Unilever ramps up guy grooming

The brand unveils a new line called Face Range.
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Unilever joins the increasingly crowded men’s facial product world, introducing Face Range, its latest from Dove Men+Care. Shipped on Jan. 27, the line is expected to roll out in early to mid-February alongside other men’s grooming products. This extends the Dove line and continues Unilever’s push into men’s grooming, which began with Axe 10 years ago and has picked up steam recently with the introduction of Vaseline Men in 2009, Men+Care line in 2010, and Clear Scalp Men in 2012, says Sharon MacLeod, VP marketing, Unilever.

Dove’s Face Range comes on the heels of Unilever’s global announcement that its Axe brand would send 22 people into space to kick off its Apollo shower line. The global campaign, by London-based BBH, will feature TV spots and cinema pre-roll, as well as print and online ads. There will also be nationwide experiential events, a sampling program and Facebook content promoting the contest.

Looking ahead to 2013, MacLeod says the men category offers a great opportunity, but as it’s still a relatively new area a lot of the marketing will encourage trial and adoption. Creative for Face Range will be in the same vein as previous work for Men+Care. (It’s most recent campaign featured former NHLer Wendel Clark with the message that if he cares for his skin, it’s okay for all men.) The CPG co will work with Ogilvy on creative, OgilvyOne for digital, Capital C for promotional work, Harbinger on PR, Integrated on in-store material and Mindshare for the media buy.

“These brands are really talking to men in men’s language, with products specifically designed for them. And men are really loving it,” she says, adding that each of its men-focused lines top their respective categories. “We think that the introduction of face care will be really well received because these are brands they’re already using.”

Indeed, competitor L’Oreal’s research shows that even though only 40% of men use skin care, those who do are overwhelmingly loyal to the brand introduced to them (most often by a partner). The men’s line is the latest in a flurry of 2013 launches for Unilever, which bowed 24 new products across seven lines in its beauty and grooming portfolio in January.

With files from Jordan Twiss

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