Why Amazon Used Hair Dryers and Headbands to Advertise a New Show

Amazon Prime Video streaming service took over a popular salon to tease its 1920s-theme series Z: The Beginning of Everything.

By Jenny Berg February 20, 2017, 7:15 AM EST

Photo: Anoud Alomair

Amazon Prime Video's "Z: The Beginning of Everything"
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Amazon Prime Video took over a Chicago Drybar for two days this month to offer complimentary hairstyles inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald. As guests had their hair tended to, they sipped champagne out of flutes branded with a “Z,” and watched the first episode of Amazon Prime Video's new series: Z: The Beginning of Everything. (Starring Christina Ricci, the show explores the early life of the 1920s icon.)

Amazon tapped NVE: The Experience Agency to produce the event, which took place February 6 and 7. The goal, according to an NVE spokesperson, was to ”introduce the target audience to [the series] in a way that was experiential without requiring a lot of buy-in from guests.”

According to the rep, that target audience “varies,” but producers hoped to attract Amazon Prime members, or those who are curious about becoming members, first and foremost.

Experiential touches started on the exterior of the salon, with Z decals in the windows. Inside, the front counter was wrapped in signage for the show, and framed photos of the series' characters lined the walls. There were also branded pillows on each salon chair. As guests got coiffed, event staffers asked them questions about Amazon Prime and their other television-watching habits.

After their hair had been styled, guests picked out flapper-inspired headbands to cap off the look. Then, they had their photos snapped in the “Z Photo Booth,” which produced images inspired by the cover of a 1920s fashion magazine. Compact mirrors with the Z logo served as a parting gift.

The activation also had components in other cities. On the show's release date in late January, similar Drybar events took place in Los Angeles and New York. To open the experience up to men who wouldn't necessarily frequent a dry-style salon, there were also speakeasy-theme events in bars on both coasts. The events were publicized via social media, as well as through Drybar's booking site and an email sent out to Drybar's collective database.

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