- Procter & Gamble (P&G) men's grooming brand Old Spice announced in a news release the launch of its first-ever beard care collection, including beard oil, beard balm, beard conditioner and beard wash. The products will be available exclusively on Amazon starting Oct. 1.
- Old Spice Teamed with NFL brothers Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs to star in a campaign promoting the new line. The effort includes a series of humor-focused spots created by agency Wieden+Kennedy, which will appear on Old Spice's social media channels and on YouTube.
- The Kelce brothers also helped Old Spice craft a book of beard-focused poems titled "The Old Spice Guys' Grooming Guidance Guide for Guys with Beards & Other Poems." The collection can be downloaded from Amazon, and Old Spice is donating proceeds to men's health charities.
As facial hair becomes trendier among consumer groups like millennial men, Old Spice is attempting to tap into the growing beard-care business. By taking a digital-focused approach, the brand can potentially better compete with popular direct-to-consumer (DTC) men's grooming brands like Dollar Shave Club and Harry's, which are grabbing more market share from legacy packaged goods companies. DTC brands are also frequently viewed as being able to facilitate stronger customer relationships and establish more agile supply chains than their older competitors, which have sometimes struggled to keep pace with digital transformation.
The Amazon partnership could help Old Spice combat that disruption and drive sales of its new beard-focused line, since roughly half of all online product searches begin on the site. Selling the new products exclusively on Amazon feels significant, and signals how CPG brands like P&G are shifting their priorities to e-commerce as traditional brick-and-mortar retail proves to a tough space to spur growth. Amazon presents a bit of double-edged sword, as it is a key factor in the the decline of physical retail sales, but it could prove a powerful partner for marketers as it looks to grow its own advertising business.
Ad sales at Amazon are still comparatively small, but have become the Seattle-based company's fastest-growing category, jumping 129% year-over-year in second-quarter results reported in July. Amazon has recently focused more on saturating its search and sponsored product pages with ads, which a company like Old Spice could leverage to bolster visibility for its own goods.
The creative of the campaign taps into some of Amazon's strengths as well, including its legacy e-books business through the poetry collection. More brands are getting creative in introducing new kinds of branded content to attract consumers. KFC, which also works with Wieden+Kennedy, has found success using a similar strategy, and even released a full-length romance novella e-book last year for its Mother's Day promotion.
Old Spice has long embraced oddball marketing tactics to drum up consumer conversations. In March, it included a full-sized paper blazer scented with its then-new fragrance in a GQ print ad. Old Spice also ran a spot during the Grammy Awards in January that was entirely in French with no subtitles.