Panasonic debuts ‘Beard Buster’ app

In a move to promote its new Multi-Flex Wet/Dry Shaver line, Panasonic has released an iPhone application that lets consumers draw beards, shave them off and share the photos with others.

The “Beard Buster” app, designed by 360i, is a digital take on the vintage Woolly Willy toy that was released in the 1950s. The toy let children draw a beard, using magnetic filings, and then shave them off.

Similarly, with the new app, “you can take a photo of yourself and put facial hair all over it and take pictures of yourself and post them on Facebook,” explained Sarah Hofstetter, SVP of emerging media and client strategy at 360i. “Then you can shave it off with the virtual Panasonic razor.”

To promote the app, Panasonic is running an integrated advertising campaign. The ads will run across mobile ad networks, as well as online via search and display.

The target audience for the app is young professionals. Its goals are to both acquire new customers and retain existing Panasonic customers.

“The idea behind it is to leverage the popularity of the iPhone among the target audience of men, and make something a little bit fun, and tap into the utility of the camera on the iPhone,” Hofstetter said. “The iPhone app is a great way to provide some fun entertainment and utility and pass along ability to consumers.”

Panasonic has also promoted the razors via print ads in Good Housekeeping. The company will also advertise the products around gift-buying holidays this year, such as Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

While the razors debuted in the fourth quarter of last year, the app launched at the beginning of this year because Panasonic is promoting the electric razors as a New Year’s product.

“A lot of people look to self-improvement in the New Year, so the idea is, it’s a new year, and a new you,” Hofstetter explained.

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