Razor market disruption kicked off the halcyon days of the direct-to-consumer boom with brands like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s pushing people to reconsider their razor preferences via Facebook and Instagram ads that became the DTC playbook. Long-time razor-maker Bic is now pushing a new EasyRinse razor to bring in new users.
“We have our biggest innovation in over 40 years with the EasyRinse razor,” said Katie Potocki, marketing director for Bic Blade Excellence, adding that the innovation came from consumer insight around clogged razors and the annoyance they cause. “We have our largest investment in our [advertising] campaign in over five years. This is a big priority for us as a company.”
To pitch the new razor, Bic is focusing its media spending on digital, social and influencer marketing working with celebrities like comedian Eric Andre, actress Annie Murphy and, most recently, Vanderpump Rules reality star Ariana Madix.
That partnership with Madix, in particular, used humor to connect the product benefit of the new razor — unclogging — to Madix’s recent breakup and the cheating scandal that’s been the focus of Vanderpump Rules and reignited cultural interest in the series in recent weeks. Aside from a 30-second spot that appeared during the season finale of Vanderpump Rules on Bravo, Bic has stopped spending on linear TV.
“Digital and social is where consumers are at so we’ve shifted from more traditional channels like linear TV to more digital, social and influencers,” said Potocki.
It’s unclear how much Bic is spending on the effort as Potocki declined to share budget specifics. Throughout 2022, Bic spent $870,633 on media placements for its razors, up from $640,867 during 2021, per data from Vivvix, including paid social data from Pathmatics.
Finding ways to make a brand relevant via a cultural moment like working with a reality star at the center of an ongoing scandal is a logical albeit risky move for a brand, according to Mat Zucker, senior partner, co-lead of marketing and sales at brand consultancy Prophet. “It’s high risk, unknown reward,” said Zucker of the strategy. “Hitching a ride to culture could have no pay off, high payoff or something in the middle.”
Bic has already “seen tremendous results in terms of sentiment and social listening” and added that they’ve also seen a sales increase, per Potocki. Whether the brand will aim to tap into a cultural moment again will depend on brand fit and target consumer.
Going forward, the company is focused on “bringing new consumers into the Bic franchise,” said Potocki. “Historically, we have not been a leader in new technology. We’ve been a fast follower. This is the first time we’re leading with technology.”
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