Movember and the Rise of the Metro Male

Movember is so much more than just ‘the only time it’s socially acceptable for men to sport sleazy upper-lip hair’. It’s about raising awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide. Interestingly enough, SPARK Media’s research has found that South African men are indeed becoming increasingly focused on their health and, more so, their appearance.

Gone are the days when the ‘macho man’ merely swished some mouthwash, splashed his face with water and ran a hand through his hair before barrelling out the door. Women are going to find themselves fighting for mirror space and hiding their eye creams because according to Euromonitor, men’s grooming recorded a 13% growth in value sales in 2016. South Africa’s men have become increasingly interested in products specially developed for their needs, and are increasingly likely to shop for their own personal care products.

In fact, SPARK’s 2016 ROOTS research found that 98% of men bought personal hygiene products in the past month. The proportion of men using hand and body cream has increased from 77.2% in 2010 to 82.5% in 2015, more so with black males, of whom 85.9% used hand or body cream in the past 7 days (AMPS 2010 vs 2015).

Smelling good is clearly as important to men as looking good. Premium men’s fragrances grew by 16% in 2016 (Euromonitor). AMPS research has shown that perfume and cologne use has increased among men long-term, with 53.3% of men being regular users. A high-quality fragrance is associated with career and social success, and has become an increasingly popular gift for men.


According to Euromonitor, South African brands, such as Sorbet, have jumped onto this trend. Sorbet Man offers exclusive men’s grooming treatments, and the chain has a Sorbet-branded men’s grooming range of skin and hair care products.

Although men are health conscious when it comes to their physique (54% of frequent gymmers, going at least once a week, being men), an extremely concerning statistic to come out of our ROOTS 2016 research, is that 92% of urban males in LSM 4-7 are currently not on a medical aid scheme, and surprisingly almost half (47%) of LSM 8-10 aren’t either. This opens a huge opportunity for healthcare providers to educate and build product awareness in this market.

The metro male isn’t going anywhere. Men’s grooming is forecast to maintain strong sales growth. A ramp of new male grooming product development is expected in 2018 and 2019. With a strong opportunity to tap into this male market, SPARK Media’s print and digital platforms offer direct audience solutions, delivering relevant, customised, interest-based audiences.

The Hairy FactsThe Hairy Facts

To find out more on how to effectively connect with this target group, contact SPARK Media on 010 492 8390, visit, follow us on Twitter - or connect with ‘SPARK Media’ (sparkmediasa) on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents a myriad of print and digital products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

ROOTS is South Africa’s largest urban quantitative consumer behaviour research survey with a random sample of above 28,000 adequately distributed by suburb.

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