Bumble and bumble is going back to its styling roots with the launch of Spray de Mode, a quick-drying styling spray designed to be strong enough to hold updos but flexible enough to shape.

“We’re getting back into styling, which is one of the most important categories for us. It’s our key strength, and that’s what we’re going to be focusing on moving forward,” said Peter Lichtenthal, president of Bumble and bumble. “With this versatile spray, not only are we filling a void in our line, but we’re reinventing the spray category in a modern way, creating different looks that can be used by both hairdressers and consumers.”

With its first launch since Shine and Hair Powder two years ago, Bumble and bumble is hoping to reinvent the hair spray category with Spray de Mode, which offers workability and hold. Designed to add volume to the hair, Hair Powder was created to extend a blow-dry by absorbing excess oil and enhance hair color by blending away roots between color appointments. Shine, an ultrafine aerosol, is a spray that gives the hair a glimmer finish without causing it to fall flat, in addition to keeping static and flyaways in check.

The company offers three hair sprays. This first is Holding spray, a nonaerosol spray with a very strong hold. The other two are aerosols. Does It All features “a high level of workability, but doesn’t have as much hold,” said Howard McLaren, Bumble and bumble’s creative vice president. Classic Spray, however, is a finish spray with a strong hold. According to Lichtenthal, executives predict that Spray de Mode will be the number-one hair spray in the category, increasing the overall styling category by 10 percent. Executives expect it to replace Does It All, which holds the number-one slot. Sales of styling items represent more than 50 percent of the company’s total product sales.

“We didn’t want that stiff, helmet look,” said McLaren. “We’re giving our hair spray that strong hold, but linking it to flexibility so you can move it around and change the look. At the same time, it gives the hair shine and moisture, while protecting it from heat.”

Spray de Mode is scheduled to launch March 10 in Bumble and bumble salons in addition to about 2,800 Bumble and bumble network salons. It will also be sold at Jeffrey New York, Space NK and Colette in Paris. The 10-oz. spray will cost $25, while the 4-oz. handbag size will retail for $15.

This story first appeared in the January 18, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

According to Helen Steed, Bumble and bumble’s creative director, the hair spray was created in response to the growing number of consumers styling their hair more often.

Industry sources estimate that Spray de Mode will bring in about $8 million in first-year retail sales.

The formula is a blend of polymers that create a strong hold while remaining flexible. The glycerin in the formula helps retain moisture, while silicone gives the hair a shine and protects it from heat.

Although the company doesn’t do print or TV advertising, an extensive campaign was shot for promotional purposes such as collaterals and posters in salons and retail doors.

For the first time, the company cast real people of different ethnicities and ages as models for the Spray de Mode campaign. To find the models, the company turned to sources like MySpace and created its own online application process.

“We wanted to do something that reflected who we are and had an element of authenticity,” said Sylvie Kilduff, Bumble’s senior vice president of marketing. “Our campaign is all about ‘street meets fashion’ so we were looking for personalities. We wanted the freedom to talk to people in a more direct way telling the story of how the hair spray came about.”

The campaign’s 10 chosen models were each shot with different looks, showcasing the variety of styles that can be achieved with the new spray. The company also partnered with Stephen Jones to create hats to match each hairstyle.

For the first time, Bumble has created a supplement for the launch of a single product, featuring the individual looks along with descriptions and stories about each model. The company plans to distribute more than 200,000 copies in salons. Cards describing how to re-create the looks will also be available to consumers. In addition, viral videos documenting the process of selecting and creating the models will be featured through Bumble’s spraydemode.com Web site as well as on YouTube.

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