Schick’s new campaign “Free Your Skin” encourages men to lose the facial hair

Are you a fan of the manly beard? For the shaving company Schick’s “Free Your Skin” Campaign, Young & Rubicam New Zealand turns overgrown beards into cute animals, advocating the clean-shaven look and mocking unkempt facial hair.

This strange and hilarious series features three men with “beastly beards” that are so out of control they have turned into furry creatures—clearly urging men to pick up a razor and trim regularly.  In aninterview with Y & R, the bearded employees at the ad agency Metro “all confessed that their beards aren’t actually that pleasant to live with.”

When they were asked about the inspiration behind the ad, they said that “beards actually take on a persona of their own – a very clingy, irritating persona, much like a small pest.”  It’s widely believed that women find beards more attractive because it creates greater symmetry and a more defined jawline. But according to science, only half of them dig it. It seems the unkempt facial hair look is simply personal preference. As for the ad campaign itself, it sticks with you and walks the fine line between being an eye-catcher and a visceral turn-off.

A quick poll of our Firebrand Group team found that one week after exposure to the ad, all five respondents easily associated the ad with the Schick brand.  Guys: do you sport the rugged look? If so, is it to impress the ladies or too lazy to deal with it?  Ladies: does facial hair turn you on or off? Or is there a happy medium? How much is too much?