Neutrogena rallies against ‘junkface’

The brand is stepping in to relieve men of the perils of washing both their face and junk with the same soap.

Remember that episode of Friends where Joey and Chandler heatedly discuss soap-sharing etiquette and the former retaliates by saying, “Well, next time you take a shower, think about the last thing I wash, and the first thing you wash”?

So soap may be considered self-cleaning, but that’s an image few can escape, and one that Neutrogena Men has tapped into with the hopes of prompting men to think about purchasing its face wash instead of using the same bar of soap to wash both their face and, ahem, junk.

To do this, the brand is calling for “The Campaign to End Junkface” with a digital spot, microsite, online banners and experiential sampling events in men’s gym change rooms that educate the brand’s 25- to 35-year-old male audience on what’s become a Canadian epidemic.

The campaign, which was created by the Toronto offices of DDB Canada and Tribal Worldwide, also attempts to back up its claims of the widespread condition with an Ipsos Reid research study that says 72% of men admit to the practice of “Junkface,” washing both body parts with the same soap, and is revealed via infographics on the microsite,

Though Neutrogena’s line of products for men have been in market for a few years now, there wasn’t much support, and it subsequently lost ground to new entrants that were talking to men about adopting a skin care regime, says Ted Lachmansingh, group brand director for Neutrogena, Clean & Clear and RoC at parent company Johnson & Johnson.

Dove, for one, has been extra busy in the category with its award-winning “Real Man Challenge”.

Men are open to learning about skin care, but it’s not really top of mind for them, he says, adding it typically “goes in one ear and out the other,” so the brand needed a clever campaign that would put a mirror to their behaviour and hopefully provoke a reaction.

The success of the eight-week, mostly digital campaign will be measured by its shareability, and based on this, Lachmansingh says there is a possibility the campaign could be picked up globally.

With files from Megan Haynes