Schick Hydro is on a mission to help men open up and challenge some outdated ideas out there about what it means to be a man. To do that, the brand recently launched a web series with Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love titled Locker Room Talk.
With this series, the brand wanted to do a number of things. It wanted to reclaim the phrase “locker room talk” (after President Trump used the phrase to justify a series of lewd comments he made in an interview with Billy Bush) and challenge the “boys will be boys” narrative. The brand also wanted to get high-profile men, like Love, to discuss what healthy masculinity looks like today in the hope that other men can learn from that and be more open with their friends and family.
“We hope that when individuals see these superstar athletes having candid conversations in a locker room setting, they feel inspired to have similar conversations with their peers,” Scott Smith, associate brand manager at Schick, said.
The series launched shortly after the brand debuted its “The Man I Am” campaign, created in partnership with MullenLowe, and felt that a web series would be the perfect way to further explore these themes of masculinity.
But to make the experience authentic and convince men to actually tune in to the series, the brand needed to find someone that men would listen to and respect. Kevin Love, who penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune in March detailing his struggles with mental health, seemed like the perfect fit.
“It was a no-brainer to partner with him,” Smith said. “It takes an incredible amount of courage for a professional athlete of his caliber to speak publicly about mental health issues and for that, we could think of no better high-profile individual that so perfectly embodies the ideals of this campaign.”
The brand also partnered with the Movember Foundation and the Kevin Love Fund on the project to help raise money for both organizations.
As part of the campaign, fans can donate to both causes and also win a chance to hang out with Love before a game. Schick Hydro also signed on to be the official razor sponsor of the Movember Foundation, an organization that aims to raise awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention in men. Each November, the Movember Foundation encourages men to grow a mustache for the cause, hence the partnership with Schick Hydro.
Love sits down with a number of other high-profile men for the series—including Michael Phelps, Paul Pierce and Channing Frye—who have all had their own personal struggles with mental health. Pierce opens up about being stabbed 11 times and the mental stress that put on him in the years following, while Phelps details the pressures and highs and lows that come from being famous.
“The athletes featured in the series have all achieved the highest levels of success, yet they too have struggled with mental health. It is hugely valuable to have people such as them help shape the conversation around mental health as this is not an issue that has boundaries,” Elizabeth Phipps Drewett, U.S. director of partnerships at Movember, said.
While Schick Hydro has big plans in terms of shifting culture and getting men to be more comfortable opening up about their mental health, the brand also hopes to raise its own profile with this series.
“We’re hoping to drive improved affinity for Schick Hydro and differentiate ourselves from our competitors, two things that will lead to increased sales and loyalty, which will help enable us to even more effectively promote this great cause,” Smith added.