dying for something different

I’m a patient person, I really am. But the wait for a male hair dye company to come out with some decent packaging is seriously beginning trying my patience.

I know I was moaning about how bad the TV adverts are for these products last week but I think I was actually missing the point – the problem starts with the packaging. The thing is, when I buy a pair of Calvin Klein briefs it’s because I fancy myself looking like the man on the packet. In a moment of (admittedly rather tragic) body dysmorphia I see myself as that man with the six pack and eye-popping bulge. Most men do.

So, if I’m a man scouring the shelves in Boots for a product to disguise my ever increasing grey hairs do I come across L’Oreal’s Excell 5 and really think “Blimey, I wish I looked like that man with the bouffant hair and pink lipstick?” Or do I look at a Just For Men packet and think “Wow, if I used that product I too could look like a cheesy American version of Nick Clegg!” You know the answer and so do I.

Sadly, I suspect the poor UK marketing peeps at both these companies know it too. The problem is the head honchos in Paris, America or what other foreign land they originate from don’t.

Thank goodness, then, that Trevor Sorbie has a clue. His hair dyes for men are the only ones I can find that actually feature blokes you’d remotely want to emulate. Okay, so I’m never going to look like the guy on the pack but at least he’s attractive and vaguely approachable. And look, not a hint of lipstick in sight!

Just For Men – more classic badvertising

Due to a family illness I’ve not had the time, nor the inclination, to carry on my grooming blog of late. But now that things have – thankfully – levelled out a bit and life is on the mend it’s time to return to the really important things in life. Things like man boobs, moisturiser and how to make your nuts look bigger with the help of pubic topiary. But before I return to discussing these things I need to get something off my chest.

It relates to the appalling state of male grooming ads at the moment and in particular that god-awful TV add for Just For Men doing the rounds. I’m talking about the one the with the cheesy man going for a job interview whose worried about his grey getting on the way of a promotion. There’s some nonsense about wearing the right tie too. Personally, if I were him I’d be far more worried about my gormless, pop-eyed daughter’s potential thyroidism myself but there you go.

My biggest gripe, however, is that the company seem to think that British men are forgiving enough to put up with a load of second-rate dubbing. I mean, really. We might be used to this sort of cheapskatery when it comes to ads for air freshener (that awful one with the particularly flatulent oriental child springs to mind) but in an ad aimed at ordinary British blokes? C’mon. It’s an utter joke and only serves to make your product look like some cheesy American invention you’re desperately trying to flog over here but which has absolutely no bearing on the average British man’s life whatsoever.

Contrast this with this piece of penny-pinching rubbish with the wonderful Stars Wars spoof in the new Strongbow ad – a set piece that’s clever, humorous and perfectly aimed at male consumers who (shock horror) are surprisingly sophisticated these days. Yes, I know the Strongbow ad probably had a budget the size of the Death Star itself but that’s not the point. They take their customer seriously and treat him with some respect. What annoys me about the Just For Men commercial is that the ad itself is clearly made on a shoestring to begin with so how expensive could it be to remake one in the native tongue and tailored to the British psyche?

The bizarre thing is that Just For Men is Britain’s No 1 selling hair dye for men (I’m rather partial to the excellent beard dye myself) and the company are keen to capitalise on the current rise in interest from British men in hair dying. What’s more, the product itself is excellent. So why shoot yourself in the foot with such lamentable badvertising?

So Just For Men, next time you’re making an TV ad for the UK market why not take a tip from your own brand name and make it…Just for the UK, okay?

Oh it feels good to be back.

Time for More Ties

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