Everyone’s dad used to have a pot of Brylcreem at the back of the bathroom cabinet, but the product’s audience is much broader these days, with style-conscious teenagers as well as the 30-something core market.
As a sector, male grooming is now worth more than £315m, and Brylcreem already enjoys success – by 1998 its market share was growing by 44 per cent year on year. But while boys as young as eight are experimenting with hair products, there is confusion about what is on offer.
Design Bridge, which created Brylcreem’s existing grey range was brought back to reposition the brand. It looked at several routes, says senior designer Lee Cook.
The retro look took the essence of the Fifties but made it more modern; the ‘ultimate hold’ look focused on the strength of the product; the professional styling route was reminiscent of the Nicky Clarke and Charles Worthington image, but with a more masculine feel; and ‘vibrant future’ tried to introduce brightness into a sector which traditionally uses sombre black, silver and grey.
While the client was keen to contemporise the packaging, it wanted to maintain some of the grey in order not to alienate existing older consumers. Design Bridge came up with a different, more metallic grey.
Brylcreem first appeared in 1928, and was bought by Sara Lee in 1993. Although it is an 11-strong range, people still associate it with the potted cream. Using transparent packaging is a way of clarifying the variants.
The new range, which is promoted by footballer David Beckham, goes on shelf in August. Christmas gift packs, featuring Beckham as the Brylcreem Boy, are also created by Design Bridge. The consultancy has also adapted the design for the Asian market.
Design: Design Bridge
creative director: Marion Dalley
senior designer: Lee Cook
designer: Rob Riley
Client: Sara Lee