To make men shave more Gillette had to show them that there was more they could shave!
As Gillette already had 80% of the shaving market, Mediacom’s challenge was not so much about growing share as about growing the market.
But how do you make men shave more? Mediacom’s insight was that they had to give them the right to shave more. That is, they had to give Mexico’s naturally conservative men “permission” to shave parts of their body that they’d never previously considered shaving. This would increase the demand of blades, and therefore augment the whole sales of the Gillette portfolio.
So the goal was to encourage men to shave their head, chest, back, armpits… and beyond!
The problem was that body shaving in Mexico was not part of the Mexican men grooming culture. Nearly 90% of Mexican men had never shaved their body. Many of them thought it taboo and believed that it was not socially accepted - by their peers or by women.
In short, to grow Gillette sales, the agency needed to change the opinions, attitudes and shaving habits of every man in the country!
Conventional advertising alone would not create this shift in attitudes. Mediacom’s insight was that they needed to spark a national debate
Mexicans can be shy. They don’t like openly discuss controversial issues with others, but when these issues are raised and discussed in the media, Mexicans feel more comfortable talking about them.
So how does Gillette make men shave more parts of their body?
The task was clear: get the topic discussed in the media, create discussion and debate in this public forum, and then invite men to join in the public conversation. This would make the subject acceptable to men and begin to establish consideration and trial of body shaving and therefore of more Gillette products.
Basically, what was needed was to get shaving out of the bathroom and into the living-room, chat-rooms and public conversations.
Crucially, to maintain the credibility of this debate, Mediacom kept the Gillette brand name out of the initial phase of activity. The brand would join in later to provide shaving solutions for their newly body-shave-curious men.
It all started with unbranded debate
Three weeks before the brand campaign launch Gillette partnered with Radio and TV hosts who were credible and appealing to young males. These hosts began a debate about the body shaving topic, inviting men and women to share their opinions: “I would shave my chest but not armpits, would you?”, “are women more interested in full body shaved men?” They kept things light-hearted to make this previously taboo subject more acceptable to their viewers and listeners.
To create interest online, Mediacom viralized a series of funny, step by step e-videos on ‘how to’ shave each part of the body.
The agency’s insight proved correct. Once given “permission’ by the media, Mexican men were happy to join the debate.
Mediacom’s PR phase was followed by more conventional advertising, launching the Gillette product range using print, ambient, radio and online banners. The ads used real consumer verbatims like “64% of Young women believe that a man with shaved body is modern and attractive”, “His intimacy has improved since he shaves his body”. Gillette – the ads explained - now offered razors with “less irritation on the most sensitive parts of the body”.
Explaining that their women might prefer them if they trimmed and tidied themselves up a bit was - naturally - a compelling argument.
This powerful, radical PR communication model – a media first for the client in this territory– boosted annual sales by 12%.
Gillette awareness grew from 35% to 63% in 4 months – a new record level.
There were more than 10 Million views of the educational e-videos and Gillette e-video ads, twice than the P&G Mexico norm - another record.
And more men actually tried the ‘body shaving experience.’ This grew the body shaver’s base 33% in these first 4 months of activation, beating the +15% goal.
Finally, more men shaving more parts of their body (or planning to!) led to more blades sold. Gillette volume sales grew beyond 12% vs year ago, far ahead of expectations and achieving its full year sales target in just 5 months! Its quickest growth in years.