A three-minute online film about Mooki, an Israeli man who shaves off his beard after 14 years, had already racked up 646,000 views on YouTube as of Wednesday morning.
“My New Face,” by Israeli ad agency BBR Saatchi & Saatchi for drugstore chain Super-Pharm’s private label line of Life M6 razor blades, was a “totally a documentary project,” said Nadav Pressman, the agency’s creative director.
“There was a search to find someone” — Mooki, the 44-year-old who shocks his family with his clean-shaven face — “who would have enough of a personality to hold the viewer’s attention,” said Pressman.
It clearly worked, said Pressman, citing his own father who cried because of the music used in the clip.
“I said, ‘What are you crying for? It’s a commercial!'” said Pressman, laughing.
It helped that the client, drugstore chain Super-Pharm, has a big marketing budget and a willingness to try something new, he said.
“You need a customer who’s willing to take the chance when you try to create a piece of content that will be shareable, that people will actually post and share it on Facebook, when they would never do it for a regular commercial,” said Pressman.
Super-Pharm is a pharmacy chain in Israel, Poland and China that is privately owned by the Canadian Koffler family, which opened the first Israeli branch in 1979.
Pressman said he knew there was potential with the storyline after hearing a copywriter tell of his shock as an eight-year-old when his father picked him up from school without his beard.
Pressman said he knew Super-Pharm’s private Life label wouldn’t win out over competitor Gillette thanks to its razor technology, but rather by touching the hearts of potential customers.
“You market the gut,” he said. “What would people want to watch, share and discuss, and we made it. The two other clips we made are rubbish. This guy worked out because of the part with his father.”
How does he know it’s been successful? Besides the 600,000 views and counting, he’s now getting phone calls from clients asking, “Why aren’t you doing this for me?”