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How MANSCAPED Brought Us 2 Pete Davidsons


The teams at Innocean Berlin and MANSCAPED on creating the funny spot featuring a ‘fake Pete’ and ‘real Pete’ to show how the grooming brand is for every beard, writes LBB’s Nisna Mahtani

How MANSCAPED Brought Us 2 Pete Davidsons

Full beard or not, men’s grooming brand MANSCAPED is here to save the day when it comes to shaving. In its latest campaign featuring American comedian Pete Davidson, the brand shows its commitment to comedy with a special cameo… A second Pete Davidson.

In the spot, as the real Pete acknowledges, “I can’t grow a full beard” and hires a fake, full-bearded Pete to take his place in a shaving ad, we see what happens when the comedian is no longer the ‘talent on set’. As the fake Pete is handed coffee, tells hilarious jokes and is generally charming as the face of the brand, the real Pete grows jealous, and the tension between the two escalates. In the end, it’s clear that the Beard Hedger is good for all beards…even Pete Davidson’s. 

Speaking to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about what it was like to create the spot are MANSCAPED’s chief marketing officer Marcelo Kertész and Innocean Berlin’s senior copywriter Noha Fahmy.

LBB> This campaign for ‘The Beard Hedger’ ironically features someone who doesn’t have a full beard. Tell us about how you initially discussed this comedic angle and why the tone of voice matches the MANSCAPED brand?

Noha> The concept of ‘The Stand-In’ was one of many we explored. And to MANSCAPED’s and Pete’s credit, it’s the one they chose. This speaks volumes of the kind of relationship they have and what makes Pete the perfect fit for the brand. 

MANSCAPED is breaking the mould of how a men’s grooming brand speaks and there’s something incredibly refreshing about the way it does so with such humour. 

LBB> How did Pete Davidson initially get on board with the brand and why did his partnership fit in so well with this campaign in particular?

Marcelo> The partnership between MANSCAPED and Pete Davidson started in July 2022. There are many reasons why Pete makes such a great brand partner. For one, his sense of humour seamlessly aligns with the brand voice. But what people might not realise is that Pete was also a MANSCAPED customer before ever signing with the brand. He’s been using the MANSCAPED groin trimmer and The Lawn Mower®, adding to the partnership’s authenticity. Pete is also heavily involved in the development and writing of content, making the output even more uniquely genuine.

LBB> How did the client and the comedian react to the idea?

Noha> That’s the amazing thing about working with a client like MANSCAPED, they’ve got a really good sense of humour. So does Pete. We find that there’s something truly endearing about the confidence it takes to embrace the fact that Pete isn’t particularly known for being a ‘heavily bearded’ man and make that the core of our idea. Both MANSCAPED and Pete fully got the intent behind the concept, and how it perfectly matched the brand’s signature tone.

LBB> How did the ‘real Pete’ add his personality and comedic flair to the spot?

Noha & Marcelo> Pete needed to work with a director that understands him and his comedy. Which is why director Judah Miller was the obvious and perfect choice. Since they’ve worked together on other projects in the past, the chemistry was just right – and we think it showed. Because while it might sound simple to let Pete do what he does best on camera, capturing the nuanced moments is actually an art form.

LBB> When did the idea of a second ‘fake Pete’ first get mentioned? What was the process of finding the right actor to fill the spot?

Noha & Marcelo> The idea of a ‘fake Pete’ was the heart of the concept from the get-go. As the face of MANSCAPED, the real Pete needed to find a way to honour his spokesperson duties. But without a prominent beard that would help him do that, he’d need to get creative. That’s how the idea of a ‘fake Pete with a full beard’ was born.

As for finding the right actor for the spot, MANSCAPED had a good idea of the kind of man who’d be perfect for the spot. It had to be someone who looked quite the opposite of the real Pete but also someone who wasn’t necessarily a stereotypical type when it comes to being a full-bearded man.

This spot is proof of what great casting can do for a commercial. The comedic chemistry on set between Pete and his stand-in was incredible and it definitely plays a big role in why the ad feels so authentic.

LBB> What was the process of creating the copy for this spot, how long did it take and what was the process of ensuring each line landed well?

Noha & Marcelo> The script started with the creative agency writers, Noha Fahmy and Jack Christensen. Then, Pete and his writer, Dave Sirus, made some changes to make it more his own and ensure jokes were delivered the way he’d envisioned.

As for the timeline, the project took about five to six months, from the moment the creative agency was first briefed until the spot went on air. Quite the quick turnover considering how busy Pete was with the shoot of his film ‘Wizards’ in Australia.

LBB> When it came time to edit the spot, what was the process of ensuring there was a good flow to the finished piece?

Noha & Marcelo> Editing comedy is a different ball game, where timing plays an integral part in how a joke lands or falls completely flat. So we must credit the director Judah Miller and production company Lathien Pictures here, who have done an impeccable job at cutting this film together.

LBB> Did you face any challenges through this process? If so, how did you overcome them?

Noha & Marcelo> We wouldn’t say we faced challenges. Everyone involved had a very good understanding of the special set-up of this project: writing jokes for a comedian who is used to writing his own. So, we can honestly say that this was truly a collaborative effort between all parties involved and we credit the incredible outcome to how well everyone worked together.

LBB> Who was the target audience for this campaign and how have they responded so far?

Marcelo> As you would imagine, the MANSCAPED target audience is primarily men ranging from ages 18 to 45. We’ve already gotten some feedback across the different channels where the spot has aired, and we can say it’s been overwhelmingly positive. 

LBB> Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Noha & Marcelo> Yes, it’s been such a blast to make this film come to life and we cannot wait for the next project. So, stay tuned.

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INNOCEAN Berlin, Tue, 14 Feb 2023 17:16:00 GMT