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Bold Ad Campaign Has Modern Acupuncture Tingling


"Let's Tingle," urges a new ad campaign for Modern Acupuncture.

If Matt Hale has that tingly feeling, it’s likely because the CEO of Modern Acupuncture has just launched a consumer-facing ad campaign called “Let’s Tingle” that punches far above the young franchise’s weight class. 

It debuted last week on Microsoft’s Digital Cube in Times Square, with photography by famous Swedish photographer Henrik Halvarsson, known for his work with H&M, and with creative by Scott Goodson’s agency StrawberryFrog.

“They launched Viagra back in the day,” Hale said about StrawberryFrog and Goodson. “They took European Wax, which used to be not an appropriate dinner conversation into one. They focus on the outcome of the service and build brands that people can’t live without.”

One of Modern Acupuncture’s franchisees was an acquaintance of Goodson, and he came to visit Hale & Co. in headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Scott flew down here, his office is in the Empire State Building, and we chatted with him. He said, ‘Guys, I think this could be one of the biggest movement that I’ve ever created.’ He said, ‘Guys, this could be huge.’

“He went through his treatment and said, ‘It’s a tingling feeling. It’s like turning my body back on,” and an ad campaign was eventually born, but not before figuring out how to pay for such a big fish.

“We got very creative, and we figured out how to give Scott some equity,” a minority stake in Modern Acupuncture, Hale said. “We engaged with StrawberryFrog to do that photo shoot, by the same photographer that did Madonna videos.” He pegs the equity stake for Goodson as “priceless” and the tab for photographer and creative services at about $250,000 all in.

Modern Acupuncture had been emphasizing the health and medical aspect of acupuncture. “We launched with the conservative route, the safe route,” meaning stock photos and clinical settings.

But Goodson found that boring. “He said, ‘Acupuncture, we’ve got to get out there.’ A goldfish has a three-second attention span, ours used to be eight seconds,” Hale said, quoting Goodson. “Now with everything out there, ours is less than a goldfish.”

At first, Hale and his partners were nervous about the bold approach. “The first round of creative and imagery and taglines we got from him, made us all extremely, not uncomfortable, but uneasy,” he said. “Scott said, ‘This is marketing nowadays. This is how you get attention. You want people to have that uneasy feeling because that’s what drives curiosity.’”

The new campaign emphasizes the non-toxic beauty and stress-relieving aspects of Modern Acupuncture, with striking images and headlines like these: “Be a Zen Goddess”or “Today You’re Stressed. Tomorrow Be Blessed.” On a bright yellow background, the Modern Acupuncture logo has the tagline: “Let’s Tingle.”

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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