Friday, March 12, 2010

"Good Morning, how can I help you?"

487 Hours, checked out on all practicals, with a GPA of 98.7 today is my last day as a "junior." On Saturday I moved into Phase II of my 1800 hour program -- advanced color and cutting classes, and the salon. The salon with real clients. On Saturday I worked the desk.

The last time I worked at a reception desk it was the Summer of 1981. The agency was Waring & LaRosa (no longer in existence of course). When I think back to it, it must have been a sizable agency. There were "real" (i.e. national) accounts -- Ragu', Perrier, Aziza, Fischer-Price. I was a general assistant doing everything-- bookkeeping, competitive spending reports, assistant producer stuff, typing, and print traffic. I once ran the wrong Cutty Sark ad in the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue. The ads were seasonal and instead of the ad with the couple in the pool, by mistake I ran the one with the guy watching football with his dog. I didn't even get the slightest wrist slap (so now that I think about it, maybe is wasn't my fault after all. I do seem to remember learning about "make goods"). In any event, I felt just terrible. I can't imagine that an equivalent mistake could be made in the salon. Well, actually it could, but it won't be me.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Brits are just cooler and more fashionable

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon watching an instructional DVD on Wella's new professional color line. Wella is owned by P&G, and it was pretty obvious (to me) that the film was produced in Cincinnati, but the voice-over was British (and the models were stunning). It was such a purposeful choice of VO that I felt manipulated; but at the same time I was mentally applauding the use of the British-accent device.

Lately I've begun to notice that a lot of top tier, celebrity stylists have British accents. Back when I was in Ad Land everyone wanted a Brand Planner with a British accent. All the in-demand, "best," brand planners had British accents. My team once spent many months interviewing Planners, we'd get discouraged and would always say, "If only we could find someone with a British accent." If there was a guy with a British accent we'd always put him in the meeting. It's the same for hair. The stylist from the United Kingdom cannot go wrong. So I Googled "British accents make you cool," and this is what I got:

Having a British accent makes a person sound smart, cool and sophisticated. There's something in the way Brits talk that makes you want to believe in everything they say. If you want to sound like you belong to a higher state in society or just to impress your office buddies, here are some reminders and steps you can follow to pick up the tone and adapt to the speech pattern.

Funny, it's the same in Hair World as it is in Ad Land. Perhaps I should incorporate a British accent into my reinvention.

Monday, March 1, 2010

When a black cat crosses your path...

We were talking in class about cleaning hairbrushes and Lamar said that his grandmother always told him that the hair taken from a brush must be burned, and never just thrown away. If you throw the hair away, the birds will get it, use it for a nest and you'll get migrains. Lamar swears this is true, as did another girl in class. Sounds like some old Voodoo thing to me. But here we are in 21st century Cincinnati and a bunch of twenty-somethings are believing it.

So then I tried to think of crazy superstitions in advertising. I've worked with two top tier, A-level Commercial Directors who wore the same shirt every day of the shoot. Not such a bad thing on a two-day shoot. But one was a five day shoot and the shirt was a flow-y baby blue linen affair. It really became quite rank. The guy also shot a lot of car spots; those shoots can take weeks. Guess that's one way to get the client to leave you alone.