By  on July 2, 2010

It’s been five years since one of the biggest innovations in at-home hair color hit drugstore shelves, and Nice ’n Easy Root Touch Up is still looking to shake up things in the category.

On Tuesday, Nice ’n Easy, one of Clairol’s top-selling hair color brands, targeted New York City commuters in a campaign called “Mirror Moments” at Grand Central Station, where the beauty firm set up an oversize, fantasy-like, golden-framed mirror that — thanks to modern technology — literally begged passersby to stop and take notice of their hair color. Actress and Nice ’n Easy spokeswoman, Angela Kinsey of “The Office,” served as the voice that was heard by commuters passing the mirror, as she was hooked up to a microphone and camera about 50 feet away behind a wall of black curtains. The setup allowed Kinsey, who is known as “Gigi” for Clairol’s ads, to spot someone from behind the scenes who looked like an easy target and beckon the person to stop and take notice of their reflection.

“Hey mom! How’re you doing? Do you color your hair?” bellowed Kinsey at a woman toting her young son toward a 42nd Street exit. The mom stopped when the boy wanted to engage the “talking” mirror. A conversation on hair color ensued (yes, she colors her hair; yes, she’s used Nice ’n Easy; yes, she needs a touch-up), and soon Kinsey invited the mom to chat with on-hand Clairol hair color expert and New York City salon owner Marie Robinson for some hair color advice and a box of Nice ’n Easy.

The product, which was the first mass market at-home item to address roots in between colorings, has been well received since its launch. Data shows that for the latest 52 weeks, Root Touch Up has generated $44.6 million in food, drug and mass stores, a 17.6 percent increase versus last year. According to Clairol, the sales increase can be attributed to the Guardian Girlfriend advertising campaign, which launched in June 2009, and featured Kinsey giving advice on hair color, and touting Nice ’n Easy as the best option.

Robinson and Kinsey said they were big fans of Clairol hair color prior to joining the brand. Kinsey, who grew up in Indonesia, remembers her mom shipping a year’s supply of Nice ’n Easy to the country so she could color her hair when needed. Robinson, a colorist, said she’s been recommending Root Touch Up for years for clients to use in between visits.

Robinson noticed two trends among the passersby on Tuesday: Women are either going very, very blonde or they are going much darker than their natural hair color.

“It shows how hair color makes them feel like a different person,” said Robinson. “Especially the younger girls.”

Video from the event is being streamed on Clairol’s Web site and, for every woman who goes to clairol.com and shares Kinsey’s Surprise Mirror Moments video with their friends and family, $1 will be donated to Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization that provides interview clothing and makeup and career development information to low-income women in more than 75 cities worldwide.

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