Management Practices

A Twist on Cable TV

Stacey Soble | July 10, 2011 | 2:42 PM

A few years back, Todd Grubbs, owner of Twist Salon, reevaluated the return on his recent local print advertising program and was determined to do better. As one of the owners of the relatively new salon, Grubbs wanted to make Twist a household name in the two towns where it had locations-Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Working with a friend who owns a production company, Grubbs and the Twist staff filmed a 30-minute television program that showcases the salon's mission and commitment to advanced education and the local community and introduces viewers to its retail products and professional work. The program's host leads viewers through the salon, interviewing both Grubbs and co-owner Luis "Marty" Martinez. To keep viewers tuned in, the host promises that by the end of the show two clients will "Get Twisted," a.k.a have fabulous cut and color makeovers.

Watch the Twist TV program, made for a local cable access channel.

Although the program took the staff two 13-hour days to tape the program, Grubbs says it's been well worth it. "The program is visual and professional, gives us great exposure and takes our salon to a new level," says Grubbs. "Not only does it attract both new clients and talent, filming it was a boost to staff morale."

Grubbs first aired the program in 2005, running it on the local cable access channel once a day for 90 days. Each time the program airs it costs the salon about $150, and to hit different viewers the program airs at a different time each day. Over the past three years, the salon has aired the program each year in three-month sessions. View the program by visiting the salon's website and selecting  "Watch Twist TV."

"The first three months it aired, the phone was ringing off the hook," reports Grubbs. "And each subsequent time we've aired it, we've been able to track and record growth."

The salon also posted the program to its website, giving the site extra dimension. In the online version, the commercial breaks are filled with a video montage, but that's about to change. This year, Grubbs is using his marketing budget to film two 30-second commercial spots. One will be a branding piece, and the other, which was just shot, is almost a community service piece with an uplifting message.

"We chose to do this now because the vibe I'm getting from clients is that although the economy hasn't hurt many of them personally, it is impacting them emotionally," he says. "I'm a seven-year cancer survivor and my outlook is to live, love, work and enjoy life. I thought we could share some good vibes with the community and brand ourselves in the process." See the new commercial.

Grubbs believes to shoot and edit both commercial spots will cost about $4,000, and he will begin airing the spots on HGTV, Bravo and E! for about $21 a spot. "The reaction to the new spot has been great, and we'll edit our online program to use them as our own commercials."
Twist Salon

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