Urban beauty salons provide a captive audience for movie studios and tv networks.
African American women spend average of 2-4 hours weekly getting their hair done and are predisposed to spending and brand messaging. Urban salons have a monopoly when it comes to being able to connect with the coveted black female consumer, so movie studios and brands need to go directly to that segment, as they would any other segment.
With the recent success of films like Hidden Figures and Girls Trip surpassing the $100 million dollar mark at the box office, they have shown films with African American female leads score big at the box office. Considering that hair salons have become a weekly destination second only to church for many women, building experiential movie campaigns around the beauty salon culture is an effective strategy.
Today almost every studio is eager to put activations in place to increase female attendances and get them going groups.
African American women share in a forum that’s comfortable among not only the stylists but other patrons; this is the “salon community” that reflects the “beauty cultural values” that allows for greater word of mouth about what’s going on in culture and entertainment.
For many African American women, the beauty shop is not just the place to go to get the latest hair styles, but it is also place where they get the scoop on the latest trends in today’s popular culture. To help start the conversation with these culture catalysts studios and brands need to go straight to the source to engage this audience with activations that are socially sharable, culturally relevant that resonate with the beauty shop culture.
The campaigns that work best are the ones that incentivize friendship groups, cross-generational friendship groups, grandmothers, mothers and daughters to all arrange to make the movie trek together.
Many salon owners and stylists are social media influencers and are very social media savvy with hundreds of thousands of loyal , engaged followers. When it’s a film that features their favorite female lead actors, stylists and salon owners support the movie by strategically blasting out social media messages. They post trailers, key artwork, photos and other marketing materials to make sure people got out to see the film.
What better way for movie studios to fuel movie attendance.
The BET Reel Facts report states that African Americans support films with leading black characters. But, they still greatly support the general market films.
“The findings in REEL Facts prove what we’ve known all along, which is contrary to what many studios and marketers think, African Americans are a valuable patron of different genres of film and see the platform of television as an important resource in making a decision in this category,” said Louis Carr, President of Advertising at BET Networks.