Great Clips gets new 'do with Tombras as media agency

Shop takes over from Minneapolis-based Periscope

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Great Clips salon
Great Clips salon Credit: Great Clips

It's a media agency makeover for salon brand Great Clips: The marketer has tapped Knoxville, Tennessee's independent shop Tombras Group as its new media agency of record.

The appointment — which involves buying and planning across TV, radio, digital, social, search, programmatic and out-of-home — comes after a six-month agency review run by Ark Advisors. Tombras, a full-service shop, takes over media from Minneapolis-based agency Periscope.

In a statement, Periscope said the agency and client parted ways earlier this year due to creative differences. "While we were invited to participate in their recent media RFP, Periscope decided to decline," the shop said.

"As Great Clips' full service agency of record since 2010, we are proud to have helped the company establish itself as number one in the industry," said Periscope.

Great Clips said it also recently began working with Hunt Adkins, a Minneapolis creative shop.

Minneapolis-based Great Clips has more than 4,300 locations are in the U.S. and Canada and are locally owned by more than 1,200 franchisees. But the marketer, which "really grew from the Midwest out" sees the coasts, Canada and urban areas as big opportunities for growth, says Lisa Hake, VP of marketing and communications at Great Clips.

"We really are more that suburban strip center salon, and so we're looking at how do we help grow in those urban areas?" Hake says.

Dooley Tombras, president of The Tombras Group, said the marketer has historically focused on traditional media, but is sitting on "some amazing data" — which he says will help the agency and client speak to existing customers and try to get them to come back more often. The agency says it plans to use a proprietary artificial intelligence media-buying approach, which involves building lookalike audiences and attempting to target ideal customers.

Hake also cited Tombras' experience with franchise businesses. In May, fast-food chain Krystal hired Tombras as its agency of record for strategic planning, creative, media planning and buying across broadcast, social, digital, PR and point-of-purchase.

Tombras was named agency-of-record for BB&T Bank in November. The agency also works with Orangetheory Fitness and runs social media for MoonPie — known for its attention-grabbing Twitter presence.

Great Clips spent an estimated $21 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2017, according to Kantar Media. The brand spent nearly $24 million in the first ten months of 2018, according to Kantar estimates.

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