Gillette's NoScruf campaign heats up

NEW YORK: Gillette is heading into the bulk of PR and advertising work for its NoScruf campaign, which hopes to band together women against the unshaven faces of friends and lovers.

NEW YORK: Gillette is heading into the bulk of PR and advertising work for its NoScruf campaign, which hopes to band together women against the unshaven faces of friends and lovers.

The NoScruf initiative, an acronym standing for the National Organization of Social Crusaders Repulsed by Unshaven Faces, is an unbranded effort by Gillette designed to get men to shave more often. Kelly Vanasse, director of brand communications at Gillette, said an unbranded effort stood a better chance of resonating with its target audience of 18 to 34-year-old men. Gillette is working with Porter Novelli on this effort.

Gillette's first PR push for the campaign was held at New York's Herald Square on July 11, where 30 women, joined by celebrities Brooke Burke and Kelly Monaco, staged a faux protest while displaying fake unshaven underarm hair and holding up posters of unshaven legs proclaiming: "We won't shave until you do."

Fox, The View, and UPN were among the media outlets that covered the protest, and USA Today wrote about the campaign.

At the event the women walked through the streets with placards "picking out scruffy faced guys" telling them to shave and telling people to visit NoScruf.org, which launched on April 25.

The fake protest generated seven million media impressions and a short movie available at NoScruf.org has gotten more than seven million video viewings since the site was launched.

"Over time and history, you see this ebb and flow of facial hair," Vanasse said. "Beards are stylish for a while and then it's the clean-shaven look. Right now we're seeing a lot of scruff, and because of all the new media outlets and technology, we're trying to affect that in a fun and edgy way."

Gillette will debut more PR and traditional advertising efforts later this year as part of the effort, including the results of a Scruffiest Cities Index. Digitas is handling all of the online components and BBDO will handle advertising. Vanasse said the upcoming PR effort would involve more traditional work and the print effort would more than likely be branded.

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