The Changing Face Of Gillette

I worked on the Gillette account for 6 years when I was at BBDO.  It gave me an unusually intimate knowledge of what men get up to when shaving.

Razors, foam, gel, blades and aftershave, I worked on it all.

When it came to the razor advertising, the formula was simple:
Take a young, fit Alfa male with a very square jaw.
Put him in an airplane, space craft or race car–fast and macho.
Then cut to him in the bathroom shaving at the speed of light, never a nick.  Follow this with a lush woman, sidling up to his naked chest so she can stroke her hand over his soft cheek.

If that doesn’t bring back memories of every Gillette ad over the last 15 years, here is a 1999 example to remind you.
Mach 3

I didn’t think they would ever shift from the formula, but amazingly Grey Worldwide is on to something new and much more interesting.

The first ad that caught my eye was this razor called Gillette Body and the tagline “Built for the male terrain.”

The single camera focus, over the years, is not a new idea but it’s well done and absolutely relevant for this product.  I love the change from the obligatory demo of men shaving to the simple zip analogy at the end.

Then I saw these storytelling ads, comparing your first real razor to your first suit or your first girlfriend.

I think Grey is onto a winner here.  These aim for an emotional connection; they show a bit of vulnerability, they’re interesting.
Gillette First Real Razor

I wonder what square jawed actors are doing for a living now?

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