Gillette was launching a razor for sensitive skin. But in Central Europe, men think “sensitivity” is for girls. How could Mediacom interest these macho men in Gillette’s gentlest shave? By showing them this wasn’t about sensitive shaving, this was all about EXTREME SHAVING! This unsubtle twist led to extreme boosts in value share in all markets.
In Central Europe “sensitive skin” is a sensitive issue. Gillette was launching a Sensitive variant of its most advanced razor – Gillette Fusion Proglide – across Central Europe. To promote it, P&G’s regional toolkit contained a picture of an anonymous boxer and the strapline: “Gillette’s Gentlest Shave – Incredible on Sensitive Skin”. But that wouldn’t cut it in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, where men associated stubble with being a ‘real man’. Mediacom would need a different approach.
The fact is that CE men didn’t like shaving at all. They also didn’t believe that premium razors were worth paying for – disposables still took 80% of the sales. Even worse, focus groups said that they really hated talking about sensitivity and weaknesses – including sensitive skin problems, which were dismissed as “girly stuff”.
Mediacom’s challenge was to promote a premium razor to men who’d rather use a disposable based on benefits they didn’t appreciate. To break through, it needed to convince them that even the toughest, most manly men could have sensitive skin. It would have to demonstrate that sensitive skin was no barrier to dangerous, manly exploits. You could still be a real man and take care of your skin.
Goodbye “sensitive skin” and a big, manly hello to extreme shaving! The CE razor market is pretty traditional. The main messages are functional – such as BIC’s “surprisingly smooth shaving” – and the main channels are in-store, OOH and a few Facebook fan pages.
This would take a different tack: Gillette’s message would be conveyed via content that was regionally relevant, combined with experiential opportunities to try the product. This would underline the innovation behind the new Gillette Fusion ProGlide Sensitive and show that it worked perfectly, not just in advertisements but also in real life.
The strategic platform would be based around the idea: “Not for sensitive men, for sensitive skin”. This would allow Gillette to convince fans that if they have skin sensitivity problems or are exposed to extreme conditions that may cause skin irritation, using Gillette Fusion ProGlide Sensitive was the solution. The bottom line: it would solve the problem of sensitive skin so they could stay manly.
The next challenge was to identify what being a man meant for the target. But what does “being a man” mean for males? Out of many possible answers the agency identified bravery and readiness to accept challenges as the central theme of communications. It would select a few brave men to put themselves into extreme conditions and then see if they could safely shave their irritated skin with Gillette Fusion ProGlide Sensitive. Extreme Shaving would be the centrepiece of the message.
Freefalling from a plane? Sir will be wanting to shave, then…
Gillette launched its sensitive challenge with an incredible test for Gillette’s new razor. Mediacom created a film featuring the ultimate example of extreme shaving. It filmed parachutists shaving using the ProGlide Sensitive while in freefall and released it on YouTube and Facebook. In the film it showed the professional jumpers checking if the Gillette razor would irritate their skin - skin exposed to wind blowing with the speed of 200km/h and temperature of -25 degrees. Viewers were redirected to Gillette YouTube channels in Poland, Czech Republic & Hungary, where more Gillette video content was available.
Next, Gillette challenged consumers to challenge it back. Just how good was the new razor and what irritation could it overcome? A new app on the Gillette Facebook profile allowed the target to vote for the challenges they wanted to see being performed. Then they selected three adventurers to carry out the selected tasks like an extreme buggy ride, flyboard flight and a snowmobile ride. After performing the challenges the daredevils shaved with ProGlide to show how the new Gillette razor provides the most comfortable shave, even when skin is sensitive or irritated after being exposed to extreme conditions. Video content from all the challenges was seeded and supported by paid media across YouTube and Facebook.
Extreme Shaving caused extreme value share rises across the range in all markets. The videos on YouTube and Facebook profile got over:
• 3.9m views in Poland
• 1.8m views in Czech Republic
• 1.9m views in Hungary.
Additionally, Gillette acquired almost 47,000 new fans on its Facebook profiles in Poland, Czech & Hungary on top of 178 million fans before the action (% increase). This success drove fantastic business results across the whole Gillette Fusion range:
• In Poland Gillette hit its highest ever value shares on Fusion, up 49% year on year. It also hit its highest ever Fusion Awareness in Poland, up 36% to 11%.
• Fusion Value share rose 31% year on year in Czech Republic, reversing a period of decline.
• Fusion Value share rose 16% in Hungary, again reversing a period of decline.
Finally, the films attracted the interest of AdBuster – a Polish blogger who challenges advertising claims. After seeing the film, he wanted to try Fusion ProGlide razor on his own skin and took our sky-diving shaving challenge. He agreed that Fusion ProGlide Sensitive could perform in even the toughest conditions and his YouTube video gave Gillette another 580,000 views.