Haircare company SheaMoisture Men’s wants to remind Black men that it’s OK to take care of themselves -- and that self-care makes them better at loving others.
The company is launching a new “Black Men Love” campaign to reach their tender side. The effort stems from insights about a new willingness to see self-care differently, targeting a sea change in the Black community, especially among the brand’s Gen Z and millennial audience.
“The George Floyd moment was where people realized, 'Wow, there's a perception around Black men that's fueling a much broader narrative,’” says Taydra Mitchell, chief marketing officer of SheaMoisture. “Post-COVID, Black men have a different narrative about themselves. There's been an evolution around mental health and self-care and what that means for them.”
Mitchell tells Marketing Daily the shift shows up in trends like the Girl Dad movement, new definitions of masculinity, and ways this cohort uses grooming products.
She says she's been mulling elements of the “Black Men Love” idea for over a year, after she decided to bring flowers to a hospitalized older uncle.
“He’s not the kind of guy to talk about his feelings, and my family was like, 'He won’t want flowers.’ But I brought them to him anyway. And when it was time to leave, a family member was going to take the flowers home, and he said, 'No, I want them. The flowers are how people in the hospital know that someone loves me and appreciates me and that I'm cared about,’” she says.
“With this campaign, we want to give men their flowers.”
The campaign does that, both literally and figuratively. At “Show Black Men Love” pop-ups in New York and Los Angeles, the brand is giving men on the street flowers and love letters. The effort also includes digital content, with short vignettes of seven Black men navigating manhood and seeing how love shapes them as fathers, teachers, partners and professionals. The brand is also pushing out weekly affirmations for men on social media channels and hosting wellness events, focusing on topics of Black masculinity.
“We want this campaign to celebrate the various ways men show love to others, but is also very intentional about us showing them our love, respect, and appreciation,” Mitchell says.
SheaMoisture has a decades-long history, which she says gives it a level of authenticity other brands might not have. “We’re a Black women-led organization, and that gives us a unique perspective into the evolution of Black men around these topics,” she says. “But there’s a line we have to walk because we were acquired by Unilever in 2017 and are no longer Black-owned. It’s in our DNA, and we’re telling these stories in ways that can change societal narratives, inviting the community to join these conversations and support one another.”