After hitting it big in skin care with Proactiv Solution and makeup with Sheer Cover, Guthy-Renker has entered into partnerships with two Los Angeles-based celebrity hairdressers, Chris McMillan and Chaz Dean.
Ben Van De Bunt, a principal at Guthy-Renker, described the moves as purely opportunistic. "[Hair care] hasn't been an area where other [direct-response firms] have done a lot, but it wasn't part of a grand plan to dominate here," he said. "It was more that Chaz showed success on QVC, and Chris has a ton of credibility."
Guthy-Renker's introductory forays into hair care could hardly contain more star wattage — Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Julianna Margulies, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Aniston, Mischa Barton and Lindsay Lohan are among McMillan and Dean's faithfuls.
Dean said he shot the spots for Guthy-Renker from April to June, and they could air as early as September. The infomercials are centered around Wen, a hair and body care line he first developed 14 years ago, and feature various celebrities, including co-host Melissa Gilbert, Jennie Garth and Ming Na.
Dean originally approached Guthy-Renker, based in Palm Desert, Calif., two years ago, about the same time that his relationship kicked off with QVC. He said the initial reaction was skeptical, but he added the firm was convinced by his performance on QVC and his products' resonance once he related their benefits to a television audience.
"It is a platform for me to be able to explain the damaging effects of shampoo and reeducate people on how to maintain their hair," Dean said of his TV time. "I have been blessed that [Wen] has been embraced by numerous people. Really, there aren't products out there that cross over from African-American hair to Caucasian hair, and Wen does that."
McMillan would not divulge the details of the products he is introducing in the Guthy-Renker spots, which he said will likely start running in March. He indicated celebrities would be in the ads, but did not release names.
"Healthy hair is basically what we are after. We are going to make women love their hair again," he said. "Guthy-Renker is letting me be in charge of everything. They are letting me have creative free reign."
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"