Almost-obscenities are having a good run in ads this month. First, we had Kmart's "Ship My Pants" spot, which has made millions of people laugh like 9-year-olds. Now, it's Philips Norelco's turn—with a campaign themed "I'd FAQ me."
A pair of spots show hirsute fellows using Philips Norelco's electric razors to do a little manscaping—trimming back the weeds both up there and down there. With each clip and shave, the guys remark on how attractive they're becoming by suggesting what they'd do to themselves if they were an admirer.
"I'd wink at me," says one guy. "I'd pop a bottle with me. I would share a shawarma with me. … I'd snuggle up with me. I'd invite me up to watch a movie. I'd have a wine with me." At the end, he concludes: "I'd FAQ me," with the middle word, a good sound-alike for the F-bomb, silenced—and his mouth pixellated.
The spots lead to an impressive website, idFAQme.com, which invites you to scroll down the length of a dude's body, with pointed product benefits listed all the way down.
Ogilvy & Mather creative director Zach Korman says the campaign isn't so much about being provocative as being honest about how young guys in the target market think about themselves and their looks. "We all have little rituals and stories we play out in our heads," he says. "With more confidence, more possibilities open up in life. Those 'possibilities' just generally end up in the same place more often than not."
The "FAQ" idea didn't come out of nowhere. "We had an assignment to both showcase a new product launch as well as convince guys that the electric category would be worth considering," says Korman. "So what's the most recognizable fact-delivery convention online? Obviously, that'd be an FAQ—but through the lens of our campaign, of course. Which meant less body copy and more body shots."
The website is intended to wow a segment that's used to plenty of bells and whistles online. "I don't think anyone would expect a 360-3D-nose-to-tail-shaving-hair-test-drive," says Korman. He adds that he doesn't expect the campaign to stir up any negative controversy. "In television, film and advertising, we're seeing some of the boundaries of tone and language extend a bit further every day," he says. "I don't think we're saying anything that isn't already out there in the ether."
Client: Philips Norelco
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York
Chief Creative Officer: Calle Sjoenell
Executive Creative Director: Jason Marks
Creative Directors: Zach Korman, Tom Elia, Craig Mannion
Art Directors: Lukas Lund, Andreas Hoff
Copywriter: Mikio Bradley
Art Director: Brad Warsh
Senior Information Architect: Annie Wong
Managing Director: Matt Dowshen
Account Director: Jennifer Natuzzi
Account Supervisor: Kara Shenton
Account Executive: Amanda Warren
Planning Director: Paula Bloodworth
Chief Production Officer: Matt Bonin
Executive Producer: Melanie Baublis
Senior Producer: Susan Rafter
Production Coordinator: Dana Malinick
Music Producer: Karl Westman
Integrated Content Production Business Manager: David Halberstadt
Managing Director, Digital Delivery: Kathleen Gareiss
Executive Director, Digital Production: Angela Fung
Associate Director, Technology Management: Jordan Saletan
Associate Director, Systems Architecture: Todd Harpersberger
Director, Quality AssuranceRaul Morales
Associate Director of Marketing Analytics: Omari Jinaki
Integrated Communications Planner: Kacy Erdelyi
Marketing Strategy: Michael Gallo
Director: Michael Downing
Executive Producer: Melissa Culligan
Line Producer: Eric Sedorovitz
Cosmo Street Editorial
Editor: Tom Scherma
Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
Producer: Heather Richardson
Assistant Editor: Zack Winick
Mixer: Steve Rosen
Colorist: Tim Masick
End Tag Animation:
Executive Producers: Esther Downton, Mark Pytlik
Director, Art Director: Morgan Harary
Creative Technologist: P.J. Ahlberg
Interactive Producer: Sean Manion
Content Producer: Stine Moisen
Director of Photography: Lukasz Pruchnik
Developers: Charlie Clark, Marco Rosella
Motion Design: Erik Sigblad, Harry Thompson
Additional Post: Light of Day