The challenge facing Gillette was that despite the positive perception of Gillette Mach3 as a product, Indian men found shaving to be a chore. As Indian men placed very little importance on shaving, they couldn't justify using the Gillette Mach3 - which is around 10 times more expensive than traditional Indian razors.
Gillette sparked a national debate on shaving that would infiltrate the conversations of millions. The campaign platform of "India Votes....to shave or not" could have gone horribly wrong. First, Gillette piqued the nation's interest by commissioning a Nielsen survey on the country's attitude to shaving. The research highlighted a series of controversial points that were sure to get the nation talking. Were clean-shaven men more successful? Did the nation prefer clean-shaven celebreties? And the big one: did women prefer clean-shaven men? The provocative results generated buzz across the key news services. TV-news-anchors, and radio-DJs keenly picked it up and started a debate on their own perspective channels. Even the Times of India ran a daily poll online on the subject. Gillette had sparked a national conversation among celebrities, Bollywood-stars, noted business-icons and socialites. An online poll and live polls conducted malls and cineplexes kept the debate raging, and also offered men a chance to trial the product. What was the critical insight that broke the brand challenge? Quite simply, the survey proved conclusively and publicly that women preferred clean-shaven men. Sharing this observation with the men of India created dramatic change in the brand's fortunes.
The campaign set all time sales records with a dramatic change in the brand's fortunes. The campaign set all time sales records with a dramatic sales increase of 38%. Awareness doubled. Trials increased by 400% and Gillette's market share increased by 35%. The campaign also won the People's Award at the Festival of Media in Valencia 2009.