Frank Shields, a former MIT professor developed the first shaving cream. The innovative product offered men an alternative to using a brush to work soap into lather. The shaving cream formula was designed to provide a comfortable shave for men with tough beards and sensitive skin, like himself. When it was first produced, Barbasol was filled and packaged entirely by hand in Indianapolis, IN.
Product endorsements from famous male celebrities of the 1920-1930s, including athletes, actors and musicians ran in a series of ads in the Saturday Evening Post. The ads featured personal quotes from the men, explaining why they enjoyed shaving with Barbasol.
Barbasol was widely advertised on the radio by popular radio personalities. By 1936, the company employed nearly 400 people and was also manufacturing razor blades. The Great Depression had little or no impact on the Barbasol brand.
Barbasol Shaving Cream became standard issue for soldiers during World War II. As a show of patriotism, the company also sold large tubes of shaving cream in PX stores for no profit.
Over the years, Barbasol has been sold in a variety of packaging types and sizes. The Giant Jar was originally sold for 75¢. The introduction of aerosol cans in the 1950s prompted a change in the Barbasol formula from a thick cream into a soft, fluffy foam similar to what is currently seen on shelves. The iconic barbershop pole design on the first aerosol cans remains a signature trademark for the brand.
In 1962, the Barbasol brand was purchased by Pfizer, a large pharmaceutical company. The company introduced a series of TV ads.
The brand redesigned its packaging, combining the iconic barbershop pole design with an updated Barbasol logo. The products grew to 7 flavors - adding Sensitive Skin, Extra Protection, Cool Menthol, and Lemon Lime.
Barbasol received significant television advertising support to increase brand awareness after research showed that 25% of consumers were not familiar with the brand.
In 1988, Barbasol introduced shaving gels in four flavors: Original, Sensitive Skin, Skin Conditioner and Lemon Lime.
Cans of Barbasol Shaving Cream were prominently featured in popular movies such as The Fugitive and Jurassic Park.
During the late 1990s, Barbasol sponsored Akins Motorsports drivers Glenn Allen Jr. and Elton Sawyer in the NASCAR Busch Series. Outside of this sponsorship, the brand was largely unadvertised and market share slowly dwindled.
Perio, Inc. purchased Barbasol in 2001 and quickly re-energized the brand by expanding product lines, developing new products and renewing brand awareness through advertising. Barbasol became the most advertised shave prep with television and radio advertising supporting the new tagline "Close Shave America." In addition to reconnecting with men of all ages, the brand grew fourfold.
Barbasol continued its long-standing commitment to American manufacturing by opening a new manufacturing facility in Ashland, OH.
Barbasol signed a major 5-year agreement to become the official jersey partner of the Columbus Crew, beginning in 2012. Ohio based Columbus Crew won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008.
Barbasol revealed a new look for an American Classic. The combination of the classic name, prominent "Made in USA" badge and distinctive barber pole stripes creates a powerful retail billboard that is contemporary, yet familiar.
The first annual Barbasol Championship, played opposite The Open, was held on the Grand National course on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Opelika, Alabama. The Barbasol Championship is moving to Kentucky in 2018, marking the first PGA Tour event in the Bluegrass State since 1959.
Barbasol partnered with Universal Pictures Jurassic World to develop a promotion focused on the brand’s cameo in the 1993 original Jurassic Park film. The partnership included the release of limited-edition Barbasol/Jurassic World collector cans, a national television campaign and consumer sweepstakes.
Barbasol proudly launched a line of premium disposable razors in multiple blade counts providing consumers exceptional quality and honest value in the razor category.
At the start of the 2018 Season, Barbasol signed a sponsorship agreement with Major League Baseball® that extends across ballparks, media and retail.
Barbasol will proudly celebrate its 100th Year Anniversary as a highly trusted American tradition in shaving.