Redken is looking to reach a new demographic — girls and young women, to be exact — by launching a hairstyling video game. Named Busy Scissors, the game (published by Little Orbit) allows users to cut, highlight, and blow dry their way from associate stylist to salon owner.
The trailer for Busy Scissors
Redken’s senior director of interactive marketing, Rachel Weiss, told the New York Times that the company was targeting, “girls ages 8 to 16″ because, “We want to drive a new younger demographic to the salon and hook them on the experience.”
A screenshot from Busy Scissors via Redken.com
There are other virtual salon games out there — 505 Games’ Picture Perfect Hair Salon, and Zoo Games’ Dream Salon, to name a few — but this is the first sponsored by a beauty brand, and the first that, according to Little Orbit, is “industry-approved.”
Other brands have tried their hands at video games: Atari published Project Runway: The Video Game in March of this year, and Zoo Games released Cold Stone Creamery: Scoop it Up on December 22nd, 2009. The reviews for both have been less-than-stellar. Said one customer of the latter on Amazon.com, “Don’t buy it. Instead, just go to Coldstone Creamery and buy ice cream. It’s much more satisfying.”
Aside from lending their name, products, and styling techniques to the game, Redken will also be promoting it heavily — in fact, part of the marketing strategy includes allowing clients to play Busy Scissors in salons while waiting for appointments. Redken is also selling the game, which retails for $19.99, on their web site and, according to games industry site MCV, in their salons as well.
The “interactive alt-reality beauty game” is a novel approach — but we’re skeptical that it will translate to actual foot traffic or product sales in the real world.