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As personal care brands expand their offerings to men beyond the basics of body wash, shampoo and shave cream, they are thinking differently about how to engage the male shopper, who can be overwhelmed by choice and underwhelmed by traditional advertising.
NIVEA MEN, a skincare brand from Beiersdorf AG, used the knowledge it gleaned from consumer research showing that men found shaving to be irritating to their skin. The company created an eight-episode online comedy series that became the backbone of the brand’s digital campaign. Nivea partnered with Break Media, which creates online digital content targeted to men to create the series, called “Just Face It.” It featured comedian Damon Wayans, Jr., living through daily irritations such as enduring annoying co-workers and dealing with overcomplicated technology.
According to Mitch Rotter, executive vice president of programming for Break Media, the insights, which came from Break’s Acumen research platform, “helped structure the storyline and shape the humor of the series.” In addition, Rotter said Wayans’ insights “added to the authenticity of the situations and made the series funnier.”
Humor is an especially effective method of engaging male consumers online, as noted in the eMarketer report, “Groomed For Growth: Digital Strategies Reach Men in the Personal Care Aisle.” To guide the campaign, NIVEA leveraged that knowledge, as well as July 2012 data from Break Media, which showed 70.4% of male web users streamed video from free sites. Ultimately, the campaign included a branded hub on MadeMan.com, where the series aired, as well as sweepstakes and editorial content on the site.
“We felt creating a comedy series would capture the audience and continue to engage them over the course of the campaign,” said Carole Rissmann, senior director of marketing at Nivea North America. The effort, she said, created “relatable situations that not only spoke to our audience, but reinforced the brand message.”
According to NIVEA, the success of the campaign—the series received more than 3 million views, and the NIVEA MEN-branded hub on MadeMan.com received more than 270,000 page views—proved that men are interested in engaging content about personal care, especially in the digital realm.
“The main goal was to educate men on the role quality skincare products can play in the shaving routine,” Rissmann said. “But by leveraging the ‘irritating’ insights, we were able to approach the topic from another perspective,” and create an engaging experience for its target audience.
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