The 94-year-old shaving cream brand is hoping to boost brand awareness with a campaign focused on the relative manliness of different generations.
Barbasol, the line of shave cream and aftershave products that has been around long enough to count Babe Ruth among its spokesmen, has launched a new campaign that uses previous generations to gently poke fun of contemporary culture.
As its name implies, the underlying theme of Shave Like a Man is a humorous look at what it means to shave in a manly way. And although the brand has been around since 1919 and calls itself America's #1 men's shave cream brand, it maintains a fairly modest social presence, which is part of what the new campaign is intended to change, along with boosting brand awareness overall.
Shave Like a Man includes a refaced Facebook page, a new Twitter handle and an updated website.
Ken Waldron, vice president of advertising for Barbasol parent Perio, says after launching the brand's Facebook page as more or less a placeholder last summer, the plan is to now promote it more heavily. As of last week, Barbasol had 780 likes.
Barbasol also plans to launch interactive Facebook features, such as the Hall of Man, which will allow fans to submit photos with descriptions of the manly things they do for a chance to be nominated Man of the Month.
@BarbasolShave has 522 followers. The @ShaveLikeAMan handle, which launched last Monday, has 126 followers.
"We're adding this @ShaveLikeAMan handle for a different tone of voice. We didn't want to completely get rid of @Barbasol on Twitter," Waldron says. "[@ShaveLikeAMan] is mainly just to emphasize the tone the campaign is going in."
@ShaveLikeAMan tweets things like, "The #SuperBowl is no feats of strength or lumberjack competition, but it is men running into each other, so it'll do."
Shave Like a Man also includes a 30-second television spot, "War Hero," and 30- and 15-second radio ads, "Mutiny" and "Prancing," which are available on its YouTube channel. War Hero, which features a WWII soldier talking to his great-grandson about Twitter, had about 3,100 views as of Tuesday.
According to Barbasol, additional ads will be launched throughout the year and will run for the duration of 2013.
The concept for Shave Like a Man was developed with advertising agency GSD&M after market research found 91 percent of men surveyed strongly agreed with the statement, "I respect a real man." Research also showed 84 percent of men strongly agree with the statement, "It's hard to be a real man today."
According to Waldron, the idea is to look back at what previous generations of men did, which may seem more manly than the things men do now.
"If we're not going to eat like they did and [if we're going to] take advantage of technology advances since their time, the least we can do is shave like a man," Waldron explains.
When thinking about what Barbasol's new promotion was going to be like, Waldron says the brand wanted something funny like the Bags Fly Free work GSD&M did for Southwest Airlines.
"We called GSD&M and clicked right away," Waldron says. "The first idea they presented us was the one we went with."
What was especially appealing to Barbasol was that the Shave Like a Man idea worked well with the brand's heritage by incorporating the idea of forefathers. Plus, it was an idea that would appeal to both new and existing customers, Waldron says.
Barbasol says it was introduced as the first brushless tube of shave cream in 1919. Perio bought the brand in 2001 and has spent the intervening years remarketing the brand and building on its heritage, Waldron says.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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