Thursday, January 31, 2013

Will men want to shave like a “real man?”

Barbasol shaving cream is launching a new campaign telling men to “Shave like a man.”  The campaign is based on the insight that 91% of its target respects real men, while 84% agreed that “it’s hard to be a real man today.”

The approach has certainly been a success for Dr. Pepper Ten, which accounted for 6% of brand sales two months after its launch and also increased sales of both the regular and diet versions of the brand during the same period. 

Barbasol promises a comedic approach too, starting with radio ads on the Super Bowl since a $3.8 million television spot is beyond its budget. 

So what do you think?  Will men respond to this approach?  Is macho in?  Do they even buy their own shaving cream? 

Mahoney, S. (2013, January 29)  Barbasol, Axe Get Mighty Manly.  Retrieved January 30, 2013, from


  1. The first question that comes to mind when I read this post is, "What is a real man?" The last I checked, men were men. This topic can certainly open a dialogue about "real" men versus "not so real" men or men that are "super-macho" versus men that are "feminine". I'm curious to see how the ad describes "real men". Will the ad have detailed instructions on how to "shave like a real man" or will it just have super macho males to infer Barbasol's meaning of a "real" man.

    I'm not sure men will respond to this ad; if I were a man and someone told me how to "shave like a real man", I may be insulted. However, if there are visuals that are appealing to men, the ad may work. Curious Kat is looking forward to analyzing the new Barbasol campaign.
    Kathleen Mattie

  2. Macho has always been in per se and Barbasol is an established brand. What I find unique about Barbasol's campaign is their ambition to become the "standard" for how real men shave. Selling the latest and greatest razor with a pretty tall blonde is one thing but demonstrating how real men do things is an entirely different dynamic.

    Old Spice and Axe for instance, have made an impression among men by making a mockery out of the nuances men face like dating, 'feeling' manly and doing so maintaining some degree of sophistication. Barbasol's campaign will be successful if executed properly. However, if their campaign doesn't go beyond definition, I feel the message will get lost in translation.

    "Real men" can be interpreted a number of ways. My hopes are that they do not alienate any segment of the male market by narrowing in on closely defined niche while leaving the 'fake' men out to dry - that may have a back lash. Graphic and copy selections for print advertisements should be carefully crafted. The burgeoning Hispanic and GLBT markets should not be excluded.


  3. Barbasol has been around for 90 years, so re-launching this brand with a new twist "Shave like a Man" campaign would bring more attention to it and yes bring in more sales.

    When I asked my 57 year old neighbor about what shaving cream he used he actually said Barbasol and coupled it by saying he didn't know any other kinds of shaving cream.

    I've listened to the Barbasol radio segments and it seems they want to bridge the gap between macho men, of war and the west, with the man of today - a shaver, a juice cleanser and texter.

    Susan DiBello

  4. Will men respond positively to the Barbasol shaving cream ad? I do believe men will react positively to these ads and purchase the product. The reason is ads that speak directly to men telling them that a specific purchase will help them to be identified as a “real man”, feeds into a man’s ego. There are car commercials that try to appeal to a man’s ego. But the purchase of an expensive car may be out of the question for many. Shaving cream is not a major purchase like a car. It is a small purchase that allows the buyer to feel good about them self. The Barbasol ad is designed to reach male sensibility by appealing to a man’s ability to be manly.

    I do not think men will take umbrage to an ad that questions whether they are a real man. I’m sure Barbasol has completed some research before unveiling this campaign. Barbasol made sure to include humor as part of the campaign. This method has worked for Dr. Pepper Ten and Axe. This formula will probably yield success for Barbasol as well.