Is Marketing for Men Moving in Another Direction?

Photo: Gillette

Charles Barkley is a new spokesperson for Weight Watchers. Football’s Terry Bradshaw is a new spokesperson for Nutrisystem.  New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees shows his paternal side in this ad for Vicks. And now, Gillette is getting tons of press for its new “brand ambassadors”: actor/musician André 3000, filmmaker and actor Gael García Bernal, and actor Adrien Brody. Brody was also in fancy imported beer Stella Artois’ first Super Bowl ad last year, a departure from the usual Budweiser fare.

The three are repping for the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler, a new shaving tool that grooms artsy-fartsy facial hair like goatees and, as Brody’s mom calls his facial design, “the Three Muskateer.” What caught our eye, besides that very sleek promo image of the three above, is how it veers away from Gillette’s usual spokespeople, which have included Tiger Woods and tennis star Roger Federer doing sports stuff.

And nowadays, even when an athlete is used, as in the first examples, it’s for a product that doesn’t traditionally place a ton of focus on marketing to men. (Though it’s worth noting that Dan Marino, another former football player, has been a spokesperson for NutriSystem for a while.)

We’ve gotten very used to the kinds of marketing for men that we see in beer commercials, GoDaddy ads, and this dumb Diet Dr. Pepper 10 promo from just a few months ago. And no doubt, some of the big Super Bowl ads coming  in just a few weeks will have the usual grunting, chips-with-the-guys-on-the-couch-while-the-wife-nags, guy BS that we’ve all come to groan at. But it seems as though companies are now stepping up their marketing towards men in even more ways that are less traditional than in the past.

Is it the next step in the mainstreaming of the metrosexual? Have men and the companies geared towards them evolved so that the gender line isn’t quite so clear any longer? Or is it that women are holding the purse strings more often now so the promotions have to appeal to female shoppers, even for men’s products?

Chances are it’s a bit of all of this, but please experts, feel free to take to the comments  and fill us in on what you think is going on.