Men's beauty a new--and niche--market?

Posted at 5:10 PM Mar 10, 2010

By Andrea Grimes


Settle in for a long, long ride on the This Is A Thing Now Train, because male marketing and male beauty products are here to stay, along with no shortage of discussion about the same. This week in AdAge, Jack Neff explores the phenomenon of selling beauty--or anything else--to men and gives some interesting examples of products that actually started as "lady" products. Any of you girls want to fire up a Marlboro? They were originally for you!

First, the stats:

Procter & Gamble Co. recently has reorganized its beauty-marketing ranks largely to help capture the growing potential of the men's market, and recently got San Antonio-based supermarket chain H-E-B to try a men's personal care section. Unilever has made men the focus of its biggest 2010 launch for its biggest personal-care brand, Dove. Unilever sees a $700 million opportunity to grow the men's personal-care market in categories where it competes -- essentially personal wash, hair care and deodorants -- a market currently measured by Nielsen at $2.1 billion that the marketer expects will hit $2.8 billion by 2012.

Buzzword time! But how does this relate to, gulp, metrosexuals?

It's been at least six years since any marketer could be caught uttering the M word. Marketers who had heralded the arrival of the "metrosexual" last decade found the term tended to pigeonhole their products with a relatively narrow segment of upscale, fashion-conscious men. The reality is that the segment exists and has kept growing, but marketers seeking to sell such products as shampoo and bodywash to men are appealing to a much broader audience, too.

And holy cow, you are about to read the term "grooming event." Which I thought would be similar to what happened when I shaved my legs for the first time in 2 months last week, but turns out, is any opportunity to groom.

What they should be doing -- in the long-term marketing scheme of things -- is washing their faces and using moisturizer before bed. "We know that if you had a full regimen of morning and evening care, your shaving experience would be better," Mr. Shirley said. "And we have that right to have that conversation with guys, because the shaving experience is the anchor grooming event."

Now, here's the fun Marlboro fact I baited you with:

Marlboro: Hard as it may be to believe now, Marlboro started in the 1920s as a filtered cigarette for women. When research linking smoking to lung cancer emerged in the 1950s, Philip Morris decided it needed a "safer" filtered cigarette for men, who were reluctant to smoke a women's brand. So it enlisted Leo Burnett to change Marlboro's gender. The rest is history.

Neff includes more gender-switching on behalf of Ugg and Degree. What he doesn't delve into much are the social implications or the why's of this trend in male marketing. So dudes, you tell us: why is it acceptable to be clean all of a sudden?


Nicki E. said:

My boyfriend works at the beauty company Philosophy as a graphic designer, and he uses their products all the time. But as far as I know, he's groomed himself since he was a kid.

SheffieldSteel said:

Whatever next? Video games for girls?

Man Lee said:

I guess the cat is out of the bag and you ladies would eventually find out.... men do not perspire. If you have ever seen a sweaty man before it was actually just water we spritz on ourselves and the smell of sweat is just the normal smell of tap water. There is no need for deodorants or soap since we do not need them, the marketing of male hygiene is as much a myth as Bigfoot or Communism.

ftfmarket said:

world have change now...

cindy said:

next: Tech/gaming for women LOL

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