Manscaped make grooming products for men. Well, specifically, ‘below the belt’ grooming products for men. They are a pioneer in the field, making trimmers with ‘skin-safe technology’, enabling men to trim even their most sensitive areas. They approached us with the simple brief; they wanted to make a series of funny films that allowed them to veer away from the college dorm room, and into a more sophisticated space. The films needed to be funny, but they also needed to talk about the embarrassing and generally private world of ‘male grooming’. We leapt at the opportunity, eager to sink our comedic teeth into the brief.
Starting work on the creative we realised that there were some unique challenges to this brief, balls are embarrassing, we can’t actually show the product in action (thank god), and do we really want to make a film that might make a young person think that shaving their bits was the only way to be attractive. The film had to appeal to a broad audience, being released in three markets, the US, UK and Australia, and it also had to be product heavy - it had to explain why the product works, and what makes it different, whilst remaining funny.
INSIGHT, STRATEGY AND APPROACH
Funny sells. And so do product features. The campaign rolled out across TV, but also was largely digital - with much of the media spend dedicated to paid YouTube ads. This meant that our film had to get to the point quickly - and the first line had to hit home to avoid it being skipped. We needed to reel the audience in with quick laughs. We also needed to bury product features in gags, so the film didn’t feel like an infomercial.
The other key strategy that underpins the campaign is the environment. Sports enable us to talk about balls in a casual way, providing us with an easy euphemism, but on a deeper level it is an environment that connects with Manscaped’s core audience, men.
We wanted our film to be set in an environment where we can talk about balls without actually talking about balls. Working through a number of other creative routes, we landed on the snooker hall primarily because of its close connection to many men, but also because, well, snooker balls are the smoothest balls of all.
The script had to tie the strategy together, remaining funny despite needing frequent product feature references. Working with the incredibly talented Spencer Brown, we wrote a script that hit the markers that we set, and further down the line when we cast Charlie Partridge, it was a beautifully natural fit. He embodied the feel of the script, and was the perfect man for the job. The dead pan euphemism, combined with surreal references and visual gags made the film entertaining - and took the sting out of an advert that otherwise would feel very product heavy.
Rolling the campaign out further, we are excited to see where our ‘smooth’ character can end up - always in the world of ball sports, but developing slowly as the brand picks up momentum and continues to grow worldwide.
Within a week of being released the film had gathered well over a million views on YouTube, as well as features in Campaign, AdWeek, Ads of the World and The Stable.