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Impressions Leverages '50 Shades of Grey' Popularity for Fund-raising Opportunity

Stacey Soble | February 2, 2015 | 12:11 PM
Clockwise from top: Impressions' 50 Shades of Grey marketing postcard, female impersonator Nova D'vine who will rally the audience on opening night, and a T-shirt Impressions is selling featuring the logos of the salon, the ABCD group, and the movie.

Two weeks before its national theater debut, 50 Shades of Grey is sparking both excitement and controversy around the country, resulting in millions of women planning a girls’ night out to their local theater. One salon in Mequon, Wisconsin, predicted the phenomenon and spotted a brilliant marketing and philanthropic opportunity. Through a long-standing relationship with her local theater, Impressions’ Kitty Tierney is granting her clients and their friends access to the movie two days before its official opening night with all proceeds benefitting the organization After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD).

The night of festivities will feature a Step-and-Repeat photo opportunity, selfie contest and raffles, with prizes presented in galvanized steel buckets with a man’s grey tie. A cash bar will serve specialty cocktails such as “50 Shades of Grey Goose” and “The Kinky Anastasia.” Tickets for the night are $46 per person, will all proceeds benefiting ABCD, an organization that partners newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with other breast cancer victims in similar life situations who can realistically mentor them through the process.

Tierney will welcome guests, then turn the microphone over to Ryan Jay, a locally-based film critic and the Fashion Police editor for US Weekly who will help moderate the evening. Jay will invite a speaker from ABCD to talk about the organization, as well as welcome female impersonator Nova D’Vine to rally the crowd with a rendition of the song “Boobies.”

After the movie, attendees can turn in their ticket stub for a swag bag, featuring samples of MoroccanOil, Redken and Pureology, an Impressions menu, a salon bounce-back coupon and other trinkets.

As for Tierney, she’s absorbing the cost of promoting the fund-raising event so more of the proceeds go to the charity, but believes she’ll more than recoup those costs in marketing for the salon. “A local magazine is covering the event and shooting images, and already about half of the people who have bought tickets are not currently salon clients,” says Tierney. “We’ve even had people post to our Facebook page that they wished their own salon would do cool events like this.”

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