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by Mandy & Jon (@mandyldewaal) In recent years, the giants of the razor blade industry have been affected by trends in facial hair, which has had a knock-on effect on retailers. The hipster trend, in particular, has blunted the sales of razor brands which, in turn, has seen novel responses from advertisers.

A case in point is pharmacy retailer, Super-Pharm’s ‘documentary’ approach to advertising in Israel. The result is not so much a campaign to get bearded men to go clean shaven, but rather a quirky look at the culture of beards.

The agency, BBR Saatchi & Saatchi, Tel Aviv, came up with the idea of shooting a documentary/reality-based film, “My New Face”, to see what would happen if a man who had sported a beard for most of his adult life decided to shave it off. How would his family and friends react?

Although the production company filmed three different case studies, only one worked. The standout star of this show is a 44-year old man, Amit, whose nickname is Mook.

Interviewed before the big shave, Mook said he expected “five minutes of shock, bitter weeping for half an hour, then acceptance.” He also felt like he would lose ‘virility’ and ‘intimidation power’, but if his daughter wanted him to stay like that, he would.

Super-Pharm Life M6 TVC My New Face afterSuper-Pharm Life M6 TVC My New Face beforeThe shaving montage shows a few brief close-ups of the product, the “Life M6”, but the story here is more about Mook. And when the clean shaven man goes to visit his mother and sister in town, they don’t recognise him at first.

Then the camera captures their surprise… and in a touching moment, their delight. When Amit’s father arrives, he treats Mook like a normal customer, and there is a delightful double-take when he realises who it is (possibly because Mook has a distinctive giggle). “Before, you were impressive,” his father says, adding: “Now you’re handsome.”

Super-Pharm Life M6 TVC My New Face reactions of mother and twin sisterSuper-Pharm Life M6 TVC My New Face reaction of daughterSuper-Pharm Life M6 TVC My New Face father doesn't recognise him Super-Pharm Life M6 TVC My New Face reaction of wife The cutest moment (as one might expect) is when Mook arrives at his daughter’s nursery school to fetch her. She recognises his voice and endearments, but says, “You look like a different daddy.” When his wife arrives, her jaw literally drops, as she’s never seen him without a beard. She gives Mook a kiss and laughs, “I feel like I’m cheating on you.”

The ad ends with Mook saying how he’s enjoying feeling the sun and the wind on his skin, and his wife telling him it suits him. “Maybe it’s a new chapter in my life. It’s possible,” he says.

The payoff line at the end of the short documentary: “We were glad to be of help” — followed by a packshot of the M6.

The entire ad is filmed “fly-on-the-wall” style, with none of the participants seemingly noticing the camera; which makes their reactions all the more genuine. This, partly, is what makes this ad such a charmer.

It has some of the elements of a reality documentary, and while the cameras are not hidden, the reactions are reminiscent of “candid camera”. You feel as if you’re watching real people having a genuine experience.

In an age of disconnect this is a clever way for a brand such as Super-Pharm to connect with its customers, to earn good media coverage and create a right buzz on social media. Super-Pharm’s reality ad touches the heart, and will create an authentic connection with its target audience while promoting values such as family, caring and attention to detail.

Read & see more:

  • Man Shaves Beard Off After 14 Years, and Family Reacts in Shock, in Remarkable Razor Ad Almost a spiritual cleansing By David Gianatasio at AdWeek.
  • Man shaves after 14 years, makes family cry in the Times Of Israel.

Roll credits (via Creativity):

Client: Super-Pharm
Brand: Life Private Label Brand
Product: M6 razor blades
Agency: BBR Saatchi & Saatchi, Tel Aviv
Chief executive officer: Yossi Lubaton
Executive creative director: Nadav Pressman
Creative director: Idan Levy
Art director: Michal Gonen
Copywriter: Yair Zisser
Digital creative director: Maayan Dar
Vice president, production: Dorit Gvili
Producer: Odelia Nachmias Freifeld
Vice president, client services: Shani Vengosh Shaul
Supervisor: Noa Sharf
Account executive: Stav Hershkovitz
Vice president, strategic planning: Shai Nissenboim
Strategic planner: Roni Arisson
Planning information specialist: Eva Hasson
Traffic: Ronit Doanis, Yael Kaufman
Production company: T GO Tom Sofer
Director: Oded Binnun
Cameraman: Lael Utnik
Post-production: Broadcast

 

Jon & Mandy

 

Mandy de Waal and Jon Pienaar are writers, and are the co-founders of Jo!Ma Media — a company that creates kief content.

 

 

— MarkLives’ round-up of top ad and media industry news and opinion in your mailbox every Monday and Thursday.

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