Edge Shave Gel is hitting the airwaves for the first time in at least three years with a new TV spot via AOR JWT. The ad -- intended to appeal to regular guys, versus super athletes and the elite -- started Tuesday night on cable networks like Comedy Central, History, MTV, Spike, TBS, ESPN, and Versus, and goes on Fox later this week.
The new spot uses a "ready room" theme that has the main Edge spokesperson, played by actor John Behlmann, walking through different environments -- a locker room, garage, and vestibule before a wedding -- where guys get ready "for whatever it is they're getting ready for."
Jeffrey Wolf, senior brand manager for Edge, says the timing of the new campaign is in part to mark the second anniversary of parent St. Louis, Mo.-based Energizer Holding's acquisition of Edge and Skintimate from S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. $275 million.
"Their focus had been driving volume in the short term versus equity building. We are trying to drive brands. The good news is since Edge is still seen as a pioneer out there, brand awareness and equity are strong," says Wolf, who adds that the company discovered from its own study via Millward-Brown that the Edge brand is in good health, "but we can't rest on our laurels because of the competitiveness of the segment."
Wolf says the idea is to create a single brand voice and be true to the "Edge guy," who he describes as more "every day" than the celebrities, athletes and the like who traditionally populate ads for men's grooming products. "What you will see from Edge now through summer is a heavy TV presence that will be the lead communications vehicle," says Wolf. "Right now it's one ad, but we are hoping to evolve over time and make Behlmann our brand spokesperson."
Since the company acquired the brand, it has been doing equity-building programs starting last year around social media and sponsorships. The company did a campaign in the social space that called out the Edge's equity as a solution to irritation, extending the definition from the epidermis to day life.
"We have also tied to the [Ultimate Fighting Championships], which is an example of how we are in passion points as a way to build equity and break through to consumers," says Wolf, who adds that the most recent such effort, "Ultimate Shave, Ultimate Games," involves Edge (and sibling brand Schick and Quattro) brand integration in Sony's PlayStation and games like "Killzone" and "Gran Turismo 5" that offers free upgrades.