Unilever's McCarthy: ‘Commando shopping’ leads to dedicated men’s grooming sections


Men are taking better care of themselves and buying more personal care products. Matthew McCarthy, senior director men’s personal care at Unilever, tells DSN how to meet these new needs.

DSN: How has the men’s personal care category grown and innovated this year?

Matthew McCarthy: Men are becoming increasingly engaged in their personal care routines, meaning they are seeking out more information on the products they use and ingredients they need and want. Based on men’s specific preferences and evolving needs, we’ve developed products for our whole range of men’s personal care brands that better align with what guys need and are asking for.

DSN: How is Unilever marketing these innovative men’s personal care products to consumers in new and different ways?

McCarthy: As the leader in men’s personal care, first and foremost we create products that reflect what men want. We know men are looking for products specifically designed for them and their personal grooming needs. The entire Unilever men’s personal care portfolio was developed on these insights, and our brands, including AXE, Dove Men+Care, Degree, Vaseline MEN and Suave Men, deliver with products designed specifically for men.  

Furthermore, we understand that more guys today are shopping and buying their own personal care products. We also know that guys like to get in, grab what they need and get out. At Unilever, we call this “commando shopping.” To ensure that we capture guys’ attention, we’ve worked with retailers to create dedicated men’s grooming sections and disruptive in-aisle marketing that connect directly with men. But, what really drives interest and demand for our products is what we do outside the retail environment.

Through our marketing efforts, Unilever forges emotional connections with men that follow them in-store throughout their shopping experience. For example, our new AXE point of view on masculinity, confidence and attraction — the very elements the brand has always stood for — champions authentic and individual style. It’s called “Find Your Magic,” and it’s received an overwhelmingly positive response since we first brought it to life in January.

DSN: What can we expect from Unilever and the men’s personal care business over the next year?

McCarthy: At Unilever, we’ve been at the forefront of masculinity and developing products specifically designed for men for more than 30 years. We have a wide range of products that align with men’s interests and fulfill their needs across all personal care categories, including skin care, hair care and antiperspirant/deodorant. For 2017, we’re really excited because this will only continue with the introduction of new and innovative products that help men embrace a full head-to-toe regimen to look, smell and — most importantly — feel good.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds