In Betabrand’s never-ending quest to understand the Internet consumer, we wondered, what’s the optimal beard style for male models?
Do shoppers prefer gentlemen to be shaven, unshaven, or barbarically-bearded? Surely the answer would lie in click data.
So we shot a shirt on Jared Graf, our Co-Founder and Design Director — a Pennsylvanian who sports a centimeter of neatly-groomed facial hair.
Then, through the magic of Photoshop, we added and/or subtracted varying quantities of strawberry blonde scruff.
The testing principles were fairly straightforward— present six different beard styles on precisely the same advertisement — with the same targets, same timing, etc. — then compare Click-Through Rate (CTR) data to determine the most alluring facial hair.
The Woodies Raglan Shirt ad, featuring Jared in his natural, un-doctored state:
The Click-Through Data:
Analysis (Includes some shocking news for Mr. Graf):
Both men and women, on average, were 39% more likely to click an image that had any amount of facial hair vs. an image that showed none.
As for the most heavily clicked, the longest beard we tested (beard #6) was unilaterally the favorite. CTR’s were 79% higher on this beard vs. the average of the others.
The test also demonstrated that women have about a 30% lower affinity toward beards than men do, with one exception: the image of completely beardless Jared (beard #3). Sure, these were male-focused ads, but it is also a safe assumption that men generally feel more positive about beards than women.
As for no-facial hair (beard #1), women were 65% less likely than men to click this beard. It was the second-lowest performing image for women, while it performed just above average for men.
Our core insight here is that if your ads feature men, they should be sporting some facial at all times. However, more “conventional” beards should be avoided, while extremely long beards are encouraged. A handlebar (beard #4) will likely go over well also, while a mustache is pretty much a par for the course.
Finally, Jared needs to change his facial hair. His natural style rated terribly with both men and women. Going into this test, we had no idea it would cause facial fashion panic in our Design Director. He was last seen chugging a bottle of Beamon’s Beard Enhancing Elixir…
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