The series, in which Caparulo riffs about things that annoy him, aims to provide some “comic relief for life’s annoying irritations.” The shaving gel (not shaving cream!) products are “all about preventing irritation,” with a line of soothing gels designed for every shaving need. The connection here is the notion that Edge helps prevent shaving irritation amidst life’s everyday general irritations.
Thankfully the brand presence doesn’t extend any farther than this, and viewers will be grateful that the brand doesn’t insert itself into Caparulo’s charming standup bits about such irksome topics as “Fast Food,” “Shopping,” “Cell Phones,” “Night Clubs,” “Pools,” and “Basketball.” And despite the surrounding images of the products and Edge logos, Caparulo doesn’t refer to Edge, and no products appear in the videos themselves.
“If you had John smoothing shave gel all over his body saying, ‘I love this stuff,’ it wouldn’t feel right,” Alfred Giordano, Senior Vice President and Creative Director at Edge’s marketing agency Ryan Partnership, told the New York Times. “It had to feel man cave-ish, and if we were putting the brand too forward it would have felt very inauthentic. When guys are alone and girls aren’t around, these are the sorts of things that guys talk about.”
Taking a different approach to rival and category leader Gillette (Procter & Gamble), which features sports stars like Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, the tennis player Roger Federer, the French soccer star Thierry Henry, and formerly Tiger Woods, Edge and parent company Energizer Holdings (which purchased Edge from S. C. Johnson & Son and Schick from Pfizer) is trying to appeal to the everyday man, who may be overweight and suck at basketball like the self-depricating Caparulo.
On the Edge Anti-Irritation Zone website, users are encouraged to submit their own videos to be judged by Funny Or Die editors for a chance to win a trip to Vegas with their buddies and $5,000, and features a study that determined the most irritation-prone cities in the United States along with a tool that measures how irritated you are by how fast you smash the keys on your keyboard.
The Edge campaign isn’t Energizer’s first partnership with online distribution portals to market its products; the company enjoyed great success with Clean Break, a non-scripted web series from Sony’s Crackle and Schick Hydro.