IdeaVillage’s recent launch of the MicroTouch Tough Blade shows that consistent messaging—and a well-placed celebrity endorsement—can build brands fast. Made in Germany of Teflon-coated steel, MicroTouch razors rinse cleaner than most multiple-blade razors, allowing them to last longer. IdeaVillage promises that each cartridge will last a month and sells a 12-pack for the low MSRP of $19.95. “You’re getting a year’s worth of quality shaves for less than $20,” says Andy Khubani, chairman and CEO of IdeaVillage. “It’s a tremendous value.”
The razors were “doing okay” on the market for the first six months, he says. Then, the company introduced spots featuring Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Brett Favre. A hero to, and an exemplar of, the target market, he gave MicroTouch the credibility it needed, Khubani says. Riffing on Favre’s notorious on-again-off-again retirements, the ads said, “He’s coming out of retirement, and he’s going to change the game,” before slyly revealing that “the game” was male grooming.
Launched during the holiday season last year, the short-forms benefited immediately from a double-edged dose of serendipity: First, the Green Bay Packers retired Favre’s jersey in a televised ceremony on Thanksgiving Day. And in the same month, fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings slashed their national ad spend after being banned in Nevada and New York. “All the stars were aligned,” Khubani says. “The creative was right, they were retiring Favre’s jersey, and we had a lot of opportunistic media.”
In the following weeks, the MicroTouch Tough Blade quickly became the No.1 razor in the drugstore channel. And after IdeaVillage relaunched MicroTouch Max trimmers with a new campaign featuring a shaggy-haired, still-retired Favre, they went to the top as well.
MicroTouch ads continue to feature Favre across channels—on TV, in print and free standing inserts (FSIs), and on product packaging at retail, where nine out of 10 shoppers still prefer to buy replenishment items such as razors. “We want to hit the consumer everywhere, so they really start to see the brand wherever they look,” Khubani says. “You tell the story and saturate the market. When consumers see the brand in print, on TV, and at retail, it gives them a higher comfort level for buying.”
Ian P. Murphy is senior editor at ER magazine.
The above originally appeared in the July-August 2016 issue of ER magazine.