Newspaper article International New York Times

Shampoo Ads for Men Put the Emphasis on Results ; Old Spice Campaign Shows Consumers Getting Ahead through Hair Care

Newspaper article International New York Times

Shampoo Ads for Men Put the Emphasis on Results ; Old Spice Campaign Shows Consumers Getting Ahead through Hair Care

Article excerpt

The shampoo aisle has remained a haven for unisex products, but that is shifting.

While unisex personal care products proliferated a generation ago, today the antiperspirant and soap aisles, for example, are dominated by products marketed to just men or women. The shampoo aisle remained a haven for unisex products, but that, too, is shifting, with Old Spice now introducing a hair care line, joining men's brands like Axe, which began selling hair products in 2009, and Dove Men+Care, which did so in 2013.

Janet Allgaier, a vice president for global personal care at Procter & Gamble, which owns Old Spice, said men require reassuring that there is nothing unmanly about expanding their hair routine. Advertising for the new line required "that tone of voice that gives guys permission to experiment without primping" and "groom without preening," Ms. Allgaier said.

A new commercial features a man with luxuriant hair at a business meeting who trades flirtatious glances with a woman sitting opposite him at a large conference table. His hair begins to move, then scrambles down his arm like a hairpiece attached to a gerbil, leaving him completely bald. It proceeds across the conference table where, after the woman writes down her number on a sheet of paper, it brings the number to him and reattaches to his head.

The commercial, which closes with the tagline for the campaign, "Hair that gets results," was introduced on Jan. 27 and has been viewed more than 2.1 million times on YouTube.

On Monday, the brand introduced an interactive website, ThatsThePowerOfHair.com, an allusion to "The Power of Love," by Huey Lewis and the News. Users entering the site are greeted by an actor (Tom Parker) sitting on a couch, a woman beside him running her hands through his hair.

"So I've been using Old Spice hair products for a while now, and I've got to say, things are looking up," he says. "One, when you've got that smooth, sophisticated look, you tend to get a lot of attention from the ladies; two, respect, when people around the office see me with this hair, they know I mean business."

The third result, he continues, is, "When you've got great hair like this, you'd be surprised how many Huey Lewis songs it can play on piano."

As in the commercial, the actor's hair crawls down his arm and across the room to perch in front of a keyboard, as the text "Request a Huey Lewis song," appears over a large fuchsia box with a flashing cursor.

Type one of 29 songs the brand has licensed, like "Hip to Be Square," and the hair appears to play a portion of it on the keyboard.

"We have a joke that we tell our team," said Jason Bagley, a creative director at Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., the agency of record for Old Spice. "If it's possible and within budget, we don't want to hear it."

Along with Wieden & Kennedy's best- known commercial for Old Spice, a 2010 ad featuring Isaiah Mustafa somehow going from a bathroom to a boat to riding a horse in a single camera shot, which garnered 47. …

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