Axe kicks off Find Your Magic initiative
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever’s Axe Brand on Tuesday rolled out its new Find Your Magic initiative, the brand said is aimed at combating toxic masculinity and emphasizing the importance of self-expression to being confident.
The initiative is kicking off with a new short film, “Is It OK For Guys?,” which highlights questions that men ask themselves — including “is it ok for guys to be emotional,” “wear pink” or “wear makeup.” The brand is partnering with such influencers as Hunter Klugkist, William Haynes, Josh Peck, Ryan McNulty and Wes Armstrong, who will share their experiences and address the topics using the hashtag #isitokforguys.
Axe’s efforts are supported by partnerships with nonprofits Promundo, The Representation Project and Ditch the Label to dive deeper into the issue the campaign addresses. Axe commissioned Promundo for a study to look into the challenges young men face as the result of masculine stereotypes; sponsored the “Unmaksed” campus tour, which screened its film “The Mask You Live In” on college campuses; and worked with anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label to to create a digital network that supports guys struggling with toxic masculinity.
“Last year AXE asked guys to ‘find their magic’ and express what truly makes them an individual,” Axe global VP Rik Strubel said. “But we can't just tell guys to be themselves without addressing the underlying cultural issues and restrictive definitions of manhood holding them back in the first place. It not only hurts guys, it hurts everyone.”
Ready for a bounce: Retailers expect hair care sales to shine in second half
Retailers expect the second half of 2017 will bring bounce to overlooked categories within hair care, especially styling aids and treatments. While shampoos and conditioners have squeezed out low single-digit gains over the past few years, the styling segment has been flat or down.
New product activity could put a jolt into the segments. OGX hopes to leverage its fan base with extensions into top quality ancillary products. The new items include mousse, hairspray glues, pomades and dry shampoos, according to Michael Marquis, president of Vogue International, now a Johnson & Johnson company. The company also just unwrapped a global campaign, called #RockWhatYouGot, encouraging consumers to embrace the hair they have.
There’s also excitement brewing behind Henkel’s U.S. rollout of Gliss Hair Repair. Gliss uses a formula intended to repair damaged hair from the inside out, incorporating liquid keratin technology for hair that the company said produces greater shine, is healthier looking and up to 90% stronger than untreated hair. The Gliss Hair Repair line includes shampoos, conditioners, anti-break treatment and a lift-up spray. What’s especially positive for retailers is that the treatment items are turning at the same rate as shampoo and conditioners, according to Ed Vlacich, GM beauty care, for Henkel Consumer Goods.
In hair color, retailers are enthused about bold new shades, as well as temporary edgy colors. There’s also opportunity in a new hair color from L’Oréal USA’s multicultural beauty division. Dark & Lovely Color-Gloss Ultra Radiant Color Crème is a no-ammonia hair color that protects curled or relaxed hair from damage. That product honors Dark & Lovely’s heritage as a pioneer in hair color formulated for African-American women.
Finally, the styling and treatment segments of total hair care should grow as more women embrace their textured tresses. An eye-opening 60% of those in the United States report that their hair is textured — be it curly, wavy, kinky or coily. That’s prompted the industry to merchandise by type of hair rather than ethnicity.
According to Michelle Breyer, co-founder of TextureMedia, these consumers spend 100% more than their straight-haired counterparts. “They like to experiment, they buy retail and are beauty junkies,” she said. Her company’s Texture Trends report, released in February 2017, found curly-haired shoppers spend an average of $82 over a three-month period, versus $40 for the same time frame for those without texture.