2022 Winners & Shortlists


Product/ServiceKING C. GILLETTE
CategoryCustomer Retail / In-Store Experience

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

With beards considered a sign of manhood for Middle Eastern men and their grooming taken extremely seriously, Covid-19 left them without their frequent barbershop visits and with disheveled beards. With limited product knowledge and the how-to for achieving their desired looks without their trusted barber, we gave them back control. The King C. Gillette UAE & KSA omnichannel launch successfully drove men to consider buying professional grooming products for at-home use. We introduced a one-stop-shop brand within a highly-fragmented category, executed across top UAE and KSA retail formats resulting in 72% share and absolute category captaincy for beard care.


When Covid-19 lockdown forced everyone to learn a new way of life, for our Arab male shoppers, with their signature beard styles, this meant giving up regular visits to barbershops and learning to self-groom at home. However, the category, fairly nascent and fragmented (3/4th for clean-shaven solutions, 1/4th for a mix of beard care, skincare, and up-keep solutions), was not fully equipped to meet his need; no competitive brands offered the complete regimen package, from beard care to beard style, he sought. Gillette grabbed this opportunity, marking its foray into a new sub-category: professional male grooming. The objective: introduce King C. Gillette range as the new, first-ever complete male grooming brand, leveraging first-mover advantage to establish itself as the facial haircare category captain. Premiumize and grow the beard care category through higher $/Item sold for a win-win proposition for Gillette to lead with category share and accelerate total category growth.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

OWN YOUR BEARD. GIVE HIM CONTROL WITH EXPERT TOOLS & KNOWLEDGE. BOOST HIS CONFIDENCE TO TAKE AT-HOME BEARD GROOMING INTO HIS OWN HANDS. The Gulf region has one of the highest percentages of men with facial hair (~60%). Having facial hair is part of their identity, a sign of respect and self-expression. This seriousness evolved into ritualistic grooming and caring - laser removal to achieve the ‘perfect look’, regular visits to their barbers, trialing new beard types. While Arab men want to master their facial hair styling and maintenance, they lack the tools and know-how to achieve the desired look. Covid 19 lockdown made their heavy dependence on barbershops apparent as their visits (4x more than the global average man) were no longer an option. If he was going to experiment with self-styling, he needed confidence in his tools to make up for the lack of confidence in his skills.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Amongst our target shoppers (largely local and expat Arab men), only 28% knew to use a wash specially formulated for beards, followed then by beard oil, for optimal care, and, of the shoppers who don’t buy male grooming care products, 50% cited not owning any as they relied on their barbers to have them. There was a clear knowledge gap to be filled. By analyzing our shopper’s commerce path, we identified online and offline as the key battleground channels to not only make our target shoppers aware of the new professional grooming range but also to equip them with the knowledge they lacked and inspiration they needed to boost their self-confidence and take these products home to achieve barber-like grooming results, in comfort and safety of their homes, all by himself!

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We took the campaign idea ‘OWN YOUR BEARD’ to an omnichannel stage, running from March 1st – April 1st, 2021. -We launched the range with 15+ immersive and educational store takeovers across key retailers in UAE and KSA. -Through premium custom displays, in and outside the primary aisle, we grabbed shoppers’ attention and drove regimen education and the role of each product. -We designed an AR engagement tool that enhanced the shoppers' experience in-store, navigating them through the range and suggesting the right regimen for their beard goal. -The initiative saw overall visibility across 355 UAE stores and 875 KSA stores. -Keeping visual cues and education consistent with offline communication, we employed display banners to navigate shoppers to brand content online. -Across major marketplaces, Basic, Rich, and Brand Store content were developed and deployed to ensure shoppers were inspired and well-equipped with the range benefits to make a purchase decision.

List the results (30% of vote)

Though the Covid-19 lockdown threw a curveball at our target shoppers’ normal grooming routine, we gave them back control. In the UAE, where we have top Hyper/Supermarket customer share reading, King C. Gillette range contributed to overall category value growth by 2.5x the run rate of top customer sell-out, and the King C. Gillette range now represents 72% share and the absolute category captain for beard care. Customer category $/Item increased significantly as King C. Gillette range is priced at a premium of 120-150% of the competition. The King C. Gillette launch successfully drove men to consider buying professional grooming products for at-home use. We introduced a one-stop-shop brand within a highly-fragmented category to give men the confidence to look and feel at their best every day and achieved category captaincy.


Name Company Role
Nicole Wingate Liquid Retail Lead of the Client Servicing Team
Stephanie Stephan Liquid Retail Lead of the Creative Team
Marina Sokyrko Liquid Retail Main POC for Client on Project
Gary Cahill Liquid Retail Senior Art Director on Creative Team
Victoria Viray Liquid Retail Graphic Designer on Creative Team
Nurul Amelia Liquid Retail 3D Artist on Creative Team
Ghaith Breiss Liquid Retail Graphic Designer on Creative Team
Joelle Chelby Liquid Retail Finishing Artist on Design team
Nyka Miglani Liquid Retail Lead Strategist
Alysa Nair Liquid Retail Strategy Team Support Member
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