In a move that should have seemed obvious years ago, Philips Norelco is using the onset of the NHL Playoffs this week to celebrate the “Playoff Beard,” an NHL tradition that calls for players (and many fans) to forego shaving until they are eliminated from the contest to win the Stanley Cup.
“[Playoff beards] provide an awesome backdrop to talk about the brand, our products and the point of differentiation, which is [that] we make real tools for real guys,” Shannon Jenest, public relations director for Philips Norelco, tells Marketing Daily. “We know that when guys are growing their playoff beards, they’re serious about their facial hair.”
To further the promotion, the company has enlisted former hockey All-Stars Jeremy Roenick and Mike Modano to “face off” in some sort of beard growing/measurement contest. Jenest was coy about details, but a teaser video uploaded to YouTube touts the return of the “legendary long-time hockey rivals” to “be a part of history” in “one final match.”
“In hockey, both players and the fans are equally engaged with [playoff beards],” she says. “The players are a big part of the story but the fans are going to be a big part of the story as well. [Roenick and Modano] will be participating, but fans will also be part of the mix.”
Meanwhile, on a local level, Philips Norelco has partnered with five teams (the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators) for some in-arena activations during the Playoffs, such as a photo booth that includes bearded cut-outs for fans to take pictures at games, and a branded “Pro Beard Cam” that will showcase beard wearers in the crowd during games. A Facebook contest will also give fans the chance to enter a sweepstakes to win 2012-13 season tickets to one of those five teams, Jenest says.
“There will be stuff going on on Facebook to elicit friendly competition and prizes as well as a way for guys to document [their beards],” she says.