"Maybe it's a new chapter in my life."
That's how Amit (aka, "Mook"), a 44-year-old dude who's had a thick beard for 14 years, describes the experience of shaving it off in "My New Face," a three-minute online film by Israeli agency BBR Saatchi & Saatchi for Super-Pharm's private label line of Life M6 razor blades.
Since the M6 competes with better-funded brands such as Gillette, "traditional messaging promoting efficiency due to number of blades" would likely have proven "majorly ineffective," says BBR's Eva Hasson. "That's why we decided to follow a different approach."
The idea for the film originated with an agency staffer who recalled that as a child, he did not immediately recognize his father after he shaved off his trademark beard. Much to the agency's surprise, the client proved eager to give the offbeat idea a try.
"We were offering to shoot a documentary, which is not your regular advertising format where things are scripted," Hasson says. "This format is a lot riskier, and we warned our client that we may ultimately go through all the motions and end up with nothing. Truth be told, we actually shot three documentaries—only one worked out. This was a gutsy decision by the client, who rolled with us, and so far, the movie has garnered over 430,000 views in under a week."
Agency creatives were also surprised to learn "the volume and sheer power of the emotional attachment men have developed toward their beards," says Hasson. "Some of the topics uncovered were the fact people like to hide behind their beard. It gives them a sense of security. It is an exteriorization of their virility. They believe it is a source of authority."
Indeed, in the video, Amit admits that he "can't remember being so nervous," and frets about "loss of virility, loss of intimidation power." Once the six-bladed cartridge has done its work, Amit looks at least 10 years younger and—in my estimation, at any rate—more friendly and approachable than he had before.
The reactions of his family are priceless. And in the end, the special people in Amit's life heartily approve of the change, and our hero embraces his "new self," reveling in the nearly forgotten tactile sensations he can once again enjoy. It's almost as if he's cut through a barrier he didn't know existed. "It's amazing," he says.
"It's about the simple pleasures that come from being clean shaven," says Hasson. "Little things like the ability to feel a gentle breeze and the sunshine on your face, to kiss without tickling, to look younger."
Few consumers will undergo such an intense sensation of renewal by using M6 blades. Still, the film does a fine job of boosting the brand by transforming a basic consumer good into an almost mystical agent of change.
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