As the summer begins its final bow into autumn, most female customers are ready to put away their bathing suits and summer dresses, and take razors and shaving cream out of their daily routine. But despite shaving cream historically being a seasonal product, Eos is trying to push shaving as a year-round need.
According to a May 2021 report on shaving from Mintel, the U.S. shaving market reached nearly $1.1 billion in 2020 retail sales, a decline of 2.7% from 2019. The report also noted that 33% of women say they remove unwanted hair from their body for skin-care reasons. It also showed that influencers and social media are a “key to success” for the shaving category.
“The shaving and hair removal market is price sensitive and was already on a sluggish trajectory before Covid-19,” said Olivia Guinaugh, Mintel home and personal care analyst. “Focusing on benefits beyond hair removal, particularly those related to skin care and efficacy, like improved application of other skin-care products, may not only help lift sales in the near term, but [it could] also increase category potential.”
Eos has increased its shaving cream marketing by 300% in 2021, compared to previous years, and its shaving category sales are 30% higher to date, year-over-year, said Soyoung Kang, Eos CMO. Eos previously refined and revised its lip care assortment, and it now has the bandwidth to focus its attention on shaving, which was in fact the first product Eos ever launched, in 2008, she said.
On Monday, Eos launched a zany digital campaign called Vagnastics, which takes humorous inspiration from 1980s jazzercise. During the one-and-a-half-minute video featuring the Eos shave cream, three instructors offer exercise stretches and positions for shaving the bikini area, with such names as the “The Wartime Captain” or “The Cello.” It is being distributed through paid YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram ads. The Vagnastics campaign takes up approximately one-third of the brand’s overall shaving marketing budget and runs until October, Kang said.
“We feel that using humor in this type of marketing helps de-stigmatize the topic, [unlike] speaking about it in a mysterious way as brands have done in the past,” she said. “We’re trying to continue the dialogue around this specific use case and wanted to target and reach a younger audience that’s just starting out shaving and probably has a lot of questions about what to use and how to use it.”
The dialogue around using Eos shave cream for the bikini area stems from TikToker Carley Joy (@Killljoyy; 993,000 TikTok followers), who talked about using the product to shave her vulva in February. The unpaid viral moment received 5 million “likes,” nearly 30,000 comments and almost 20 million views. Eos jumped on the opportunity. Eos launched a limited-edition DTC e-commerce-only shaving cream called “Cooch Blessings,” signed Carley Joy as a TikTok brand ambassador, engaged Snapchat as an education-focused portal for shavings tips and tricks, and partnered with YouTube-based network BratTV on a shave cream-focused integration targeting Gen Zers.
“[We’re trying to] buck the historic seasonality of the shaving category, but [it’s worth noting] that the seasonality of shave is the opposite of the seasonality of lip care,” said Kang. “It’s important for us to be able to grow our footprint in other categories that reflect different growth trends, so that we have a diversified portfolio approach across our entire assortment.”