Wahl, a leading manufacturer of men’s hair clippers and beard trimmers, wanted to increase their sales and improve their brand perception by differentiating themselves from the bigger brands (and budgets) competing for the male grooming audience.
At the time, pitchmen for men’s grooming products were either supermodels, superheroes, or super into themselves. We opted for a super real, relatable campaign that was true to the brand, engaged the audience and differentiated from all other competitors in the category.
We used real guys to show:
How real guys groom
That “Real Guys” groom themselves
The connection between men wanting to look good and feel good about themselves and how the pride in doing it themselves contributes to their personal success.
The campaign re-energized the Wahl brand. Substantial sales growth made Wahl the market leader in the trimmer category and grew their already-dominant share in the clipper category. Based on the success, the campaign and messaging continued and so have the results with year-over-year sales growth.
Purchase intent increase
Brand preference increase
YoY sales increase
RESEARCH AND BRAND MESSAGING
We confirmed that Wahl is a highly relatable brand. We also learned that the competition always featured chiseled male models in their ads. So, we took advantage of this insight and focused our messaging strategy on how real guys approach grooming and men’s grooming tools.
Hoffman York’s strategy was to use real guys to communicate to a national male audience in a conversational tone reflecting Wahl’s Midwestern values: a hard-working, people-first American company committed to making quality products.
CREATIVE AND PAID MEDIA
We featured real guys in ads to do the talking. These were guys from all walks of life who groomed themselves (cutting their own hair and/or trimming their facial hair). These real guy examples told a simple truth: Wahl products help you look the way you want, which helps make you the best version of you.
We used TV, long-format videos, digital, social media, public relations (PR), and the web to reach our target male audience. This included ESPN, History Channel, Spike, Fox Sports, and more. Men’s Health even created two custom content series mirroring Wahl’s campaign.
PUBLIC RELATIONS AND SOCIAL CONTENT
Numerous editorial placements in major publications received hundreds of social media shares on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, resulting in millions of social media engagements.
Wahl teamed up with a famous but relatable guy who cuts his own hair, former NFL receiver, Jordy Nelson. This partnership was to convince guys to “Make the Cut,” by pledging to cut their hair at home.
SPONSORSHIPS AND PARTNERSHIPS
Great beards are valuable. So, we partnered with former Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez and sponsored his beard – the first sponsorship of its kind. The sponsorship helped drive attendance and awareness for Wahl’s annual mobile barbershop tour and the search for the best facial hair in the country.
MOBILE GROOMING TOUR
Every year, the Wahl mobile barbershop travels across the country to help guys with free beard trims, shaves, grooming tips, and product demos that result in product sales. It attracts millions of visitors each year and generates hundreds of millions of editorial and social media impressions.