It was the commercial that put Old Spice back on the map: The release of “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” which was played during the 2010 Super Bowl, proved that men’s grooming products could be more than just a singular aisle in the drugstore. And now, a report released by the NPD Group has found that men’s grooming product sales are up 11 percent over the past year. Digital strategies have played a huge part in the increase, targeting the right audience in the ideal way for web-centric young males.
Old Spice remains a heavy hitter in the content marketing arena. Their commercial launched a thousand spoofs, spinoffs and the career of pitch man Isaiah Mustafa, but was also the catalyst for a web series devoted to viewers’ questions, increasing just one commercial’s reach several months after it aired. Fast-forward two years and Old Spice is keeping it fresh with an Instagram feed with over 16,000 followers. And, since the largest market share for men’s grooming products rests firmly in the 18-to-24 demographic, it makes sense for Old Spice to target social networking for its digital strategies.
Axe is another brand stepping it up in content marketing and strategy. The Axe website reads like a men’s magazine, complete with personality quizzes meant to help customers choose the right scent for them. Perhaps their most aggressive campaign is contest-based marketing: Buzz Aldrin himself introduced a contest during this year’s Super Bowl based on the brand’s new “Apollo” line. Contestants can enter to win a trip to space through the “Axe Apollo Space Academy,” which means maximum exposure for the brand through smart SEO.
An eMarketer report found that while men aren’t big on shopping and browsing in-store, they don’t mind buying. That’s why the availability of products and reviews online is such an integral part of digital strategy for men’s grooming. Dove for Men recently released a series of videos from sports greats like John Elway and Doug Flutie, discussing when they felt “the most comfortable in their own skin.” It’s a web series focused on helping men choose products that they feel comfortable with from figures they trust.
Social networking, contests, video series and calls for submissions are all ways in which content marketing can turn men’s grooming from a small market share to a viable moneymaker. Karen Grant, Vice President and Senior Global Industry Analyst for the NPD Group, notes that 75 percent of men aren’t currently using skin care products. For content marketers, that just means there’s plenty of room for growth in an ever-changing market.
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