Sex sells. It also gets consumers co-creating.

eYeka explains why sex and humour go hand-in-hand, when it comes to getting men to engage and participate with a male grooming brand – within a regulated community.

Over the years, the male-grooming industry has carved a role for itself that has become about much more than just proof of visible skin results. Instead, in an effort to tap into the average-male needs, brands such as Lynx, ­King of Shaves, and Old Spice have moved their brand out of the bathroom –to play a larger part in the overall male lifestyle. Key to their success has been their cleverly executed social media campaigns and a brand that isn’t afraid to let its hair down or have a bit of fun. Male grooming brands are inviting controversy but also entertaining a male audience – in return for a bit of male-bonding – brand to consumer – where the hot topic, is all about sex.


As a challenger shaving brand in the UK market, King of Shaves recently launched a provocative brand ad across social media, featuring a man being shaved whilst tied to a chair. The campaign quickly created an emotional attachment to the brand, as men sat up and took note of King of Shaves – commenting on the lingerie-clad women and where they could trial the new razor Azor. In addition, to capitalise on the momentum the campaign was enjoying across social media, King of Shaves instructed eYeka, the global co-creation platform, to leverage the existing viral campaign by inviting a community of red-blooded male consumers to respond with their interpretations of sexy shaving.

Male beauty products regularly suffer an image perception for being considered girly, with too many added ‘frills’ and confusing packaging – the latter, being the raison d’être for  new male-grooming kit service, ‘Men are Useless’ that launched in August so men wouldn’t have to go shopping for products, or deal with the ‘boring stuff’. Furthermore, men are often portrayed as one or the other: metro-sexual or an average man – turned predatory beast. In reality, male consumers are much more inter-changeable than we may think – and more often than not, their grooming habits are influenced by the cool brand du-jour, the celebrity brand ambassador/ role-model, or simply by what they see on offer in-store.
There is one thing however, that time after time, men respond to – which is also a fail-safe way of generating sales.


Sex has always been at the forefront of advertising: from the iconic Wonderbra campaign that caused car accidents as men slowed down to appreciate the massive billboard campaign, to Calvin Klein’s half-naked model campaigns that ooze sex-appeal (with a primary of objective to reveal as much skin, in order to show off their jeans). More recently, Lynx has become the go-to brand for guys who needs a little bit of help to pull, or confidence in becoming more visible to the opposite sex. Clearly sex is something that consumers aspire to and for brands that promise men the confidence that will help them obtain it – it’s a win-win for all: the guy gets said guy or girl, and the brand cashes in on sales.

When King of Shaves launched in 1993, the brand aimed to help men ‘enjoy shaving, not endure it’. The company went on to coin the male grooming phrase of ‘Prime-Shave-Protect’ and produced a range of soft-foam, burn-free products that men would be proud to have out on display in their bathroom.  Today however, the market is fiercely competitive and so to stand out and position itself against P&G’s Gillette – where it is clearly about precision and the perfect finish – King of Shaves took to differentiating itself away from the functional aspects of the brand and moved into new territory – that put the sex back into shaving.

Following a teaser across its blog and Facebook page, King of Shaves launched its new brand campaign with a limited budget across social media in the UK. The ad consisted of a steamy viral video that featured a man tied to a chair as he was treated to the ‘King’, by the world’s most famous professional female Master Barber. A female barber dressed in black lingerie ala-Barbarella-X. To support, a twitter hashtag campaign #shavesexy was created and after a resounding success in its first month, King of Shaves decided to leverage their campaign further amongst its male consumer target audience. Eyeka, the global co-creation platform were able to offer King of Shaves a melting-pot of engaged, male consumers, that could show King of Shaves how they would put the sex back into shaving, within a regulated and community-managed environment.


The emphasis of the brief was focussed on asking the community to depict their own shave-sexy moment in a 45 second video – with reference of the Bararella-x ad for inspiration. Such a brief in an open-forum like Facebook would invite a minefield of controversial and x-rated interpretations – which could end up out of King of Shaves hands, and get posted to all the wrong sites. Crucially, therefore eYeka was able to provide a fully-moderated community with community managers that could flag and steer any creative that did wander off-course – steering them away from seedy brothels thoughts – and back onto the path of glamorous and sophisticated innuendo, with a touch of humour.

Male grooming brands that appear to have got the balance of sex and humour right include Lynx and Old Spice

Despite Lynx’s well-worn catch-phrase of ‘The Lynx Effect’ having been parodied in a SpecSaver ad that appeared on UK TV in 2010, it is still the brand glue that ties countless Lynx ad’s together – culminating in a show-reel of flirtatious, clever tongue-n-cheek scenarios, which ultimately leave men buying into a tube of deodorant. Lynx’s website and Facebook page plays the role of the older brother with more experience and wisdom in the activity of ‘pulling girls’. To take-away, Lynx’s mobile site unlocks a suite of tools and games that are clearly aimed at late male teens and students – helping them in their nightly mission to find girls – via the aptly named ‘fit-girl finder’- or female-emergency games to break the ice, such as ‘Spin the bottle.’


OldSpice is the latest example of a brand that desperately needed an image makeover – nothing about it said sex – and the bottle of fragrance conjured up images of wrinkly-old-man in un-fashionable string-vests. Roll on July 2010, and a team of 25 brand guardians at Wielden & Kennedy sit in a room together – spanning departments from copywriting to strategists to creatives and producers. Not least the star of the show – actor and modern-man, Isaiah Mustafa, who had been drafted in for a 3-day, 12 hours per-day, social media campaign. As a collaborative effort, the team put together a total of 183 unique, creative video responses to questions found posted across Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo Answers and other platforms, online. The videos featured a muscle-toned Mustafa in his towel talking directly to the camera, capturing the viewer with his witty one-liners and moving scenery that changed video-to-video.

The ‘I’m On An Internet’ campaign firmly established a new genre of advertising overnight, by turning social media content into real-time ad-copy. The campaign won an Emmy for the originality of the campaign. Meanwhile, sales were reportedly up 55% in the months during, and following the campaign. Social media has enabled a buzz amongst male consumers – that would not be possible offline. As the Men are Useless tell us, men have better things to do than go shopping for male grooming stuff – and presumably this also applies to talking about what you have bought with your mates and raving about a brand campaign in the pub.
Likewise, social media thereby offers a closet metro-sexual an easy way to stay informed about his favourite male-grooming brands, and for average-guys, it can boost ego or community status to be the first to forward or ‘like’ a viral that shows a brand’s sexy-side – and introduce a whole new brand to the cool crowd – whilst humour gets people talking – and crucially, sharing.

For the male creatives at eYeka however, a male grooming brand is like gold-dust and something that they crave to work on. As brand advocates they feel the brand ‘get’s them’ and as they already have a strong emotional connection, we can guarantee their co-creation results will be outstanding. Please click on the link below for more information on how King of Shaves are leveraging the global eYeka community :

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