Barbasol taps diabetic swimmer for new cause-marketing campaign

DUBLIN, OH: Barbasol is taking on a new corporate cause, launching a campaign that links its shaving products to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes.

DUBLIN, OH: Barbasol is taking on a new corporate cause, launching a campaign that links its shaving products to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes.

Gary Hall Jr., a diabetic who is the second most decorated US Olympian in history, will be the face of the "Real Man" campaign.

His image will appear on collector edition cans, and a sale of the proceeds will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Asked why an adult shaving product would associate itself with a seemingly incongruous cause such as juvenile diabetes, Tom Murray, president of parent company Perio, cited his company's tradition of donating 10% of all profits to children's charities, regardless of product or brand.

Perio acquired Barbasol in 2001.

"Our mission statement is all about people and not things," Murray said.

The campaign is not without its roots in Barbasol's past, however. The brand has long relied on sports greats - such as Babe Ruth, Knute Rockne, and Jim Corbett - for its marketing efforts, and the current campaign will "tie the brand back to its roots," Murray said.

Branding and messaging for Barbasol won't change, Murray noted.

The company will place Hall's picture on 10-12 million of the red-and-white barbershop pole cans. Because the average can is used about 90 times, Murray estimated that the campaign would yield about 1 billion impressions. Hall himself has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, a chronic condition.

Fahlgren Mortine is handling print and broadcast media relations around the unveiling of the collector cans.

Arluck Promotions represents Hall, has won 10 medals in swimming, including five gold.

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