Old Spice

5 Clever Social Media Campaigns Targeting Men

According to an infographic on sexes in social media, 56 percent of social media users are women. Facebook is skewed female by 58 percent, Twitter by 64 percent, and Pinterest caters to the ladies four times more than men. There is no real mystery to the gender gap that populates social media. Women, after all, possess an innate need for communication, which Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can potentially satisfy on a daily basis.

So, could men be considered a niche market? Hardly. Males still dominate sites like Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and even YouTube, not to mention they make up the other 42% and 36% of Facebook and Twitter respectively.

Many social media campaigns target men specifically, perhaps the most famous one of all being The Old Spice Guy. With quick-witted humor and the tagline “Smell like a man, man,” Isaiah Mustafa quickly became a popular and oft-quoted figure in TV commercials. Then Old Spice developed a social media campaign allowing him to respond to questions directly via online videos – 180 to be exact. Throw Twitter in the mix, plus a mention from the ever-followed Ashton Kutcher, and the buzz following the campaign is still being generated two years later.

Several other brands are jumping on the Social Media Campaign Trail as well to reach their target audience of men, and succeeding with creative content and direct branding. Here are 5 examples of brands targeting men through social campaigns.

Dollar Shave Club

A few months ago, a little Internet startup with a simple premise and a healthy dose of wit bashed the Internet over its head. If you haven’t seen Dollar Shave Club’s viral video yet, prepare to get excited about razors:

Why It Works

The proposition is simple, “Our Blades are F*****g Great,” and addresses two age-old “man” problems right off the bat: 1) paying too much for razors and 2) forgetting to buy them. The pitch solves them both and lets you know right away, “For just a dollar a month, we send a high quality razors right to your door.” Easy, right? Funny and to the point wins the race.

Mike from Dollar Shave Club directly addresses his customer, young adult men, and does a pretty good job by acting like one himself. In fact, he actually trained with the sketch comedy group Upright Citizens Brigade, and it shows. Given the simplicity of the video, he also shows you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a high-production advertisement. Show who you are, solve a real problem, and your audience will care. Authenticity is key.

We’ve seen deadpan humor and endlessly quotable one-liners before like the aforementioned Old Spice Guy? Everybody likes to laugh and it’s a great reason to share funny material online. Mike shows us that even a hard sell can be a hoot.

Gymkhana 5

In a series of successful racing videos from DC Shoes, Ken Block, professional rally driver and co-founder of the clothing brand, participates in some exciting automative shenanigans. In Gymkhana 5, Block races around the streets of San Francisco for 10 fast-paced minutes of pure adrenaline and hoonery.

Why It Works

Gymkhana shows great content doesn’t need to be swimming in logos and branding to be effective. It’s exciting. It’s emotive. It’s engaging. It has one specific goal in mind: draw the attention of every car guy possible, then actually hold that attention for five to ten minutes.

What DC and Gymkhana did very well is give viewers control of where to watch it. They not only made content that viewers want to share with friends but also made it extremely easy to do so, beginning with YouTube and expanding out from there. DC Shoes was not stingy with embed links and formats, making the video readily available in downloads with the potential to be viewed on laptops, iPhones, iPads and more. In doing so, they were able to achieve 500,000 shares in its first 24 hours alone and get the video into as many hands as possible. The high-quality production and HD format of the video are also worth noting, because really, how else would you want to watch a slow-motion 360 donut?

In specifically targeting a narrow audience (a.k.a. car guys) they were able to create great content that served a wider audience as well.

Movember, Changing the Face of Men’s Health

For the month of November, Movember encourages men to grow a mustache or “Mo” in order to generate funding and awareness for men’s health. Launched in 2004, the campaign really took off in the last two years thanks to social media and raised more than $120 million for prostate cancer research in 2011.

Why It Works

“We as men don’t feel comfortable talking about our health,” says Movember co-founder Adam Garone. However, growing a mustache gives men an easy  and fun segue into a conversation about men’s health. Prostate cancer and other men’s health topics affect many people. So, it’s not difficult to comprehend why the #Movember hashtag dominates social media like Twitter and Facebook during the month of November, not to mention phrases like “prostate cancer” and “getting checked.” These trends suggest men are actually responding and going to the doctor, which is the ultimate goal of the program.

When you add social media into the mix, the potential reach of the conversation is endless, but you can’t get in your own way. Men can generate all this chatter and keep the conversation going, but the people behind Movember had to be willing to relinquish some control of their brand, something many companies have an issue doing while holding on to brand integrity. Darone mentioned they reached 800,000+ Brand Ambassadors last November, but to be successful he had to trust the community, allowing them to speak on the benefits men’s health awareness.

So, what’s the lesson? If you’re trying to generate awareness about an embarrassing topic, create a sense of solidarity through symbolism.

Carlsberg, “That Calls For A Carlsberg”

Carlsberg took to a shot at a social stunt last year to generate conversation for their campaign. They filled a 150-seat theater in Brussels, Belgium, with 148 of the most intimidating, mean and hulky looking bikers they could find and left two seats empty in the dead center. For those who took the seats, Carlsberg rewarded their act of bravery, with applause and fresh, cold beer of course:

Why It Works

Would you sit down? Which of your friends would run in the opposite direction? The bravery to face your fears is something to be admired, says the beer label. The video ties into its larger advertising campaign, with the tagline “That calls for a Carlsberg,” aimed at rewarding men who step out of their comfort zones and prove themselves to be courageous. The simple yet effective story caught the attention of millions who identified with the emotions, and the YouTube video has 11.7 million views as of September 2012.

Indeed, the candid-camera style format is a favorite of many, and when placed on a social medium it has an even greater effect. Did you know what you were getting into when you watched the ad? I sure didn’t. The surprise is so genuine and applause so encouraging, it makes you want to share the video with your family and friends.

Degree For Men, “Masters of Movement”

Degree Men’s Deodorant turned to social video and social gaming to promote their line of Adrenaline products with the campaign “Masters of Movement.” The four part series of videos features extreme sports icons on outdoor adventures and allows social gamers to earn points and currency.

Why It Works

With a goal to increase the brand’s interaction with its core consumers, Degree was successful in leveraging social gaming to reach their audience of 18 to 35-year-old males through a partnership with Ubisoft on the new Adrenaline game for Xbox Kinect and PS3 Move. They also provided an Adrenaline game for mobile, social and in-banner use.

Degree was also effective in tying their new line of MotionSense into their video. MotionSense is a sweat technology that releases bursts of fragrance to fend off sweat and odor in response to body movement. The video is similar to Gymhkana in that it does not excessively promote the product; however, it produces great content that generates conversation and directly ties in with the video’s movement and action.

Major Takeaways

  • Know your audience and where to find them. When aiming for men, incorporate sites like YouTube or gaming.
  • Create engaging content that’s not swimming in branding and let the conversation flow from there.
  • Make content accessible and shareable, especially when it comes to embedding videos.
  • Know where you audience is and exploit the relevant networks to make your campaign as visible as possible.
  • Evoke emotions like anticipation, suspense, courage or joy.
  • Don’t be scared of humor and quirky one-liners to convey your message.

What are some of your favorite campaigns targeted towards men?

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2 Comments
  • Utkarsh Pande
    Posted at 03:11h, 19 November

    true. Social media has given power to emerging ideas/businesses like never before.

  • Utkarsh Pande
    Posted at 03:11h, 19 November

    true. Social media has given power to emerging ideas/businesses like never before.

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