Byline: Andrea M. Grossman

NEW YORK — Acknowledging that Herbal Essences’ teenage customer base responds well to teen pop idols, Clairol is teaming up with 98 Degrees to promote its one-year-old “Urge to Herbal” advertising campaign. Prior campaigns have featured Britney Spears and ‘N Sync.
The 30-second spot created by Clairol and New York-based The Kaplan Thaler Group is premiering Monday April 2, on the WB network during the television series Roswell which airs between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
“Urge to Herbal” spots revolve around the same theme: When someone speaks the word “urge,” the heroine is moved to fantasize about an herbal experience, usually attractive men washing her hair.
The 98 Degrees spot follows suit.
Shot in late February and early March on a Los Angeles set designed to look like a record store, the spot opens with a pretty girl browsing through CDs. A salesman approaches the girl and says, “I urge you to buy this.” The customer stares at a huge poster of 98 Degrees and begins to daydream. Suddenly, 98 Degrees comes to life and begins singing, “She’s got the urge! She’s got the urge to herbal!”
The band members go on to wash her hair, before morphing back into the poster. The salesman reappears, and says, “All I said was urge,” and again, the shopper begins to stare at the poster.
There are two endings for the 30-second spot. One ends with the tagline announcing Clairol’s sponsorship of 98 Degrees’ 2001 Revelation Tour. The other features a voiceover that invites viewers to “meet the band up close and personal” at The Web site will go live June 1. Print ads featuring the band will appear in June teen magazines.
Director Mathew Rolston, whose experience includes filming Clairol spots and music videos, directed the commercial. Robin Schwarz, Rob Snyder and Laurie Garnier of The Kaplan Thaler Group, and Karen Murabito, product manager for Herbal Essences, helped create the concept. Lisa Bifulco served as executive producer.
Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of The Kaplan Thaler Group, has been working on Clairol campaigns for nearly 12 years. She and Clairol helped change the way women speak to women about hair color in a Nice ‘n Easy spot six years ago that featured comedianne Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The first “Urge to Herbal” spot aired last year and featured Dr. Ruth Westheimer.