How Harry Rosen is expanding into men’s grooming

A temporary name change to "Hairy Rosen" kicked off a content-led strategy to pursue another growth opportunity in the style realm.

Harry Rosen is shining the spotlight on the different ways in which Canadian men make themselves look and feel good, moving from the wardrobe to the bathroom mirror.

A campaign for a new line of premium grooming products launched when the menswear retailer changed its name to “Hairy Rosen” on its flagship downtown Toronto store, as well as across its social channels, website and employee email signatures.

The temporary name change was a stunt intended to grab the attention of Canadians, and that attention is now being directed to a content series the company calls “Different Strokes.”

The new campaign “is an evolution of our brand,” says Trinh Tham, the retailer’s CMO. It features a diverse group of male “role models,” including Justin Bieber guitarist Dan Kanter, TV host Joey Salmingo and Indigenous educator Michael Solomon, sharing their stories and the different ways they groom.

“We’ve been talking about this since last September, when we embarked on a journey to evolve and refresh our brand and make it more relevant,” Tham says. “It came from our brand value of being inclusive and making sure we were showing up with that value by showing the various ways men groom – not just based on their hair types and style, but their backgrounds as well.”

September was when the brand released its “Set The Tone” campaign, when it showed how style and looking good gave men the confidence to be the best version of themselves for their careers, communities and families. It also widened the lens from the suits Harry Rosen is most associated with to more casual – but still upscale and stylish – fashion in a time when demand for professional wear was down significantly.

The theme of confidence and being your best self through style remains a key theme in the new content series, as does Harry Rosen looking outside of what it’s best known for within the style realm. Tham said the brand’s move into men’s grooming products and marketing was “a natural extension,” given its position as a leading retailer in men’s fashion.

“There’s growth in this category, so from a business point of view, the opportunity is definitely there,” Tham says. “And when you look around in the space, from our perspective, we couldn’t find a competitor in Canada who has the credibility to offer men the advice that we do.”

But Tham says the brand is hoping its campaign will also spark some optimism in a difficult time.

“The country is still in lockdown and you hear constantly that people haven’t been able to go to the barbershop or look themselves in the mirror in a long time,” she says. “This campaign is to remind people that it’s time to look themselves in the mirror and feel good about themselves again.”

Zulu Alpha Kilo was the creative lead on the campaign, with Cairns Oneill handling the media buy. Rick Byun handled PR.