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Hoffman York - Wahl ‘Benevolent Beards’ Contest

Entered in Integrated Campaign


For the last 15 years, Hoffman York (HY) has worked with men’s grooming leader Wahl on an annual contest to find the ‘Wahl Man of the Year’. Over the years, the contest to find winners has varied; for example, we traveled to the country’s most facial hair friendly cities to find the best beard specimens, and we searched online for bearded men with the most talent. Along the way we met countless men with interesting stories to tell, many of whom were doing good in the world. So, in theme with Wahl’s 2022 creative platform of ‘making the world a bearder place’ – and to celebrate 15 years of Wahl Men – the Wahl ‘Benevolent Beards’ Contest was born. The contest honored past winners with mobile barbershop fundraising charity events, while also searching for someone online to take home the 2022 ‘Wahl Man of the Year’ title. When it came to measuring our success, we hoped to achieve results on par with previous contests to find the ‘Wahl Man of the Year.’ The measurable objectives for the contest included:

Strategy and Execution

The overall strategy was to invite bearded men from across the country to submit a video of themselves either explaining or demonstrating how they support a charity. To maximize opportunities for publicity, the contest included three phases: submitting entries, public voting to determine the winner, and the winner announcement. In conjunction with the online contest, and to help build awareness and garner quality entries, the Wahl Mobile Barbershop traveled the country visiting past ‘Wahl Man of the Year’ winners who are doing good in the world.

For an added editorial hook, the contest launched with a mobile barbershop event that honored the current ‘Wahl Man of the Year,’ Ben Tajnai from Milwaukee. Tajnai is the National Anthem singer for the Milwaukee Bucks, and his booming rendition won him the title in 2021. On April 7, 2022, the barbershop parked outside of Fiserv Forum on game-day and offered facial-haired fans FREE beard trims. Wahl also donated $5,000 to the United Performing Arts Fund, a charity Tajnai is integrally involved with. The partnership with the Bucks included social media posts and digital ads; and during the game, a beard cam, PA read and on-court check presentation. Similar barbershop events included visiting military veteran and 2017 ‘Wahl Man of the Year,’ Jason Heien and donating $5,000 to the Detroit VA Medical Center; and 2020 ‘Wahl Man of the Year,’ Jonathan Brannan from Ocean Springs, MS. For Brannan’s event Wahl donated $5,000 to the 1720Foundation, an organization that helps families cover the costs that come with adoption. This cause holds a special place in Jonathan’s heart as he used his $20,000 prize money from Wahl to complete the adoption of his son who arrived in April 2021.

After the entry period closed on June 6, 2022, HY selected (5) finalists. Each finalist won $500 for himself and $500 for his charity. Voting was open July 14 – August 5, 2022, and determined the Grand Prize winner, who was awarded $20,000 for himself and $5,000 for his charity. One challenge we faced was that the video entry requirement was a big ask, so we made sure the prize was significant. 

The Grand Prize Winner, Ryan Baudhuin from Green Bay, WI, was celebrated with a mobile barbershop event at a Green Bay Packers game on Oct. 16, 2022. The partnership with the Packers also included social media posts, digital ads and an in-stadium check presentation. Baudhuin is a combat veteran who uses is charity ‘High Point Adventures’ to organize dream hunting trips for veterans struggling with return to civilian life.

An integrated approach was used to promote each phase of the contest. HY’s Creative Team developed contest promotional and recap videos and other assets. PR drafted press materials and personalized pitches, targeting national outlets and local media markets. HY’s Social Team developed a post schedule and handled community management. And HY’s Paid Media team put support behind all the content and negotiated a package with Men’s Journal that included social media posts, a sponsored article and e-newsletter.


The first-ever Wahl ‘Benevolent Beards’ Contest was a tremendous success and exceeded our objectives. The results included:

The media’s enthusiasm for this contest was evident from the hundreds of placements we received in numerous local TV stations and daily newspapers, as well as some national media outlets. Most importantly, the contest made a positive real-life impact with its donations and added awareness for many deserving charities.


Video for Hoffman York - Wahl ‘Benevolent Beards’ Contest

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Hoffman York, Wahl Clipper Corp.


Entry Credits