This week, I zoom in on a personal care brand exhibiting success in the shaving category and its plans to expand. Scroll down to use Glossy+ Comments, allowing the Glossy+ community to join discussions around industry topics.
Starting Monday, Eos personal care began seizing on its success in the women’s shave category by branching out to men.
The expansion news includes three new men’s-focused shave creams that are available through retailers including Walmart and Target. They’re positioned next to household men’s brands like Gilette and Barbasol. For Eos, the hope is that men are looking for more skin-nourishing and non-foam shave products. Eos is perhaps best known for its round lip balms, but it first focused on shave products when it launched in 2008. Today, it also sells body lotion, hand cream and body scrub.
According to Eos’s research, the male-identifying audience is already pretty aware and said they were open to using the brand’s existing women’s shave cream. Approximately 45% are aware of Eos lip products, and 38% are aware of Eos shave cream. Furthermore, of those aware, nearly one-third would consider purchasing an Eos product. Since 2021, Eos began checking its brand health metrics daily, largely based on customer surveys and panels conducted with professional survey partners. It’s focused on 10 metrics including intent to purchase, product usage and brand favorability. Previously, Eos had tracked such metrics on a per-project basis.
According to previous Glossy reporting, Eos increased its shaving cream marketing by 300% in 2021, compared to previous years. The same year, its shaving category sales were 30% higher year-over-year. According to Soyoung Kang, CMO of Eos, shaving contributed 25% of the brand’s sales growth, on average, for 2021 and 2022.
“The amazing growth we’ve had in the last few years with women’s shave cream has opened up a lot of doors for us. That’s both from a [new] consumer standpoint and in terms of more social [chatter] around men using it, too,” she said.
Eos began to lean heavily into the shave category in 2021, when it capitalized on a Feb. 2021 viral moment involving TikToker Carley Joy (@Killljoyy; 2.5 million TikTok followers). In the video, she talks about using the shave cream on her vulva. In response, Eos debuted a campaign called “Bless Your F*ing Cooch,” and later a zany digital campaign called Vagnastics. Vagnastics was distributed through YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, and was inspired by 1980s jazzercise. TikTok has spurred a series of other bathroom and beauty-based hashtag trends. The latest bathroom-related TikTok trend is called the #EverythingShower. It comprises people’s full shower routine, including their use of body scrubs and washes, and their shaving and hair-washing processes. The hashtag has garnered more than 132 million views.
Eos’s growth in the shaving category appears to buck the industry’s trajectory. According to Mintel’s 2022 Shaving and Hair Removal Products report, the U.S. shaving and hair removal market is expected to drive $3.7 billion in total 2022 retail sales, a decline of 0.3% from 2021.
“With the exception of 2021, the [hair removal] market has experienced sluggish sales since 2017, which can partially be attributed to the highly saturated landscape and value-driven mindset of category shoppers,” said Olivia Guinaugh, senior beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel. “Incorporating benefits beyond hair removal, particularly those related to skin care, may not only help lift sales in the near term but also increase category potential for the longer term.”
The digital campaign launches this week across paid and unpaid influencers, as well as OTT, digital ads and streaming commercials. The commercial campaign, made with creative agency Mischief @ No Fixed address, called “Unmanhandle Your Face, ” pokes fun at traditional macho-masculine men’s product commercials. In the commercial, a man accosts another in the shaving aisle at a store, telling him to use a shaving cream that has “notes of whiskey and lumber” and can “make you man enough to fight a gorilla,” before being knocked out by a primate. Meanwhile, the other man shopping proceeds to choose Eos as a less ridiculous and more skin-nourishing alternative.
“A big part of our marketing strategy has been to laser-focus on reaching younger male-identifying audiences. [Men’s shaving] is still a newer business for us, so we need to make sure we’re spending money efficiently,” said Kang. “If you look at [our] data, it shows that, increasingly — especially young — male consumers are very open to establishing new [grooming] care routines.”
With influencers, Eos has tapped into six paid TikTokers and YouTubers like Jack Martin (@JackMartin; 831,000 TikTok followers) and Kristopher London (@KristopherLondon; 3 million YouTube subscribers). It has also tapped four college and professional basketball players, launching a new advertising area for the brand. Eos hired Matty Ice, a player at Lycoming College, and Terrance Arceneaux, a player for the University of Houston. The March Madness college basketball tournament runs until April 8. In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that the N.C.A.A. could not bar modest payments to student-athletes, opening up an array of advertising opportunities for students and brands alike.
Starting this week, Eos will advertise through Netflix on the new ad-supported $6.99 tier, which the streaming company introduced in November 2022.
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