A Los Angeles based photographer, videographer and award-winning facial hair competitor -- who goes by the nom du plumage Jeffrey Moustache -- is among the follicularly endowed fellows appearing in a new TV commercial for Just for Men hair-coloring products.
The advertisement for Just For Men Mustache & Beard, a brush-in gel version of the brand formulated for facial hair, hit the airwaves Jan. 7 and features a range of facial hair styles from simple 'staches, soul patches and close-cropped business beards to Mr. Moustache's distinctive combination of big beard and mustache styled skyward in loops large enough to hoist twin soda cans.
The 26-year-old Moustache told All The Rage he's been growing out the 'stache on his upper lip for about seven years and the accompanying beard for just about a year and a half. His high-profile showings on the competitive circuit include a second-place finish (in the English Moustache category) in the 2011 World Beard and Moustache Championships held in Trondheim, Norway, first place in the 2012 L.A. Beard and Mustache Competition (Groomed Beard), and a hard-fought first place (Full Beard Verdi) at the 2012 National Beard and Mustache Championships held Nov. 11 in Las Vegas (and for which Just For Men was one of the sponsors).
Moustache said that, aside from the occasional small sum that comes with a competition win, it's the first time his tonsorial talents have made him money. "I'm not an actor," he told All The Rage, "I usually stay behind the camera."
But he went to an L.A. casting call, he says, after someone brought it to his attention. "I think they must have interviewed a couple hundred people," he said, "one person every 10 minutes for two days."
After a second call-back, Moustache said he got the call to come in and start filling out paperwork. The shoot, he says, took place about a month and a half ago. (And, for the record, Moustache says he did try out the product.)
"I was a little surprised they wanted my [style of] facial hair," Moustache told us. "A lot of the guys they cast had shorter beards or shorter mustaches -- which is their market -- they're not targeting the guys with big beards."
"It's aspirational," explains Ralph Marburger, marketing director for Just For Men North America, "like professional athletes in Gatorade commercials. And it's a salute to the champs. One of the things we learned [as a sponsor of the 2012 championships] is that there's a kind of fraternity of facial hair -- these guys feel special and have a special attitude -- and that's what we're trying to convey."
While the TV commercial is new -- as is the marketing focus on the "fraternity of facial hair" -- the product certianly isn't. The formulation of Just For Men for beards, mustaches and sideburns first hit the market in 1994 (the original Just For Men hair dye debuted in 1987).
Marburger won't share specific numbers but says sales have increased every year since the launch, and doubled in the decade from 2000 to 2010.