Panasonic Unwraps ‘Beard Busting’ App

Panasonic is promoting the launch of new high-end razors with an iPhone application that lets consumers draw and “bust a beard.”

“Beard Buster” became available on Dec. 19, in order to market two razors: The ES-LA63-S and the ES-LA93K (which are priced at $300 and $400, respectively). The application allows users to upload a picture of themselves and use a sketch pen to draw anything from a goatee to a full-length beard. Consumers can then “bust a beard” with the “Shave it!” button, and send the result to friends on Facebook. 

Walter Taffarello, marketing manager for Panasonic’s wellness group, said the effort is Panasonic’s first foray into iPhone applications. It consists of an educational and a “fun” component, said Taffarello.

Panasonic initially promoted the razors via print ads in Good Housekeeping. But extending the campaign to mobile phones allowed Panasonic to reach a wider base of consumers—namely tech-savvy 25- to 45-year-olds, Taffarello said.

Panasonic is not the first company to link humor with shaving. Procter & Gamble earlier this year found viral success with its “How to Shave Your Groin” videos from Gillette. And in 2006, Panasonic competitor Philips Norelco ran a series of ads showing a man in a bathroom promoting the benefits of “shaving everywhere.”

Ad agency 360i handled creative and media duties on “Beard Buster,” while Panasonic’s internal team oversaw public relations. The razors will also be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month, and future advertising will center on key holiday buying periods like Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day.

Panasonic said the launch is on par with previous razor campaigns. In 2008, the company spent $200,000 marketing its razors, and virtually no money was spent on advertising through October of this year (excluding online), per Nielsen.