Clinique for Men is adding guys to its squad—and counting on a more attuned male audience with its new campaign, #behindtheface.
Launching in September, the global campaign is a digital push featuring three male faces Clinique has dubbed influencers for their relatable qualities — South Korean-American actor Daniel Dae Kim, British author and photographer Levison Wood and an undisclosed third, who will be announced in conjunction with a new product launch in April 2017. The time is right for a men’s push, said Julien Moignard, vice president of skin-care marketing at Clinique for Men. The brand is banking on its research that men now — particularly Millennials — are more interested in the concept of caring for their skin than they were 10 years ago.
“We have a shift…the younger generation, the digital generation has changed a lot. When you post pictures every day of yourself, you can imagine skin care has a great role to play. They know that they need to take care of it,” Moignard said.
The brand is prepared to meet this need with a laid-back approach to skin care that emphasizes individuality. “We want to create this squad of guys,” Moignard told WWD. “As men, you talk about girls, you talk about cars, but today you talk about your skin, too, and you need advice.”
Clinique executives declined to provide sales projections, but industry sources estimate the new campaign could generate double digit gains. Kline Group estimates retail sales for Clinique for Men in the U.S. in 2015 amounted to $40 million. The NPD Group ranks Clinique for Men in the number two spot in U.S. prestige stores, behind Jack Black, for 2015.
The #behindtheface campaign is centered on two 90-second videos that feature Kim and Levison regaling personal stories. Kim details the prejudice he faced growing up Asian-American in a predominantly white community and talks about how the experience ultimately shaped him, leading him to a career in acting and now as a new dad, influencing his parenting skills. Former British Army officer Levison discusses how his adventurous nature and military background led him to explore some 200 countries, documenting his travels along the way.
The videos will be promoted on clinique.com, the brand’s social media channels, and through paid media and a pr push on popular men’s editorial web sites.
Despite the campaign’s influencer focus, “product is the hero,” Moignard said. “We are a dermatology brand, driven by product…but we need to embody the brand and have a face. We [are] just evolving a little bit,” he told WWD.
Each influencer has been paired with a product he will promote, and the campaign launch coincides with the introduction of the brand’s latest product, the 2-in-1 Skin Hydrator and Beard Conditioner. Levison — who is bearded — has been paired with the product, a moisturizer that also conditions facial hair. Kim is aligned with the Oil Mattifying Moisturizer. Moignard said oil control is a top skin-care concern for men. Ease of use is another.
“We wanted to create a texture that blends effortlessly into the skin — that’s what a guy wants, something that is very easy,” said Scott Miselnicky, vice president of global product development.
Moisturizers are top of mind when it comes to product development, and the big launch next spring will fall into that area. “[Moisturizing] is the one gesture millions of men are doing every day,” Moignard said. “It’s the one category that helps us recruit.” Antiaging is another focus. Moignard said Clinique for Men’s research indicates 24 percent of men are concerned the negative effects of aging skin.
At a time when Macy’s is closing doors and department stores, in general, fail to excite customers, the brand plans to make use of a revamped website to appeal to new customers. The website will be launched in conjunction with the new campaign. According to Moignard, that will include an improved navigation experience, new Clinique for Men landing page, and a focus on content and how-to videos.