Monday, April 24, 2006

Mitchum Man

What you don’t see on this photo of a Mitchum antiperspirant container is ongoing evidence of the deodorant’s year-old advertising campaign. I only noticed these labels on my deodorant tubes yesterday…I swear.

One tube cap bears a label that says, “IF YOU ONLY SHAVE WHEN YOU HAVE TO, YOU’RE A MITCHUM MAN.”

Another tube cap label notes, “IF IT’S 96° BUT YOU SMELL LIKE 76°, YOU’RE A MITCHUM MAN.” What does that mean? Do any of the advertising people who put this together live in Texas?

It appears I missed an entire revolution in deodorant advertising – another one.

In an April, 2005, New York Times Advertising article, Nat Ives wrote about the new Mitchum ad campaign – which will tell you in a heartbeat that I’m not in the advertising agency’s key market demographic:

The goal was to introduce Mitchum to young men without alienating the older men who already buy it, said Kathy Delaney, managing partner and executive creative director at the flagship New York office of Deutsch, creator of the campaign.

Another coaster reads, “If you can see the inner beauty of the girl dancing on the bar, you’re a Mitchum man.” The men being aimed at, Ms. Delaney said, might think, ‘I don't go to topless bars and watch girls there any more, but that’s pretty funny and I remember when I did.’”

Maximesque marketing has proved effective on men in general and young men in particular, but it will lose strength if it does not recognize the target's particular circumstance, said Robin Wood, vice president for antiperspirant, deodorant and fragrance marketing at
Revlon, which sells Mitchum.

“These guys are guys who are entering or have entered into a completely different lifestyle,” Mr. Wood said. “They are advancing in their careers, are new fathers, have a great deal of demands. The thing they are really missing is time for themselves, which we call guy time.”

The campaign uses commercials during shows like “Fear Factor” on NBC and “Two and a Half Men” on CBS, ads in magazines like Sports Illustrated and The Week, matchbooks to accompany the coasters in bars, ads on Web sites like and, billboards across the country and posters in places like supermarkets and restrooms. Many of the ads point consumers to a new site,

(You have got to see this site – especially the “Mitchum Man-O-Log!”)

The messages are tailored to suit the venues, Mr. Wood said, noting that Maxim magazine will also run Mitchum ads. Maxim readers may receive the more risqué of the ads, like one that shows a close-up of a woman’s breasts with the text, “If they look real enough to you, you’re a Mitchum man.”

The campaign is the last for Mitchum from Deutsch, part of the
Interpublic Group of Companies. Deutsch resigned the Mitchum account last month after Revlon shifted other assignments, with far higher ad spending, from Deutsch to other agencies. Revlon spent $2.5 million to advertise Mitchum in major media in 2002, but no significant sums in 2003 or 2004, according to estimates by TNS Media Intelligence.

I don’t know which agency is doing the campaign now, but if the stickers on my Mitchum tubes are any indication, Revlon ought to get somebody new, and right quick, too.

Meantime, I’m going back to the Mitchum Man-O-Log and (with tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks) take a closer look at the Talking Buck’s Head and the Galvanized Roofing Nails. Apparently, they’d be crucial to my lifestyle if I was 30 – again.


Anonymous said...

That is funny. Thanks for sharing.

Richard Laurence Baron said...

By the way, if you look at tubes of Mitchum with these labels on them, you'll note the utter absence of the specially created website's url. I'm not certain I understand this lack of opportunism...or the loss of a chance to get more eyes on the brand's "new" positioning - good, bad or indifferent.

Anonymous said...

How about introducing Mitchum to young men without alienating women who buy other Revlon products?

I just saw a "Mitchum Man" commercial on ESPN that was so offensive I have sworn off all Revlon products in response.

[video of naken woman's back, sitting in bed, man taking pictures - "If you've ever convinced her those photos are for your 'personal collection' you're a Michum Man"]

I hope young men prove themselves better than these ads.