The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

If Gillette Razors Are So Sharp, Why Do Their People Demonstrate Such Blunt Thinking?
March 11, 2009, 6:45 am
Filed under: Comment

I don’t normally do requests because if I did, I’d of stopped writing this blog ages ago, but my good friend – and bloody toptastic planner – Phil, asked me to write about the madness that is behind the Gilette’s ‘Fusion’ razor.

Because I believe the categories stupidity is self evident given they continually bring out more and more razors with more and more blades, I thought I’d simply recount the possible background to this latest waste of marketing shelf space.

“One key finding is that men are finding it hard to shave those difficult to reach bits because there are now so many blades on a razor.”

Gillette Exec 1:
“Ungrateful bastards!”

“In every one of out 367 focus groups, one respondent would spontaneously suggest that a razor with only one really good blade would give you a great shave and allow you to get at those difficult to reach bits because it wouldn’t be so cumbersome. Pretty much all the group respondents then enthusiastically agreed with this suggestion.”

Gillette Exec 2:
“One blade?? That’s ridiculous and shows how little those idiots know.”

Gillette Exec 4:
“Yeah, Schick’s got 4 … we can’t do one, that’s so not the best a man can get”

Gillette Exec 7:
“We need five blades”

Researcher [hesitantly]:
“Well, what about all the guys that want just one blade that gives a good shave and lets them get at those awkward bits?”

Silence, broken eventually by Gillette Exec 12 ….
“How about 5 blades with one blade on the back? We go one up on Schick and all those complaining guys get what they think they want. It’s win:win, marketing gold super-solution.”

Gillette Global VP Exec [Multi-Blade] Marketing:
“Genius… I’ve got a name for it that blends the old and the new, two razors in one, revolutionary 5 blades with traditional one blade. Gentlemen, the men of the world need the new Gillette Fusion.”

All Gillette Execs:
“Genius, you are brilliant, I wish we could be as great as you oh brilliant one”.

Rest of the World:
“Another example of a brand taking the lazy way to differentiate which actually doesn’t differentiate them at all, just shows they are lost in a blinkered battle within their category”

Wait till Gillette and Schick see this … they’re going to slit their wrists [but not as effectively as the 7 blade razor they’re bound to be working on would do!]

19 Comments so far
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did you write this or phil? im guessing phil because its quite funny and has a point.

gillette, colgate, p&g theyre all the fucking same and what fucks me off more is because they know how to write a good effectiveness paper they win awards despite the fact the ads dont drive sales theyre fucking ownership distribution does

Comment by andy@cynic

Ha! Gold. Ben and I were having a laugh at how stupid Gillette are after he sent me this link the other day…

Fusion “Gamer” razor. Now if any of the legitimately smart people on this blog can tell me what the fuck this razor offers that is unique to gaming culture I will (as Rob would say) eat a kebab.

Comment by Age

just being a smart arse bitching here, age… nothing. or maybe some competitiveness. the eagerness to win. because everyday it s a new challenge to get the shaving done, with the five blader haha. i can imagine how it went… let s get famous celebs so we can do it globally. sport stars are good. clean. power. yeah, and they are fabulous for our flashy website. because they play games. and sports – that s interactive. great. the end.
though, i m wondering why it s only three dudes when the shaver got five blades. that s weird. good night

Comment by peggy

I’m not going to talk about the physical razor because Gillette seem to only have one strategy for growth and that is becoming more ridiculous with each and every new product incarnation.

Andy raises a very good point, one I bring up every time I’m asked to judge effectiveness awards and that is that if advertising is formulaic, Gillette takes the concept to a whole new level.

Successful male celebrity, preferably sportsman.
Music bed conveying a masculine tone.
Power graphics and SFX using male symbolism.
Macho product name like MAC III

Picture of star with music bed in background.
Show razor and throw as many visual and SFX effects as a television can handle.
Sportstar with shaving cream on his face and razor removing foam cleanly from his face to reveal a rock hard jawline.
Show sportstar excelling at their chosen sport.
Graphics and sound at level 10.
End super.

Almost all their ads of the past 10 years have followed this exact same flow, so when they get major sales lift it will have had little to do with their communication and more to do with none advertising related factors which means they should not qualify for an advertising effectiveness award and yet they always do.

The effectiveness category has become a joke and brands like Gillette are part of that reason, that and the ability brands have to enter with information isolated from previous years data so the judges can never actually compare their achievements with what they’ve done before even though the ads produced are almost identical.

I am convinced the reason why Gillette enter so many awards is because their ad agencies do it for them to keep their client happy and spending the cash.

I’m sorry for the long comment, this issue annoys the crap out of me.

Comment by Pete

I can’t remember if it was Rob or Andy who said it, but it was that the guys fronting Gillette’s ad all look like they haven’t gone through puberty yet, let alone used a razor.

If Gillette really wanted to show their blade chops they should sponsor ZZ Top not a baby faced footballer.

Comment by Pete

i love that gillette are as fucked up as this. in some way, it goes towards evening up the farse that is women’s cosmetic advertising.

maybe they could combine forces with most of the car advertising and really wrap up masculinity in a nice, neat bundle: shave with 5 razors, fuck loads of chicks, drive fast car, loud music, square jaw. sold.

Comment by lauren

It has nothing do with gaming. Gamers are eternally pre-pubescent and do not need to shave.

Can we talk about metaphysical razers now?

Comment by John

Does any male consumer actually care about Gilette? Or Wilkinson? You don’t buy the last one because they became ridiculous with their whole Protector safety-thing. And Gilette, well there’s still the Sensor Excel in shops. Two blades. Though Gilette must think it’s not fancy enough as it is not on their website anymore.
And aren’t razors a minimal-low interest product? I don’t care.

Comment by Seb

John – I’d like to see you back that statement up…


Comment by Rob Mortimer

rob m. i’d say you’re case in point with that one 🙂

Comment by lauren

I’m a small town girl and I have NEVER understood the romance of razor commercials. Even my macho boyfriend (if that’s what you call it at my age) thinks they’re over the top….I’ll ask him if he wants me to buy him one of those fancy, 7 bladers, and he rolls his eyes and shakes his head. Companies need to listen to their customers instead of their egos. So there!

Comment by adchick

We could compare this with Sony, who went balls out for power with Playstation 3. While Microsoft used cheaper, easier technology that allows pretty much the same results at a much better cost.

Sony lose money on theirs, Microsoft make money on theirs.

Chasing egos leads to bad decisions.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

are you back campbell?

it fucking freaks me out that you have blog posts appear when i know youre not around. if only you were that fucking efficient for the people who keep you in the style you dont fucking deserve.

just remember your lifestyle at 30000 feet is not your real lifestyle so come back so we can put your feet on the ground physically and metafuckingphorically

Comment by andy@cynic

anybody any thoughts on the McGangbang?

Comment by niko

tell you what niko, why dont you get the ball rolling because freaky fuck stuff is your forte.

that, if you dont realise it, is a fucking big compliment

Comment by andy@cynic

Ooooh I like the anger this post has generated. You know it has touched a raw nerve when the Mother Teresa of adland, Pete, gets all ranty and sarcastic.

And Lauren, did you write their original Mach razor ad because it sounds awfully like your description?

Now let’s check out this McGangbang … oh dear!

Comment by Rob

It’s food porn Niko … or gluttony porn … eitherway it makes McDonalds claims that the ‘Super Size Me’ doco was unfair look a bit ridiculous.

Comment by Rob

Very nice site, and great article. Cheers!

Comment by Health Guy

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