REAL MEN

Groom­ing prod­ucts for guys reach­ing a wider au­di­ence than ever

Winnipeg Free Press - SundayXtra - - ONCE OVER - By Matthew Boyle — Bloomberg News

LON­DON — Paul Bopp is not a met­ro­sex­ual. The 38- year- old fa­ther of four played foot­ball in col­lege, loves bour­bon and never pays more than $ 20 for a hair­cut. Yet ev­ery evening, he ap­plies wrin­kle- fight­ing Olay skin cream to bat­tle the crow’s feet around his eyes.

“It’s 25 bucks for a bot­tle, but it’s worth it,” said Bopp, a wealth man­ager in Columbia, S. C. “My dad looked like he was 60 when he was 42. I don’t want that. The days of be­ing a Ne­an­derthal are over.”

Men such as Bopp are proof guys’ groom­ing prod­ucts — hair serums, eye rollers, ex­fo­li­at­ing scrubs — are reach­ing a wider au­di­ence than ever. Global sales of male toi­letries other than ra­zors, blades and shav­ing cream will rise five per cent to $ 17.5 bil­lion this year, sur­pass­ing the shav­ing seg­ment for the first time, ac­cord­ing to Euromon­i­tor. Unilever, with its Axe and Dove brands, has 26 per cent of the mar­ket, more than Proc­ter & Gam­ble Co., Nivea maker Beiers­dorf and L’Oréal com­bined.

That dom­i­nance has helped Unilever ex­pand both sales and profit mar­gins at its per­sonal- care unit, which ac­counts for 36 per cent of rev­enue and has off­set the slug­gish growth of its food brands. The seg­ment’s ex­pan­sion — fu­elled by in­no­va­tion, mar­ket­ing and a grow­ing re­al­iza­tion men want to do more in the morn­ing than just shower, shave and sham­poo — has even at­tracted fash­ion de­signer Tom Ford, who just in­tro­duced a line of prod­ucts such as a pu­ri­fy­ing mud mask.

“The key ob­jec­tive among all the man­u­fac­tur­ers is turn­ing a regime that you have to do into a rit­ual you want to do,” said Phil White, Euro­pean plan­ning di­rec­tor at mar­ket­ing firm Ge­om­e­try Global, part of Lon­don- based ad­ver­tis­ing group WPP Plc. “They are try­ing to es­tab­lish that rit­ual.”

That hasn’t been easy, as 90 per cent of men spend a half- hour or less get­ting ready in the morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to re­searcher Min­tel. Ben Voyer, a so­cial psy­chol­o­gist and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sor at ESCP Europe busi­ness school, said that’s due to the per­cep­tion men get more at­trac­tive as they age, so they don’t need to take care of their skin, and be­cause men sim­ply don’t worry as much about how they look.

Women use cos­met­ics “to sig­nal beauty and youth, which are the at­tributes men look for,” Voyer said. “Men, on the other hand, have tra­di­tion­ally sig­nalled sta­tus and wealth, the at­tributes women look for.”

Man­u­fac­tur­ers have found clever ways to con­vince guys to worry about their looks, ex­plain­ing their skin is dif­fer­ent — thicker, tougher, more oily — and re­quires spe­cial­ized prod­ucts. As a L’Oréal ad once warned: “You think you’re ag­ing well? She thinks you’re let­ting your­self go.” Half of Amer­i­can men now use skin- care prod­ucts as part of their daily rou­tine, Min­tel has found.

“Six years ago, I had one sham­poo, a body wash and a tooth­brush and that was it,” said Adam Caus­grove, 29, a grant ad­min­is­tra­tor in Pitts­burgh, Penn. “As I’ve got­ten older and more self- aware, I can­not be­grudge any­one for want­ing to put their best face for­ward.”

Male beauty brands aren’t new — Beiers­dorf in­tro­duced Nivea for Men back in 1986. Th­ese days, niche brands such as Bri­tain’s Bull­dog and France’s Nickel, part of In­ter Par­fums Inc., are help­ing ex­pand the mar­ket.

Both lines ap­peal to men by ex­plain­ing in sim­ple terms how, when and why to use their prod­ucts; Nickel’s re­vi­tal­iz­ing serum is called Morn­ing- Af­ter Res­cue. And Bull­dog, now sold in 13 coun­tries, takes a cheeky swipe at Dove’s Men+ Care and L’Oréal’s Men Ex­pert ranges, call­ing them “women’s brands in dis­guise.”

Most men, though, don’t mind us­ing brands geared to women. While 70 per cent of men ages 18 to 24 use fa­cial skin- care prod­ucts, only two in 10 buy male- only brands, Min­tel found. Caus­grove, for one, swears by Crab­tree & Eve­lyn’s al­co­hol- free af­ter­shave.

IN­CI­DENT 329

When: July 15 Where: 1400 block of Portage Av­enue A break- in oc­curred to a se­cured kiosk lo­cated in a shop­ping mall. Se­cu­rity cam­eras caught the break- in, which oc­curred af­ter hours and showed a fe­male gain­ing ac­cess to trays of jew­elry items and mak­ing off on foot. “I don’t know if it’s only for women, but I get hor­ri­ble ra­zor burn and this is re­ally good,” he says.

To at­tract more men, main­stream brands such as Nivea, Dove and L’Oréal have plowed money into new prod­ucts and are pay­ing celebri­ties such as Bri­tish ac­tor Hugh Lau­rie to en­dorse them. Over the past five years, the share of new per­sonal- care mer­chan­dise geared to men rose to 5.6 per cent from 4.6 per cent, Min­tel says. L’Oréal’s Men Ex­pert line will add 15 new prod­ucts this year, in­clud­ing a Hy­dra En­er­getic Mois­tur­izer de­signed for faces with a few days’ stub­ble, as more men es­chew daily shav­ing. Sun dam­age, oily skin and acne are other com­mon prob­lems.

In- store pro­mo­tions and sam­ples help lure cus­tomers; dur­ing the Euro­pean soc­cer cham­pi­onships last sum­mer, buy­ers of Nivea for Men got a free Eng­land shirt. And U. S. drug­store chain Wal­green Co. fea­tured male groom­ing in its stores each Satur­day in June, dub­bing the event “Satur­dudes.”

All that ac­tiv­ity has men talk­ing, even un­der the most un­likely cir­cum­stances. Bopp re­calls watch­ing an NFL game with friends re­cently in an At­lanta sports bar when the topic of skin creams came up.

“Ten years ago I would have got­ten laughed out of the bar,” he says. “Now you can drink a beer and watch foot­ball and talk mois­tur­iz­ers.”

IN­CI­DENT 330

When: Aug. 11 Where: 600 block of Watt Av­enue A male and fe­male at­tended to a con­ve­nience store. The duo walked around the store fill­ing their pock­ets with food and other store mer­chan­dise. When con­fronted by store staff, the pair re­fused to co- op­er­ate and fled. The per­sons in th­ese pho­tos are of in­ter­est and may be able to pro­vide po­lice with in­for­ma­tion about th­ese of­fences. Th­ese im­ages are re­leased for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pur­poses only. The sub­jects may or may not be re­spon­si­ble for the crimes in­di­cated. If you are able to iden­tify any­one in the pho­tos, con­tact Winnipeg Crime Stop­pers at 786- TIPS ( 786- 8477), text TIP170 and your mes­sage to CRIMES ( 274637), or leave a se­cure tip online at www. win­nipegcrimestop­pers. com

AL SEIB / MCT ARCHIVES

Mar­quez Briggs, 30, uses a foam­ing scrub cleanser dur­ing his morn­ing rou­tine.

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