Philips Norelco uses Roblox to market health to Gen Z

As beauty and grooming brands battle misinformation on TikTok, Philips Norelco is using the platform to spread men’s health truths.

In early November, Philips Norelco, the consumer division of tech conglomerate Philips, launched a “Movember” activation promoting the physical and mental health of men on Roblox. At the same time, the company shared health tips and information from a men’s health doctor on its social media channels. Since the start of the campaign, the Roblox world called Shavetopia has attracted 1 million players who have spent 43,838 hours in the space. That makes it one of the fastest-growing mental health-focused brand activations on the platform to date, according to Roblox. It is also the most popular brand-led philanthropic brand activation.

With the campaign, Philips Norelco wants to push the message that it is more than just a face care brand; according to Philips Norelco’s marketing director, Rafael Viestel da Silva, it is primarily a technology brand. In its Q3 2022 earnings report, the company reported 4% year-over-year sales growth in its personal care business, which includes maintenance and a renewed focus on innovation for the fourth quarter and 2023. The company launched its Shavetopia world on Roblox on October 27, ahead of the month-long Movember campaign. The brand declined to share the exact investment in the campaign. Fifty-one percent of Roblox players are male, and 60% are Gen-Z, according to Roblox.

“We launched Shavetopia to expand the social conversation around Movember beyond the physical world and into the digital world,” said Viestel da Silva. “Our mission as a company is to improve people’s health and well-being. Movember is changing the face of men’s health and creating widespread discussions about what it means to take care of yourself.”

Philips Norelco has partnered with Dr. Jake Taylor, MD, MPH (63,000 Instagram followers), a fellow in urologic oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, on Instagram the potion of the campaign, relying on him to develop the included language. Dr. Taylor has built his social following by providing information and combating misinformation about men’s mental and physical health. According to him, brands should rely on experts in the medical industry when dealing with health-related marketing.

Brands such as UK-based No7 Beauty Company have launched educational programs to counter misinformation on TikTok, while experts are addressing misinformation on more scientific topics such as sunscreen.

“We are creating this world of better health for the future. Whether it’s mental health or conditions like diabetes or heart disease, you need to start building these earlier habits at a young age,” said Dr. Taylor. “As a doctor and father, it’s important to model these habits to help younger generations develop a sense of ease around these conversations. There used to be a lot of stigma.”

“Especially with younger boys nowadays, talking about mental health is very important, based on the latest statistics on issues like suicide – the suicide rate is four times higher among men than among women,” said Viestel de Silva. “It’s also important for us to have a voice in that conversation as a brand that our male customers use every day.”

As part of Shavetopia, Roblox visitors can choose from several mini-games. Each features unique Philips Norelco boosts or game enhancements, as well as previews of the brand’s most versatile tool, the OneBlade. Shavetopia players, regardless of gender, can choose and purchase a variety of facial avatar hairstyles. Shavetopia offers portals to four other fan-favorite Roblox games that have a large in-game audience: Retail Tycoon 2, Emergency Response, Liberty County, and Tower Defense Simulator.

In addition, Philips Norelco will donate $400,000 to the Movember Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. For every Philips Norelco and OneBlade handpiece sold at CVS and Walmart stores in the US between October 1 and December 31, Philips will donate $0.50 per unit, with a maximum total donation of $100,000.

For the brand, Roblox was a draw because of the growing popularity of philanthropic partnerships and the chance to target Gen Z. In June, Victoria’s Secret teen brand Happy Nation focused on fundraising and giving back through its Roblox activation. Within the first six weeks of going live, Happy Nation’s first integration with Roblox in the world of “BayView” resulted in 10,500 donations to Undies for Everyone, a charity providing underwear for children living in poverty. And the shoe brand Red Wing launched a charity campaign project to improve housing for the homeless through Roblox in November.

“We are trying to find ways to reach Gen Z, as this audience is harder for us to reach with more traditional media channels like Instagram. It’s important to use different avenues like Roblox to bring together the conversation around men’s mental and physical health in a more organic way,” said Viestel da Silva.

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