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Peak Beard? Madison Avenue Doesn’t Think So

If you’ve been paying any attention to print media in the last year you may have heard the phrase “Peak Beard” – the theory that beards are trendy and the fad has passed. Clearly anti-beard propaganda.

The concept started from a study published in May of 2013 where people were shown photos of varied lengths of facial hair and asked to share their perceptions. The women judged faces with heavy stubble as most attractive as compared to heavy beards or no beards at all (men rated full beards and heavy stubble as most attractive). Another finding was that masculinity increased in direct proportion to the amount of facial hair a fella had, especially when it came to parenting ability and healthiness. Well duh.

Fast-forward to April of 2014 and the same researcher (hmm) penned another study that included the same original findings but added one key assertion: That the more common beards had become, the less attractive they were. Hence “Peak Beard.”

Well, if “Peak Beard” is actually a thing, Madison Avenue didn’t get the memo. Beards in advertising are bigger than ever. That’s because beards evoke a feeling of trustworthiness, reliability, and strength that companies want consumers to associate with their product. Here are some of my favorite commercials that feature bearded men bolstering a brand.


1. Volkswagen. Great comedy as three ladies check out the car…and the bearded fella.


2. Wyndham Rewards. The Wyndham Wyzard magically appears to bring hotel deals to those who believe.


3. Smith Brothers. The cough drop company uses epicly bearded Zack Smith to revive their storied brand.


4. Honey-Nut Cheerios. You can always trust a guy that brings fresh honey to the farmers market.


5. Honda. This spot combines safety and the excitement of a new journey for expecting young parents. Featuring a bearded Dad-To-Be.


6. Velveeta. A little cheezy, but these miners are enthusiastic about their liquid gold.


7. Froot Loops. When Mom and Dad get the kids to bed it’s time for retro gaming and some cereal. Seems legit.


8. Mountain Dew. This ad features four of the coolest bearded dudes with their rat rods and bootleg soda.


9. Snapple. A hugely bearded New York construction worker makes a strong statement for the iced tea company.


10. Vista Print. Personal trainers are strong. Beards are strong. What more do we need to say.


11. Geico Motorcycle. With the security of solid insurance, this beardy lad is happy as can be while hitting the open road.


12. E*TRADE: In an ironic twist, the financial company uses at least 50 amazing beards to sell their product while claiming that beards have peaked. Did I just contradict myself or prove my point exactly?

Did we leave your favorite beardy commercial or spokesperson out? We want to hear from you! Feel free to add it to the comment section below.


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