Client: Wahl Clipper (Sterling, IL)
PR Team: Hill & Knowlton (Chicago)
Campaign: "Finally a Beard Trimmer for Women!"
Time Frame: August 2001
Budget: Approximately $20,000 - $25,000
The Wahl Clipper Corporation wasn't exactly targeting the elusive hairy
women demographic when it came up with the catch line "Finally a Beard
Trimmer for Women!" Though the slogan does require a little
"While men actually use the Trim 'N' Vac, both men and women appreciate
it because it delivers a neat trim and leaves a cleaner sink, virtually
free of whiskers," explains Patrick Sandusky, senior account supervisor
at Hill & Knowlton.
The clever slogan was at the heart of a campaign commissioned by Wahl
Clipper to raise awareness and drive sales in advance of the summer
release of its Trim 'N' Vac, the first and only vacuuming beard and
mustache trimmer. "We knew our campaign geared toward women was on
target," says Pat Anello, Wahl Clipper director of marketing, but the
head-turning slogan wasn't the only direction strategists
"Other ideas included having a traveling 'white glove' testing by the
public to see the results of a cleaner sink from using the Trim 'N'
Vac," says Sandusky. "We also thought of creating a Trim 'N' Vac
character to personify the new product," he adds.
In the end, it was decided that the product itself and its unique
attributes needed to be at the center of the strategy.
Knowing that a clever slogan can only get you so far, Wahl Clipper
needed a big splash event to attract media attention.
"We chose to launch at the Sturgis (SD) Motorcycle Rally because it
offered the opportunity to reach our target demographic, namely men with
disposable income who sport facial hair," says Sandusky. In advance of
the event, H&K pre-briefed select media outlets to build momentum,
including local and national media, as well as biker trades. "We stood
at the street corner with signs to drive traffic to the booth, and we
registered at the media tent to invite reporters covering Sturgis to try
out the product," says Sandusky. Interested Sturgis attendees were
invited into Wahl Clipper's demo tent to test and purchase the product,
as well as receive complimentary items such as manicure sets and
However, Sturgis wasn't the only marketing opportunity H&K saw. "We saw
Al Gore's new beard," explains Sandusky, "and sent him a Trim 'N'
The campaign received significant print and broadcast coverage,
including segments on NBC and FOX news programs. Wahl's efforts were
also profiled in Jim Kirk's nationally syndicated Chicago Tribune column
"On Marketing, etc." and again in the Tribune's "Inc." column. WBBM-FM
radio (Chicago's CBS affiliate), Time Digital, The Charlotte Observer,
the Austin-American Statesman, ON magazine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
and The Tennessean were among several others to pick up the story.
But while media coverage was important, Wahl Clipper isn't in the
business of selling newspapers. As a result of the campaign, Wahl
Clipper received orders for the Trim 'N' Vac from Sears' national buyer,
and sold out of its entire Trim 'N' Vac supply at Sturgis.
"For the rest of this year, we have planned heavy PR outreach around the
holidays, which will coordinate with ad placements in select trades,"
says Sandusky. "We will highlight the Trim 'N' Vac as the new 'neat'
gadget for the holidays, a great gift idea, and something to keep your
house clean when relatives arrive."