Barbasol Names Onion Labs Its Creative Agency of Record

Content shop launches campaign promoting brand's expansion into razors

A broadcast spot calls the brand's expansion into razors a “no brainer,” comparing it to hand signals in baseball. YouTube: Barbasol Shave Cream
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Shaving brand Barbasol has selected The Onion’s content studio, Onion Labs, to serve as its creative agency of record.

Onion Labs’ first campaign for Barbasol launched earlier this month. The campaign, which promotes the brand’s expansion into razors, will run across broadcast, digital and radio. A broadcast spot calls the expansion a “no brainer,” comparing it to hand signals in baseball.

Onion Labs general manager Julie Scott said the agency has “long believed” that the “true bedrock of any first-world economy” is advertising.

“That’s why we entered this most sacred arena—and we are able to help brands stand out by injecting a smart, comedic approach into everything we do,” she continued. “Our partners at Barbasol let us play into the obviousness of a brand like theirs expanding into razors, which allows us to create smart content—not just ads—that audiences will actually want to watch and engage with.”

Barbasol selected GSD&M as its agency of record back in August of 2012. It is unclear when exactly the brand ended its partnership with the agency.

“Our recent marketing efforts with Onion Labs help support the obvious evolution into razors for the Barbasol brand, and we wanted to tell that story in a fun and engaging way,” said John Price, president of Barbasol parent company Perio, Inc. “Feedback on our new line of products has been very positive, and we’re excited to share our story with even more consumers in this new campaign.”

Onion Labs’ selection comes at a time when publishers’ content studios are becoming an attractive alternative to advertisers. The shop isn’t the only publisher-affiliated creative content studio to win an AOR assignment in recent months. The Fader’s Cornerstone launched its first campaign for Major League Soccer in February after being named the league’s new agency of record.

Barbasol spent over $5.2 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, up from around $2.1 million in 2016, according to Kantar Media.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.