P&G’s plan to set up an Old Spice-inspired barbershop is a way to engage consumers directly with the men’s grooming brand, while also marking a return to experiential marketing efforts suspended during the earlier days of the pandemic. In the midst of concerns about the transmission of COVID-19, many barbershops temporarily closed last year and stay-at-home orders led to lower demand for grooming products. With the opening of a brick-and-mortar location that doubles as a content production studio to extend the experience effort to digital platforms including social media, Old Spice is now reversing course.
Old Spice can create original, brand-safe content that entertains viewers by enlisting celebrity barbers and their clientele to participate in the activation. It’s the latest step in positioning Old Spice as a helpful brand that, particularly among younger men, can install personal trust. That theme is central to the recently launched “Smell Ready for Anything” campaign by Old Spice, which aims to inspire people to humorously break out of their pandemic-related funk, consistent with the off-beat tone of their previous creative campaigns.
Easter eggs influenced by the brand will be featured in the store, including 3D models that show different haircuts and styles that clients can request. Those entering the Old Spice barbershop will be greeted at a reception desk made of a half-cut wooden boat, referring to a boat in the brand’s advertisements.
The opening of an Old Spice barbershop comes as the Procter & Gamble parent company embraces a “constructive disruption” strategy, a willingness to swap strategies rapidly to meet rapidly changing consumer demands. The strategy, as outlined by Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, includes a greater emphasis on innovation and faster marketing of products. In recent years, Pritchard has been tasked with cultivating a start-up mentality by his brand marketing teams, an effort that included the launch of an internal program called Growth Works, The Drum reported. By promoting social discussions that are a key source of real-time feedback from consumers, the Old Spice barbershop can assist with product development.