are constantly spending time online," said Brandy Ruff, director of integrated marketing communication. "They're very interactive and want to know what's going on."

McAuliffe said Bravo was able to integrate Nexxus so extensively on so many platforms for "Shear Genius" because the brand got involved when the show was in development last spring. "The sooner we get brands involved, the better it is for both parties," he said.

Nexxus is running its own ad campaign across TV, print and the Internet created from content developed with Bravo during the production of "Shear Genius." "We started calling these 'content partnerships' because they're about being involved in the content at every level possible," McAuliffe said.

Nexxus is also providing hair-care products as sweepstakes prizes for Bravo's affiliate marketing campaign aimed at driving viewership for "Shear Genius." As part of that initiative, there will be in-store signage promoting the show and its partnership with Nexxus in nearly 100 salons nationwide.

Nexxus also will be running pop-up salons in Minneapolis and New York City on April 16 and April 19 that will offer free hairstyling from Teeluck and others. The winner of the Nexxus-branded challenge will be announced April 18.
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