Bliss Bids Farewell to Bush With Bikini-Wax Special

That's One Way to Jump on Inauguration Bandwagon

By Published on .

Thousands of Americans will flock to the nation's capital to bid farewell to President George W. Bush, but New York-based marketer Bliss is hoping you'll stop into one of their spas to say goodbye to, er, yours, by giving discounts on Brazilian bikini waxes.

The spa chain and maker of beauty products today began a two-week-long promotion dubbed "Say 'Farewell' to Bush," that offers 20% savings on Bliss' signature Brazilians and the spa's line of waxing and post-wax products, which include lotions and ingrown-hair remedies.

The discount is valid for Brazilian waxes at Bliss spas for appointments booked on Monday, the day before the inauguration, through Feb. 1. Bliss is touting the deal front and center on the company's website and via e-mail blasts.

"A big part of our brand is our brand voice, and we always use puns that are based on current or historical jargon, or cultural trends," said Kerry O'Day, Bliss' director of marketing of seven years. "Knowing that waxing is one of our biggest service categories, and Brazilians within that," said Ms. O'Day, Bliss saw a timely opportunity, noting that "waxing is a taboo topic, so you tend to get some more attention when do some clever marketing around it."

Ms. O'Day was careful to point out that the new promotion is inclusive: "This is our twist on [marketing tied to the inauguration] that's very right for our brand, but it's by no means a political statement," Ms. O'Day said. "We're just making a pun on the word 'bush,'" she said, adding, "Anyone's name is fair game."

This isn't the first time that Bliss has linked President Bush to the other kind of bush in its marketing, though. In an earlier election year, Bliss introduced a waxing service it dubbed the "Betweeny wax," allowing women to customize their bikini hair from barely-there to trims. The copy surrounding that promotion said: "Bliss puts a new kind of Bush on the ballot."

Bliss -- which has been around since 1996, when it opened its first spa in downtown Manhattan -- has never worked with an ad agency, and never engaged in a national ad buy. It does all of its marketing in-house, concentrating largely on direct mail (it has a catalog circulation of 800,000 monthly), some guerilla marketing, search and PR.

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