P&G will open its first Old Spice barbers shop in Ohio this March that will also serve as a retail store, a digital content studio for creators as well as a test lab to inspire new product development.
Highlighting the growing importance of user-generated video, creators and social media content as part of brand activation, the location will feature a fully fledged studio allowing content to be captured and live streamed. Old Spice has a roster of celebrity barber ambassadors, each who have celebrity clients including actors, athletes and musicians. These will be invited to create content and provide tutorials on men’s grooming.
What does the team at Valley make of this?
Well first of all, being from Old Spice, this experience is bound to smell great!
This move from P&G signals a return to IRL ‘in-real-life’ brand activations and experiential marketing that had been brought to a standstill around the world for so many months now. P&G’s move confirms the sense of optimism and green shoots of recovery expected in the retail and services sector, boosted by the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Whilst many men now order their grooming supplies online, this physical space provides a fully-branded ‘high touch’ space where people can connect with the brand and experience the physical products as part of barber services and treatments. By combining this bricks-and-mortar location with an in-house content studio, Old Spice can leverage the reach and influence of it’s celebrity Barber ambassadors, as well as their famous clients. Plus, with content produced on-site, Old Spice has complete control of the whole process and can ensure content aligns with the brand.
The opening P&G’s Old Spice barber shop coincides with their “constructive disruption” strategic approach; according to Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, that means putting more emphasis on innovations and being able to adapt to changing customer needs faster.
Whilst ‘disruption’ has become something of a buzzword in recent years, it’s clear that the larger FMCG players are starting to drive their teams to act with a more entrepreneurial, startup mentality. That can only be a good thing for growth.