Make-up is not just for females

In the past five years, the men’s personal care space has expanded well beyond deodorants, shower gels and moisturisers, with make-up even making it onto some men’s shopping lists. According to Datamonitor analysts, 88 make-up products made for men were launched globally in 2009, compared with just three in 2005.

  • Click here to read the cover story relating to this ’What men want from a brand relationship’
  • Click here to read how men feel about advertising
  • Click here to read about media brands for men

However, the use of chiselled actors and sports stars to promote men’s toiletries is wearing thin among the target consumer group, according to brands such as Dove and Bulldog, which have both made efforts to break this outdated mould.

Unilever brand Dove Men+Care has shaped its marketing strategy around the results of global research conducted in 2009, which surveyed 7,500 men aged between 30 and 55. The brand wanted to reach this audience in a new way after it discovered that 68% of men feel they aren’t realistically portrayed in advertising, while 71% find it difficult to relate to men of their age who are shown in commercials. The brand’s Manthem TV ad uses humour – and real men – to convey the stages of a typical man’s life in a 90-second slot.

The brand has followed this in the UK by partnering with retailer Tesco’s customer magazine, to produce a special Man Alive supplement featuring content that celebrates the lives of real men.

Dove Men+Care brand manager Paul Connell explains: “Tesco had repositioned its magazine to speak to real women, so we wanted to work with the supermarket to see how we could do this for men. It gave us an opportunity to tell guys what we were about as a brand and deliver content that was relevant and which we couldn’t provide through conventional above-the-line advertising.”

While Dove’s approach might have paved the way for brands to question how they target men, Connell claims Unilever is continuing to push boundaries by exploring new ways of engaging with real men in 2011. He says: “I’m confident we will continue to speak to men in different ways but as to how that will look and feel over the next two years, we haven’t quite finalised that yet.”

Bulldog, a natural male grooming brand, is also trying to break the male stereotype by encouraging men to buy products such as anti-ageing moisturiser. The brand is getting its message across by sponsoring online comedy series Soapbox, which is fronted by comedian David Mitchell, with each episode book-ended by Bulldog brand messages. 

Bulldog co-founder Simon Duffy says: “Our rivals produce commoditised for-men versions of female products. Adopting a traditional approach by plastering a leading sportsman onto billboards all over London would be too expensive for a challenger brand like us.”

The Bulldog image has also been adopted as an antidote to the male stereotypes in this category. Duffy says: “He’s loyal, tenacious and a daily companion. It’s a positive way to look at being a man.” 

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here