King of Shaves is to launch its first national advertising campaign as it looks to make its Azor brand the best selling handle razor in the UK by the end of the year.
The activity is the first created for King of Shaves by Hooper Galton and will break over the Easter weekend with an outdoor campaign of 850 48-sheet posters in and around major cities, including London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Will King, founder of King of Shaves, told Marketing Week that the activity is designed to spearhead a £5m annual marketing investment with the intention of running its first television campaign in the near future.
“We plan to do a lot more this year but have not had the opportunity to spend in the past,” adding that its shareholders and bank are “willing to invest and push the dominance of the brand”.
He adds that the marketing investment is aimed at pushing Azor, which launched last year, from third to best selling handle in the UK and to ultimately becoming the second biggest shaving brand in the UK behind Gillette.
According to recent IRI data, King of Shaves is the number two shaving software brand, which includes shaving gels and creams, in the UK behind Gillette.
King says he is looking to achieve total sales of £75m globally this year, up from the £61m retail sales registered for the brands owned by KoS’s parent company KMI in 2008. The company has recently embarked on an international expansion, launching the Azor in New Zealand, Brazil and Ireland.
Radio and press activity will support the outdoor campaign, while an in-store sales promotion in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Boots launched last week and will run to the end of April.
KoS is also planning to launch a sub-brand aimed at women, The Azure, later this year as well as special edition Azure-branded shaving products to add to its existing King of Shaves Woman’s range, which includes gels, oils and moisturisers.
Mintel predicted in 2007 that retail sales of shaving products for 2008 would reach £580m, while IRI says sales of the top ten male razors, excluding refill blades, totalled £36m last year.